Best of Frēda: The Keen Mule

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Everyone has some splurge-worthy thing that they fall captive of. In the fashion world: luxurious purses, designer clothing, perfectly crafted footwear. Like Carrie Bradshaw, I have a thing for the latter. There is just something about well made shoes. I could go into a whole speech as to why I love them and the intrigue I have in the history that surrounds them, but today lets focus on one brand that has my heart. Frēda Salvador.

Who is Frēda Salvador? Frēda is a woman owned footwear company designed in California and handmade in family factories in Spain and El Salvador. They believe that quality and sustainability of handmade product is unparalleled and talk about their company as one big family. You can read more about their factories here.

Their purpose is to redefine modern feminine style, and aim to empower non-stop women by offering pound the pavement utility. And I must say, they live up to their objective.

My first pair of Frēdas were the Keen mule in Natural Woven Calf. I was interested in the company based on raving reviews from friends, but am always hesitant to jump into a new brand so I scoured resale sites until I found these Keens secondhand online. They were love at first wear. Since they were secondhand, they had already been broken in, so it only took a short time to get them into my perfect foot formation. I later bought a pair of sandals from their website that they no longer carry, which I wear all summer long. I've had both pairs for around three years now and they're daily go-to's all season long.

All of this to say, I am very proud to say that I am now a Frēda Salvador affiliate! I'm pretty picky about brands that I work with, especially on an ongoing basis and am so thrilled to share and review this company moving forward with you! They were kind enough to send me a pair of the Keens in black embossed croc to review so lets dive into it!

I already knew I was going to love these shoes, since my natural Keens are daily drivers, but I was interested to see the difference in woven versus solid leather as well as the break in period of secondhand versus new.

As much as I love shopping secondhand, there's just something so special about opening a new box of shoes.

The fit and feel was very similar, but as expected, the solid leather was much more rigid and will require a bit of a break in period. Let's take a look at the details.

  • 100% Italian leather in black embossed croc

  • 1” leather stacked heel

  • 100% leather sole with rubber layer for enhanced durability

  • VALE is the last used for this mule. From the website:

  • The VALE has an almond toe and 1.25” heel. It is one of our most tried and true lasts used on our best-selling styles such as the WIT, the WEAR and the KEEN. It has a classic oxford/loafer shape, but the almond toe makes beautiful, feminine lines. This last is best for: Everyone

I love the attention and detail that goes into describing each shoe last and fit. It lets you know exactly what to expect, and teaches you a little bit about shoe crafting along the way.

Overall, I am thrilled with the addition of a black Keen to my heavy rotation, and will give an update as I break these in this spring.

Speaking of spring. Are you interested in a pair of Frēdas but are looking for a lower price point? Or have you been looking to jump on the slide trend that's having a major moment right now? Frēda just launched the LEA Sport Slide for spring/summer, and I'm so excited to try them out so stay tuned for a review coming soon!

Have any questions about the Keens? Anything you'd like me to focus on for the Leas? Drop them below!

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