from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Spanish-speaking countries, a kind of sandal or low shoe with a hemp or rush sole and cloth upper.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • While in Argentina he came across a shoe called the alpargata , a kind of espadrille, and thought it would sell well in the United States.

    Doing Good by Shoeing Well

  • It was during his globe trekking adventures, in Argentina, that he first stumbled across the idea for his next venture, a farmers shoe called the alpargata.

  • The original TOMS shoe was based on the Argentine alpargata, mostly worn by farmers and "common people," as my friends in Argentina say.

    Blake Mycoskie: TOMS Shoes Accepts the Secretary of State's 2009 ACE Award

  • If his entrepreneurial insights are not original, he repackages them as well as he does the alpargata, taking the familiar and making it fresh.

    Doing Good by Shoeing Well

  • Compelled to take some personal responsibility, Mycoskie set out to create a shoe inspired by the traditional Argentine alpargata, and for every pair of shoes sold, one pair of TOMS Shoes would be given to a child in need.

    Mihal Freinquel: When Celebs Do Good: Charlize Theron and TOMS Shoes

  • He returned to New York City, took the design for an Argentinian shoe called an alpargata, and redesigned it for the U.S. market - replacing the traditional rope sole with rubber for durability.

    Lesley M. M. Blume: You Are What You Wear

  • MYCOSKIE: But I said, I'm going to take your -- the alpargata, the Argentine national shoe that farmers have been wearing for hundreds of years, I was going to redesign it and every time I sold one, I was going to bring one back to these children in Argentina.

    CNN Transcript Nov 16, 2008

  • Argentina when he spotted the business potential of the alpargata, a traditional rope-soled farmer's shoe. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • That company, founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, launched with a single style of alpargata - essentially an espadrille - and a pledge to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair sold. - News

  • Given that alpargata-style footwear has been around for centuries, Hand said pursuing a successful copyright claim would be "an extreme uphill climb." - News


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  • It is my understanding that alpargata and espadrille do share ancestry. The Wkipedia entry for Espadrille contains the following:

    The existence of this kind of shoes in Europe is documented since at least 1322, when they appear described for the first time with its current Catalan name.

    The term espadrille is French and derives from the word in the Occitan language, which comes from espardenya, in Catalan or alpargata and esparteña in Castilian/Spanish. Both espardenya and esparteña refer to a type of shoes made with esparto, a tough, wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope. Its name in the Basque region is espartina.

    June 10, 2016

  • In the Wordnik 'word of the day' it says: "The word alpargata' may derive from an Arabic word for a kind of sandal." But I wonder if the etymology is closer to espadrille. In online etymology it has: "espadrille (n.) shoe with soles of hemp-rope (originally worn in the Pyrenees), 1892, from French espadrille (17c.), from Provençal espardillo, from Latin spartum "Spanish broom, Spanish grass," a plant of Iberia and North Africa that produced a fiber used to make mats, nets, ropes, etc., from Greek sparton "rope made of spartos" ("Spanish broom"), from PIE *spr-to-, from root *sper- (2) "to turn, twist" (see Sparta)."

    What do you think?

    June 10, 2016

  • Throughout all the Catalan hills

    They're worn by who talks and who tills.

    Though all social strata

    May wear alpargata

    The well-born will say "espadrilles."

    June 10, 2016

  • n. a canvass shoe or sandal

    October 23, 2008