Brazil’s Barefoot-feel Shoes a Hit in Japan and US

Brazilian shoe company Opananken Antistress, located in Franca, a city in the interior of the state of São Paulo, had an increase in their exports of more than 100% from January to September 2004 in relation to the same period last year.

Next year the company intends to double their output and export 25% of the total volume.

“Last year our exports represented 7% of the production. We increased this by almost 120%,” stated the commercial manager at Opananken, Sebastião Donizeti Siqueira.

Currently, 15% of the shoes manufactured by Opananken are sold on the international market, most of them to Japan.

Further down the road, the aim is to sell 50% of the manufactured shoes overseas. The company sells to a total of 15 countries.

“We make, on average, 1000 pairs per day, but I want to manufacture 2000 and sell half on the foreign market,” stated the founder of Opananken, Geraldo Ribeiro Filho.

The company intends to participate in international trade shows to gain more markets.

According to the founder, in January and February the production levels drop, since the internal market slows down the buying rate.

“We want to dedicate our output in this period to the foreign market,” said Ribeiro, who is thinking about carrying out this objective as of next year.

From 20 to 1000 Pairs per Day

“My wife, one employee and I started in a 250 square meter warehouse, manufacturing 20 pairs of shoes per day and going out in the streets to sell them,” recalled Ribeiro Filho, who founded Opananken in 1990.

Today, the company has 4 factories, each one with 250 square meters, and counts with more than 100 direct employees, as well as 600 outsourced.

Opananken has 2 stores in the city of Franca, in the interior of São Paulo, and this year has opened franchises in California, in the United States.

In the beginning, their focus was the health sector. they manufactured only white shoes, mainly for doctors.

After 2 years investing in technology, the company elaborated a shoe that could relieve the daily tensions. It became known as antistress.

“I never thought I would go from 20 pairs per day to 1000,” said Ribeiro.

Today, the company has 12 lines of products, one of which is the Diabetic’s Line, developed especially for people who have difficult blood circulation in their feet.

Middle East

Opananken is sending 20% of their exports to Kuwait and Lebanon. Kuwait entered their list of importers only last year, and already represent 80% of the factory’s external sales to the Middle East.

“Kuwait buys increasingly more, it is a promising market,” stated Siqueira.

Lebanon has imported the company’s products for 4 years. In total, Opananken sells approximately 720 pairs every month to the two countries, but Siqueira believes the export volumes to the region can increase.

The shoes sold in the Arab countries, as well as in the other countries, are exactly the same as those sold in Brazil.

“Currently the main part of what is shipped to the Arab market is the masculine model, since the company has only recently started dedicating themselves to feminine shoes,” explained Ribeiro Filho.

The shoes reach the international market with the company’s brand name.

In 2002, the feminine shoes represented 8% of the company’s general sales. In 2003 it increased to 25%, and this year it already corresponds to 40% of the sales. Opananken hired a designer especially for the feminine collection.

The company is known for the antistress shoes they manufacture. The inner soles follow the foot’s anatomy, and the material used is polyurethane, which is lighter than leather.

According to Ribeiro, one of the secrets for the shoes’ comfort is in the inner sole. “We were born to walk barefoot, so I develop shoes that give people the sensation they are walking without shoes,” he added.

It is not only Opananken which is increasing their sales to the Middle East.

Between January and October this year, Brazilian companies together exported the equivalent to US$ 109.5 million to the Arab country, against US$ 59.3 million in the same period last year.

The increase was of 84%. Brazilian imports from Kuwait added up to US$ 270,400, an increase of 265% in relation to 2003.

ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency


  • Show Comments (46)

  • Martin j

    Where can I buy these shoes.I have bought some in South Africa but I live in New Zealand

  • Richard Henry

    President & CEO
    I hava a pair of the Opananken Antistress Shoes and it is ripped at the bottom where it is stitched to the top. I would to purchase a new pair, could you please advise me where I can purchase it.
    Richard Henry

  • Richard Henry

    President @ CEO
    I have a pair of the Opananken Antistress shoes and the right side has torn from the bottom.
    It appears th

  • Honsha Internatinal

    Opananken Shoes
    We appreciate all the interest in the shoes and are working with the manufacturer in creating a market for the shoes here in the United States. We are working on the website and will initially inventory only a few styles. Until our website is finished at you can reach me at 760-443-1042 or e-mail me at

    Thanks again


  • qiuying

    sell many kinds of brand shoes
    Dear friend
    We offer many kinds of brand shoes , shirts , jeans ,bags and so on . you can open my company web : .if you want buy you can tell me ,I will give you the best price .if you have any question you can email to me .my eamil : . my msn : or


    Hi, we are interested in opening a store, and wanted to know if THIS SITE is manned – and if someone would be able to ANSWER a question.
    Thank You!

  • Jim Flippen

    where can i buy your shoes in San Diego, California USA 😀

  • Paula P

    No website yet?
    ok it’s nearly the end of 2008 and I’m still waiting for a US website where I can buy these wonderful shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When will it be up? Losing out on a lot of business…………

  • Tammy Rodgers

    My husband purchased these shoes in La Jolla several years ago and is in need on a fe moer pairs. Where can we purshase these shoes on line or by phone? He wears thee shoes everyday . Help.

