DECO has always had close ties with Namibia – we dedicated our 2010 Outdoor Issue to this wonderful country, and later this year, we’ll be traveling there for a DECO wedding! We’ve always had an affinity for anything Namibian, so when we first spotted these one-of-a-kind Schier Shoes on the feet of two Cape Town hipsters, we knew we wanted proudly Namibian on our feet too. With such cool appeal, who doesn’t?

Schier Shoes are handmade in Swakopmund, Namibia. There, eight Damara gentlemen make 20 pairs each day. Individually crafted from wild kudu leather, each shoe is one of a kind and made to last. It consists of two cuts of skin: the Hakkie, and the front which are sewn together. No nails are used in the process. A simple sole is added in the end. The shoes are then finished by hand, using a knife to perfect the outer texture of the leather.

Herbert Schier vellies are made of vegetable-dyed Kudu leather. The Namibian government mandates the culling of these large native antelope to control their population. Kudu skin yields amazingly durable leather and suede, and because these are taken from wild animals they often show scars or other imperfections that domesticated hides do not.

Did you know that the Velskoen, also known colloquially as vellies, is the ancestor of the modern-day desert boot. They were first made in the 1600s by members of the Dutch East India Co., inspired by the footwear of the Khoisan tribe.

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