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We Tried the Italian-Made Footwear Everyone's Raving About

M.Gemi’s handcrafted Italian shoes have been touted as the perfect travel footwear—but do they live up to the hype? Jetsetter’s Jackie Homan and Tyler Schoeber put two pairs to the test.

Style + Travel Editor | Instagram @jackiehoman | jackiehoman.com

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Review of M.Gemi’s Sacca Donna Loafer by Jackie Homan

My first-ever memory of footwear revolves around early ’90s jelly shoes, raw blisters, lots of tears, and one big conflict: how could something I love so dearly put me in so much pain? I think perhaps I’ve been doomed in the shoe department ever since.

When high-fashion sneakers rose to popularity a few years ago, I could not have been more excited. It meant that in semi-casual workplaces (like the ones I’ve always had), I could wear comfy kicks to the office and events, and it’d be considered stylish, not sloppy. To me, this was huge. If my shoes are even the slightest bit uncomfortable, there’s no way I’m walking in them to work—I learned from my painful jellies, after all. Obviously, this means heels are out of the question, but it also means plenty of sandals and flats are, too. Why are most women’s flats designed with edges that rub mercilessly into our bare feet?! Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve flaunted any fancy footwear.

When I heard about M.Gemi’s “Perfect Loafer,” which reviewers insisted was incredibly comfortable, I was full of doubt. For the sake of the story, though, I decided to abandon my sneaks and put my feet at risk for a few days to try them out. Reader, I immediately felt foolish. They felt like… nothing. I may as well have been barefoot on clouds they were so painless. I don’t know how it’s possible—or why no other brand seems to have mastered it—but M.Gemi’s Sacca Donna Loafers stay on my feet while I walk, don’t pinch my toes or rub against my heels, and feel totally breathable. Their low stacked heel makes walking easy—and this is crucial, since I walk over a mile and up and down subway stairs to get to work every day (pre-COVID-19, when I tested them out). They come in nine colors and textures, from neutral suedes to snakeskin-printed leathers, like the ones I tried.

The shoes aren’t cheap, but there’s a reason: they’re artisan-made in Toscana, Italy, sewn by hand on moisture-wicking printed leather or suede. They’re the best flat shoes apart from sneakers that I’ve ever worn. And while travel is off limits for now, I know they’ll be the first pair I pack in my suitcase when the time comes.

Shop M.Gemi Sacca Donna Loafers

Review of M.Gemi’s Dritto Boot by Tyler Schoeber

Throughout my life, I never really prioritized footwear. When I was first discovering my style, I put shoes on the backburner, always shopping for the easy stuff instead, like tops and bottoms. I never even owned a pair of boots aside from those I’d have to shovel snow in, and I stuck to my sneakers and moccasins mainly because I’d never thought to try anything else. Then, when I finally started to take note of what I was putting on my feet a couple years ago, I looked to stores like ASOS that offer tons of styles with affordable pricing. But sadly, that meant the quality wasn’t always the greatest—I’ve had a few pairs completely fall apart on me. It’s safe to say that I’ve been ready for a shoe makeover for a long time.

When I got the opportunity to test out a pair of M.Gemi boots for this story, I’m not going to lie, I was totally out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a pair of shoes over $60 before, but then again maybe that’s why I’ve been having to replace my footwear so often in recent years. I bit the bullet and decided to try the Dritto Boot. I’ve never owned a Chelsea boot before, so I was excited to add the design to my not-so-impressive shoe collection.

The Dritto comes in three colors and styles, and I opted for the Rosewood hand-dyed leather option because the warm brown color matches a lot of my wardrobe palette. Upon seeing them in person for the first time, I was genuinely shaken by how identical they looked to the image shown on the site. I feel like with a lot of clothing I buy online, something about the item always looks slightly different in person, but not in this case. 

Slipping the boots on was less of a challenge than I thought it’d be, considering I was so careful because I didn’t want to somehow damage them. I was acting like I was holding a newborn—it was quite a sight to see. Once I was fully in them, they were incredibly comfy and made that nice, professional-feeling clicky sound when walking.

I typically wear these boots with my more casual, everyday apparel, but I’ve also used them to dress up a few times, and they work perfectly both ways. They have that all-year-round look I love when it comes to footwear, because I hate having to push things to the bottom of my closet for a season. I’m going to be just as comfortable wearing these for a night out this summer as I was this whole winter. The only problem? Now I want them in every color and style.

Shop M.Gemi Dritto Boots

How We’re Wearing Them

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