Shoe-making tradition

Our history as a company dates back over 50 years, when the first generation of cobblers in the Antón family set up shop in Elche, a leading city for shoemaking in Spain and around the world. The family used a tiny space in their own home as their workshop, starting out manufacturing finishes for children's shoes entirely by hand, as all shoes were made at the time. Rafael Antón had worked in the trade from a very young age in the best factories in the city, from his first apprenticeship aged 14.

Soon after the workshop was created, the entrepreneurial flair and technical know-how that was in the blood of this Elche-born shoemaker would bring him to construct his first footwear manufacturing factory. In the early days, with the help of just five employees, the factory specialised in the manufacture of children’s shoes. Later, thanks to a strong philosophy of product quality and corporate responsibility, the company expanded and in just a few years had acquired several large-scale facilities.

The firm gradually became more versatile, with the introduction of a men’s range and a ladies’ range within the production spectrum in the factories. It was not long before further expansion was required and the company grew beyond national borders to become a global name. At its peak, with a network of several affiliated companies that produced some of the raw materials required by the factories, the group created by Rafael Antón manufactured 2.5 million pairs per year, exported to 35 countries and counted the biggest and best international footwear purchasing companies among its clients.

However, this has not always been a tale of growth and bounty. Around 2004 the company began to experience hard times and was forced to restructure in order to adapt to new markets that were constantly changing, highly competitive and much more numerous. Today the 3rd generation of the Antón family has recently arrived at the helm of the business, with a firm commitment to a modern, simple, practical, healthy and very comfortable product that is above all natural. The company is now defined by a strong trend for collaboration and environmentalism.

We know all about quality and the perfect balance between tradition and modernity. With the backing of extremely broad, expert knowledge of footwear and the appropriate infrastructure and machinery for its manufacture, along with the fresh blood of new generations who want to take natural steps... individuals who, when they dream, are constantly creating and constructing.

And so NATURAL STEP was born.

A homage to nature and to natural footwear.

Philosophy

Environmental responsibility.
Natural footwear. Making our mark with environmentally friendly shoes. For us, manufacturing footwear is creating works of art. Using natural, basic materials to find the simplest shoe that still offers maximum comfort. We aim for functional, anatomically correct designs while avoiding complications, these uncomfortable and often pointless touches of modernity. We use a logical approach to manufacture healthy products.

The essence of going back to basics.

The feeling of harmony. Nature inspires and instructs us, while we are tireless apprentices who are slowly growing wiser. This is what allows us to develop footwear for walking through nature while enjoying natural feelings.

This is the way we are, this is the route along which we want to walk and we act based on this, showing that it is possible to go forward in a different direction, one that is not the pre-established route, taking a different path. A DIFFERENT WAY OF WALKING THROUGH LIFE.

Living, feeling and enjoying it.

Our mainstays

Our mainstays, the basic principles that guide everything we do here at Natural Step are:

  • Opting for health

  • Our designs, which are slightly broader in width and provide a closer, more accurate picture of the real shape of our feet, use carefully studied models designed to offer freedom of movement and natural freshness. Our special anatomically designed insoles strengthen the muscles, relieve the joints and ligaments, and correct and realign the posture when walking. Waist, back and neck are improved during the natural process of walking thanks to the cushioned properties of the shoes and their functional designs. Our complete production process aims at designing the most flexible products possible, letting your feet move and grow stronger naturally.

    Constantly seeking the greatest benefits for your health.
    Walking in our sandals is quite simply good for you. The increased muscle activity that they encourage can be felt immediately. The muscles in the legs and toes tense and relax. The feet and legs are exercised during walking by this continual alternate tensing and relaxing of the muscles. This also strengthens the connective tissue, leading to a significant improvement in impact absorption. All of this is based on the correct, natural position of the foot, which contributes to better posture for the whole body, in addition to stimulating the circulation and generally leading to increased wellbeing.

  • Corporate social responsibility and commitment.

  • Within the company we make sure that everything we do is based on human values and a social conscience. As a developed country, human rights are respected and guaranteed. Our aim and commitment over the coming months is the active, ongoing promotion of social projects, humanitarian work and collaboration with disadvantaged members of society. You will soon be able to follow all of our activities on this website and in the media.

  • Environmental protection and the conservation of resources.

  • We use a wide variety of production processes in manufacturing our footwear, all of which respect the environment.
    Our products are entirely biodegradable.
    Reduction of waste and solvent use.
    In certain cases we design and produce footwear without the use of adhesives. In those models where adhesives are necessary, we almost exclusively use water-soluble adhesives without solvents that are entirely environmentally sound.
    All of the components we use are Spanish and the majority are sourced locally. This enables us to minimise transport and reduce our carbon footprint.
    The cork that we use is obtained using methods handed down through the generations to collect the bark of the cork oak, which means that they are in line with our philosophy of conservation. See pictures and videos.
    Rubber is obtained using entirely natural methods.
    And what is most important: the protection and conservation of the environment is an aim and a natural desire for each and every one of us within the company, so that we are all working together to make sure Natural Step moves forward every day towards a future in which we are consistent with our values of working with nature and respecting our planet.

    Natural materials and environmentally sound technology.
    We use only what is available in nature: cork, natural rubber, wool, linen, jute and a variety of plant-based textile fibres. Technology in the footwear and related industries has evolved significantly in recent years and today we can even talk about environmentally sound technology in our footwear assembly lines and among our materials suppliers.
    Energy from environmentally sound sources is used and optimum efficiency is ensured by advanced computer systems. In addition, the facilities themselves are equipped with recycling and waste treatment plants using entirely green technology.

    Recycling.
    We are particularly careful with this aspect of our production, which means that all of the suppliers of the raw materials we need to make our shoes are previously approved by a strict testing process that requires them to have recycling programmes in place that comply with international regulations and standards such as ISO 14001 classification.

    All of the printed materials we use are made of recyclable paper and cardboard, including the box, catalogue, leaflets, shoe trees, etc.

    We have the following certifications:

    Ángel Azul EMAS Ecolabel ISO 9001 ISO 14001 NAPM
                                                                 Ecolabel

    Our designs are devised to ensure that the minimum quantity of elements and materials possible are used in their production, as well as being modular to make their deconstruction easier in order to generate less waste and make recycling easier.

    Active collaboration on ecology projects for environmental compensation.
    Our company promotes the preservation of forests throughout the world at all times through the policy of promoting responsible management. We are involved in active, direct collaboration with organisations responsible for protection, conservation, reforestation, etc. See more in the Collaboration section

  • Made in Spain.

  • An expression of quality and global recognition of quality footwear and the footwear manufacturing tradition.
    It is well known that Spanish footwear is famous and highly prestigious internationally due to its quality, design and trend-setting, all at very reasonable prices.

    This seal of quality “MADE IN SPAIN” shows that we have accepted our responsibility to the environment and that we guarantee compliance with all of the current environmental directives, which are among the most stringent in the world.

    All of our products are produced in Spain, which is the best way to guarantee strict quality standards.

We look after your feet and the planet

That is how we produce our shoes