This Affordable Shoe Brand Earns Me More Compliments Than I Know What to Do With

If "stan" is a slang word meaning an overzealous, obsessed fan of something—a stalker fan, if you will—then when it comes to the brand Matiko, I am a shtan: a shoe stalker fan. Excuse the ridiculous label, it's just that before two years ago, when I discovered this low-key, affordable Los Angeles–made company, I never knew what it felt like to fall in love with a shoe brand so hard that you feel like it could fulfill pretty much all your shoe needs for the rest of time. And now, after a couple years of wearing almost selectively Matiko shoes every day to the Who What Wear office, and getting consistent compliments every time, I finally felt like they were owed a little love letter. (This is not spon con, by the way. I wish.) If you're unfamiliar with my fave indie shoe brand Matiko Shoes, allow me to introduce you.

My relationship with Matiko began in the spring of 2017 during the rise of the white boot trend. I wanted to hop on board and was willing to drop a few hundred bucks on the perfect pair, but I had a few specific requirements: I wanted them to be super comfortable, not too high, and made of vegan leather. After scouring Shopbop for hours, I found everything I wanted for $135 in the form of the buttery-soft faux leather boots in the 'gram above, which are so comfy and versatile that I have worn them probably three times a week since then. I pair them with everything from high-waisted jeans to sundresses. I love them so much that I quickly bought the style in snake print, as well.

These boots are now devastatingly sold out in most colors and patterns, though if you act fast and click the link below you can still get them in brown and leopard print. They're on sale now for $75, so it's a no-brainer.

Not all of Matiko's styles are vegan, but they are all shockingly affordable (less than $150 per pair) for such an on-trend, family-run, USA-made brand. The line was founded in LA in 2003 by a guy named Jesse Howard, who wanted to combine the quality of European shoes with the eclectic vibes of Southern California. Today, Matiko's sandals, mules, slides, and boots are available at retailers like Shopbop and Anthropologie, as well as the brand's website. I own four pairs and have yet to come across a Matiko style that isn't 100% worth the price in comfort and compliments.

Since Matiko is still a smaller brand, it doesn't have a ton of styles at any given time, so they sell out fairly fast. I almost feel like I'm going to regret revealing my secret obsession with them because now they're going to sell out even quicker. But you know what they say about true shoe love—when you shtan a brand as hard as I shtan Matiko, you just want to shout it from the rooftops. 

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