  • Debbie Denison

    Where can I purchase these shoes in the US? My husband bought a pair in La Jolla, CA and loves them. We have not been able to find them since.

  • Jane Vergel de Dios

    e-mail me at

  • Jane Vergel de Dios

    Hi! Would like to know more about the product and I’m interested in selling it here in the Philippines pls. send me how to get in touch wih them. Thanks

  • Theresa Layfield

    Please can you let me know where I can buy Opananken shoes for diabetics in South Africa?

  • Doanld Wood

    product 11105 080207852
    I purchased this shoe in La Jolla, CA. The store has since closed. Where can I get another pair. On line would be fine. Thanks
    Donald Wood

  • Dirk

    Great shoes
    These are great shoes, where can i order online from you guys.
    This is the numbers of the two pairs I have : 35506 42 1203 0112
    35505 42 1203 0114

  • Teresa

    Your shoes are a dream come true! How can I get a pair?

  • Guest

    opananken anitstress shoes
    where can i buy these shoes,i purchased them in la jolla ca.
    i would like a new pair.
    design number 85406 9 1103 1204 zero stress

    please e-mail me at

  • Guest

    Where in South Africa can one buy the Opananken Antistress Shoes – I need them badly ..

  • Guest
    Where can I find Opananken shoes in the United States.

  • Guest
    looking to buy these shoes in the US can someone tell me where?

  • Guest
    I bought a pair from the store in la jolla, ca. Where can I get them in ca?

  • Guest

    Honsha International
    Thanks for all the inquiries about the Opananken shoes. We will be representing the manufacturer here in the Untied States, and we should have our website in place shortly. Anyone who is still interested in the shoes can contact me at or call me at 760-722-4878.

    We do have limited inventory we are currently shipping, but anticipate more volume in the near future.

    Thanks again for all your support.


  • Guest

    robert e kimmerle
    batmanbob@frontiernet.netHi please tell me where i can but the shoes .i purchesed 5 pair at la jolla cal.i live in kingman,az(928)681-3543 please let me no,thanks .god bless bob

  • Guest

    can you give me a web site to order your line of shoes from in the united states? I purchased a pair from the LaJolla store and the seam in splitting out, I need a new pair…………very comfortable…………ROD

  • Guest

    I am looking for a place in the USA to purchase these shoes. Have previously purchased in LaJolla, but went this weekend and store is closed…

  • Guest
    reat for hairdressers

  • Guest
    I desperately need to know where I can buy these shoes in the US. I live in north carolina and bought shoes in LaJolla Ca

  • Guest


  • Guest

    Please insert the correct email for me…I wrote wanting to purchase men’s size 8. I live in California.
    Thank you

  • Guest

    Want to buy Opananken shoes in Calif.
    Can someone tell me how to buy more of these shoes. I wear the men’s size 8.
    Thank you!


  • Guest

    Opananke Shoes for Men
    I live in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Where can I buy Opananke Shoes for Men?

  • Guest

    Also looking for where to purchase these shoes in San Diego now that the La Jolla store has closed…. Please advise me of any stores in Southern California where I might find them.


  • Guest

    Kenn Ketter
    I also bought a couple of pair in LaJolla, California. Do you make boots more for winter. I would like to buy a pair for inclement weather. Where in the United States can they be found. I am in Minneapolis, Minnesota…a mere 1250 miles from Lajolla. Or, a Web site would work.

  • Guest

    shoes in California
    I bought Opananken shoes in La Jolla, California for my husband and now the store is closed. Please advise where I can now purchase them.

  • Guest

    Looking for these shoes in the U.S.
    Looking for these shoes in the United States, (in store or on-line). They are relly good!
    Please answer to

  • Guest

    store in la jolla ca. is going out of business. where else can we buy your shoes in the USA?? on line??

  • Guest

    i live in south africa – these shoes are great for diabetic feet I need to buy more pairs of different type e.g. casual

  • Guest

    I need to replace a pair for my Uncle. Where can I buy them online in the US? Please send info to

  • Guest

    Where can I buy in the USA. Please send info to

  • Guest

    Need shoe stores in California
    Bought a pair and absolutely love them. Could you please send me info on California shoes stores, preferably Northern California that sell your shoes.

    Send to:
    Thank you

  • Guest

    Where can I find Opananken shoes in the USA? Or can they be purchased online?

  • Guest

    Were can I find Opananke shoes icn California? Can I purchase hem on-line?

  • Guest

    Looking this shoes in United Stated.
    Where I can buy this shoes in the UNITED STATED.

    Donde puedo comprar estos calzados en Miami, Estados Unidos.

  • Guest
    Looking to buy this brand on-line or in a store in the United States……

  • Guest

    Wendy Hardman
    Looking for these shoes in the United States, I love them.

  • Guest

    I would like to get the address where these shoes can be purchased in Franca Brazil. Please send information to

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