Adriano Stefanelli - Papal Shoes

Adriano Stefanelli – The Pope’s Shoemaker

In 2002, Andriano Stefanelli from Novara near Milan, Italy sent a pair of his handmade red shoes to Pope John Paul II and he was so impressed by these, that he became a customer of Stefanelli.

Pope Benedict's shoes in ruby red

Pope Benedict’s shoes in ruby red

Interestingly, his successor Pope Benedict continued the tradition of having the shoes made at Stefanelli. However, while John Paul II preferred to wear dark red leather shoes, Pope Benedict prefers the classic ruby red.

Stefanelli and Pope Benedict

Stefanelli and Pope Benedict

In September 2005, Stefanelli was able to give a pair of shoes to John Benedict during a public audience on St. Peter’s Square. This put rumors to an end that Prada had made the shoes for the pope.

Apart from that, Stefanelli has also made shoes for Ferrari and even for Barack Obama. Despite this illustrous clientele, his slippers start at 400 €, which does not seam unreasonable. Of course,this price is only for basic leather slippers.

In the following video, you will learn more about Stefanelli and his shoes – enjoy!

Why Does the Pope Wears Red Shoes ?

Not too long ago the private secretary of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI., gave the following answer to the very question why the Pope wears red shoes.

Apparently, the red color of the Pope’s shoes dates back to the liturgical practice of the church when the priest wears different colors on different occasions.

Back in the day,the Pope used to match his shoes with the color of his chasuble: with a  green chasuble, he wore green shoes with a red chasuble red, he settled on red shoes. Over time, ruby red became the preferred color for the pope and therefore a Pope now wears red shoes. As we we learned though, the shade of red can change from Pope to Pope.

What do you think about the Stefanelli slippers? Do you generally wear a lot of slippers?

Picture credit: © Dieter Philippi

5 replies
  1. Michael Carper says:

    Fit for a Pope.

    One of my parish priests used to wear Birkenstocks year-round. He would match his socks to the liturgical season. I’d love to see BP wearing some purple, pink, or green slippers in certain parts of the year.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Dear Nicholas,
      That’s a legitimate question, though it is not limited to the shoes. How about the robes, caps, socks and the Vatican itself? On a tour through the Vatican last year, I learned who much of Italy is owned by the Vatican – it is quite “impressive”.

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