Introducing Paradigma

Paradigma is a Portuguese manufacturer  of footwear based in the city of Guimarães. A family company started in 1987, Paradigma specialise in traditional shoes with a modern twist.  Their shoes are constructed using traditional methods and high quality leathers, but often with vibrant colours.


I’m particularly taken with the shape of lasts that Paradigma use, which mean that their shoes have a beautiful and delicate shape. Their leathers are soft and supple, the stitching is exquisite, and the fit is beautiful. Somewhat unusually for men’s shoemakers, Paradigma make shoes for women, as well as men.

Part of the reason Paradigma are beautiful is that they use  Blake construction rather than Goodyear welting.  For more on the detail of Blake construction see Simon Crompton’s excellent and informative post on this here.

In a nutshell, Blake construction is less robust than Goodwear welting traditionally used by English shoemakers, but precisely because of that they can have less bulky soles with the benefit of a more streamlined look.

Despite being around for nearly 30 years Paradigma are not especially well known in the UK. Part of the reason for that is that Paradigma footwear are not easily found on the high street.

I first discovered them in a fabulous mens’s boutique in Durham called Woven. I later discovered that they can also be sourced from Charles Clinkard. Clinkard do not have much of a presence in London but are spread around the rest of the country pretty well.

Other than that your options are pretty limited. Paradigma recognises this and are looking for distributors. So if you are a shoe seller get in touch with them pronto. 

It is possible to buy these shoes online, of course, from Clinkard but not from Paradigma directly. Quite why they don’t have an online site is not clear to me.  Note to Paradigma, you might want to look into this…I’ve taken the opportunity to add a pair to my collection, the fabulous pair of boots below. They are ridiculously comfortable, wonderfully smart, and easy to wear in both formal and informal settings.  A very welcome addition, they are proving to be too.


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