Visiting Sóller most people love to stroll along picturesque Carrer Luna with its Modernisme facades and small stores. And many stop in front of Ben Calçat, famous for the colorful porqueres. But only few know that this typical Mallorcan shoe is even made here. In the back of the narrow store hides a unique workshop where the Mira family has been manufacturing footwear for decades. And they are happy to share the passion for shoemaking with their customers.
Legend has it that a poor man from Ibiza once came to Mallorca. When his shoes broke he took an old car tire and a few scraps of leather and canvas and made a pair himself. These simple shoes soon became popular with the pig (porc) herders on the island, hence their name. Today, porqueres come in countless color combinations. You can even have them custom-made.
The craft of shoemaking also includes the repair of other leather goods. One day a lady entered the store and asked Paco Mira to add a zipper to her bag, a beautiful leather senalla. Bought from a young man with long red hair at a store in Port de Sóller some thirty years ago. Well, the man was Paco himself. His mane gone by now and the store long since moved to the center of Sóller. But with his old Singer sewing machine he fulfilled the customer’s wish in no time.
When Paco and his sister Maruja founded their store they named it Ben Calçat. Which literally means good shoes. Together with her son Jaime they now also offer avarcas and espadrilles. And with Sóller being the perfect starting point for hiking in the Tramuntana Ben Calçat is one of the few shops on the island selling mountain boots made in Mallorca by Bestard.
Read more about Mallorca shoes, right here.