The chronicles of the time tell us that when La Vuelta passed through Barcelona, there were endless lines in front of the door. Bahamontes, Poblet, Julio Jiménez and Lejaretta are some of the cycling legends that went to the small workshop of Orestes Ribó in the Poblenou district of Barcelona for one of his shoes. In 1945, Orestes Ribó opened its workshop for the production of traditional footwear, with priority for the highest quality materials and attention to detail.
The bicycle, before the car-boom, was the usual mode of transportation in the cities, so the market for quality reinforced shoes for bicycles was great. The professionals used a sort of cove that was nothing more than a horizontal cut where the pedal fits. In this way they achieved greater stiffness and better transfer of power to the pedal. Due to the devastation of the Second World War in Europe, sales among cyclists who rode through Barcelona increased, because there was no other manufacturer of cycling shoes of such quality in Europe. Ribó also started distributing through bicycle stores, where accessories, components and cycling clothing were sold.
Over the years, Orestes Ribó Jr. took over the workshop, while maintaining the spirit and the traditional production method. His merchandise was opened to trial motorcyclists with a special sole, mountain biking with a reinforced sole, compared to the classic road and Look inlets, which were then adapted to the Shimano SPD.
Since 2011, Orestes has been working with Prooü, a brand formed by industrial designer Joan Esteve and marketer Joan Bonmatí. With an extensive catalog of shoe models, they also opted for customization, as it is possible to choose a shoe that is tailor made for the customer. Materials, sole and finishes are adapted to the consumer’s wishes. All from the same small workshop in Poblenou where the father of Orestes Ribó started in 1945.
“Our products have a very distinct aesthetic line,” Joan explained to Ciclosfera. “They are inspired by the classic shoes, but clearly adapted to the present and designed for those who want to use them to cycle to their workplace and wear elegant shoes at the same time. We have worked with Orestes Ribó to make one that is similar to the ones used between the 40s and 60s, but with minor changes to make the shoe more comfortable and more resistant ”.
They are shoes to wear in both winter and summer: the lining warms the foot in winter, while the holes help the cyclist with perspiration. Unique shoes, all handmade, durable and very comfortable.
You can see all of Prooü – Ribó models available at Santafixie.