Our shoes are meant for everyone with dreams inside them, memories behind them, and journeys ahead of them. And because in this whole wide world there are no two people who walk, laugh, or think exactly the same way, our shoes are for all the individuals who are living their own beautiful, unique, stories. They’re for everyone, but they’re also for every one. We’d love to see how you wear yours! #HowIwearMine
The history of Veldskoen shoes is as rich and diverse as the country they come from. There are various groups of people who believe the Veldskoen, or a version of it, started with them.
The word "Veldskoen", was first documented by the Dutch settlers who arrived in southern Africa almost 400 years ago. It means "field shoes." However, according to Khoisan tribal folk lore, there were leather shoes, cut from a single hide, being made and worn by the tribe, as far back as 1000 years before that.
According to GQ magazine, Nathan Clark, of Clarks Shoes, was serving in the second world war when he noticed South African officers wearing, in his own words, “strange leather shoes”.
On further investigation, he found they were being made in a Bazaar in Cairo, commissioned by the South African officers, after their military boots had failed them. The design was sent to London where the Chukka boot craze was born.
We like to believe they all had a hand, and a foot, in the Veldskoen story! We joined the journey of, arguably the world’s oldest shoe, a little more recently
After watching the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Nick Dreyer and Ross Zondagh were very unimpressed with the South African kit. They began imagining what the athletes could have been wearing that would have better represented South Africa
Zondagh suggested a pair of leather Vellies, because they are iconic South African shoes. Dreyer responded that most Vellies are also ugly. And so, they began chatting about ways to make our “national shoe” more attractive.
The answer came in the form of the brightly coloured soles and laces; VELDSKOEN’s trademark look today.
Since the inception of the little internet shoe shop in 2016, Veldskoen has expanded into a global brand! We now have distribution partners on every continent… We also have some pretty fancy investors and supporters…
We use locally sourced hides that have a more natural look and finish to them. This means your shoes may have slightly different textures from place to place, as no two hides are ever the same. We love these little variances and celebrate them as part of Veldskoen’s beautiful character!
All our shoes are handcrafted in South Africa where we employ some of the finest shoemakers in the country. Each Veldskoen is hand stitched, with extreme care and attention to detail. The result of our process is a comfortable, durable shoe, that is 100% unique.
Our factory, Hopewell Footwear, is located in the beautiful East Coast city of Durban, surfing capital of South Africa. It is a third generation, locally owned, family business. The fourth generation is studying a footwear degree in London, and will be working in Italy to prepare him to take over the family business. The longest serving employee has been at Hopewell for 48 years. Owner Ebrahim Shaikh says many of the employees have been with them for as long as he can remember. In short, people love working there.
Hopewell is a member of fairfactories.org. They take full accountability in running their factory in an ethical and transparent manner, with very strict fair labor, health, and safety procedures.
South Africa has an unemployment rate of over 30% so it's important to us to help support the local people and economy.
Sourcing most of the footwear components locally, enables us to support a wide range of South African companies, and reduce our carbon footprint.