Six centuries ago, when the Medici family helped start a new leather tanning trade in Santa Croce, Italy, they intended for it to serve the flourishing community of leather artisans in neighboring Florence. They’d probably never imagined that this region would become one of the world’s most important areas for leather tanning, however.
Today, this city by the Arno river has become a center for high-quality vegetable tanning – a process that gives leather a certain richness that allows it age beautifully. North of Santa Croce is Calzaturificio Buttero, a small footwear company that that takes full advantage of Italy’s vegetable tanned leather trade. Buttero is located in the picturesque town of Cerreto Guidi, in the Tuscan hills between Florence and Pisa.
It was here that a man named Mauro Sani sought to make the best riding boots in the world, so he founded a company in 1974 called Buttero, named after Tuscany’s old-time cowboys. The company is still owned by the Sani family today and is run by Mauro’s three sons: Luca, Claudio and Massimiliano. Though its product line has grown past riding boots, and it has developed an international following, Buttero’s production remains in Cerreto Guidi and it hasn’t wavered from its simple formula: honest, local ingredients; elegant lasts and details; and above all, a focus on putting people first.
When we visited the company, we met several employees who have been with Buttero for over thirty years, and everyone is considered part of the Buttero family.
We love Buttero’s boots and feel that their vegetable-tanned leather sneakers strike a perfect balance between urban styling and wonderful materials and finish.