@thesabahdealer

Why our travel editor loves Sabah shoes.

When packing for a road trip or air travel, the mystery quotient is always shoes. Which ones should you bring? Will you really need those ankle boots? Do you really need to bring another pair of sandals? Should you wear the cowboy boots through the airport security line to save room in your carry-on much to the chagrin of everyone that will be standing behind you waiting as you struggle to take them off like an injured rabbit?

Luckily, my recent discovery of Sabah shoes has saved me hours of calculating space-saving techniques or wardrobe combinations. These leather slippers not only go with nearly any outfit from jeans to dresses, they also come in a rainbow of colors from poppy red to palm green and neutrals like Fort Worth Brown, a name inspired by founder Mickey Ashmore’s hometown Dallas-Fort Worth.

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Ashmore left his finance job in Manhattan to start Sabah (Turkish for morningtime). He had visited Istanbul, Turkey after college and loved the traditional shoes he found there. When one of his leather soles broke, he called the shoemaker in Turkey and asked him if he could keep the sole flat instead of turned up when he repaired them. Ashmore liked the tweak on the design so much that he started selling them at pop-ups in Dallas where his shoes became popular with jet setters for their durability and character.

The shoes are handmade in Gaziantep in the southeast part of Turkey in a long-standing shoe-making shop that’s been in a family for generations. Each pair comes with a card that has a picture of the shoe’s particular maker and their story. The shoes are sold online, but now Ashmore has four shops as well, two in New York City, one in Los Angeles, and another in Dallas.

While the price tag might be more than most casual shoes you throw in your duffle, they bridge the divide between comfortable and cute, which makes their practicality more than worth it. Almost like the little black dress of shoes, they are now essentials in my weekender bag and give me one less thing to forget.