we looked a little surprised when we first heard of these shoes from namibia, but seeing the authenticity and coolness, they quickly grew on us! schier is a shoe company based in swakopmund, the country's second biggest city. it makes one model only, the velskoen [pron.: fell-skoon] and known colloquially as vellies, and they're pretty much the ancestor of the modern-day desert boot. inspired by the footwear of the khoisan tribe, the vellies were first made in the 1600s by members of the dutch east india company who had settled in southern africa. today at schier, eight damara craftsmen assemble every shoe by hand, using wild kudu leather. the shoe consists of two cuts of skin, and not a single nail is used in the making process. the shoes are then finished by hand, using a knife to perfect the outer texture of the leather. nowadays vellies are worn by a varied demographic across namibia and south africa, from labourers to bush rangers to university students. currently schier's vellies can only be ordered online, but we hear they'll drop in a select number of stores in the u.s. next season.
© schier - proudly made in namibia