Handmade footwear Handmade footwear

Moving with light-footed ease came naturally to the North American Indians for millennia – and means one thing above all else for Sioux: ultimate comfort. This is the essential difference between the footwear manufactured by Sioux and other shoes. The famous moccasin feeling can only be truly felt on the feet when the craftsmanship is accomplished by hand. In addition, the use of exclusive materials and traditional constructions, manufacturing that is primarily done by hand and an artisanal finish are prerequisites for our work. Around 150 steps are needed to provide a genuine Sioux product with its unique comfort. We will present the most important steps here. 

Sioux and leather The best part of the shoe

Genuine leather is a fascinating natural product. You are able to discover traces of a life when looking at layers of leather. The animal’s origin, farming methods - animals who were able to graze freely have fewer scars - and even the food that the animal used to eat over the course of its life play a huge role. You can also estimate how old an animal was by examining the leather. Every piece of leather is therefore ultimately an extraordinary, unique creation. And beautiful leather can reveal its unique character in our high-quality shoes. 

 

Each leather hide is thoroughly inspected by Sioux’s leather buyers: perfect workmanship and a flawless grain pattern is of the utmost importance to them. The more natural the leather is, the more beautiful it is – and the more likely that it will be brought to life once more on the feet of a Sioux wearer. 

 

The special quality of the leather is reflected in the tanning process. As part of its sustainable strategy, Sioux only selects leather from European tanneries that we have personally visited. At these tanneries, the leather can be followed from the source, right through to the end product. The high-quality leathers are dyed solely in barrels, hence the dye penetrates the entire leather. This is guaranteed by regular checks by Sioux staff in the Quality Assurance department and by independent testing institutes. Sioux has developed comprehensive compliance guidelines; each supplier is audited and approved as part of a complex process. We cooperate only with a few selected suppliers that we know personally and where a long-term business relationship has been built up. Quality is also based on this level of trust. Compliance with all relevant limits is verified by German testing laboratories. Sioux goes beyond what the law prescribes: only the best leather is born again as a Sioux shoe. 

 

It is with this in mind, that at Sioux, we use only the best, tested quality of leather. This is primarily the upper layer of leather, i.e. the grain side or split leather, which is found right underneath the grain side. This is the second best quality of leather. We make the parts that become particularly worn down when wearing from the best part of the back. The most dense and even fibre structure can be found here. In order to get a consistent picture, a pair of Sioux shoes are always cut from the same hide.

 

Due to the various types of leather, tanning processes and colours, Sioux incorporates over 200 different varieties of leather into its collections. From non-slip, smooth leather and colourful suede and nubuck leathers, to reptile, metallic and glossy looks, everything has the same inimitable Sioux quality.

 

 

These are:


Sioux Lammnappa

Lamb nappa

This nappa leather is particularly soft, smooth and shiny. Sioux experts prefer to use it for women’s soft moccasins such as „Aitora“.

Sioux Kalbleder

Calf leather

Soft, fine leather from young calf has a fine grain and adapts well to the foot. The light subtly reflects its silky shine and gives our city model „Nandor“ a sophisticated look.

Sioux Rindleder

Cowhide

Milled until soft, very flexible and hard-wearing. Cowhide is the most popular leather worldwide with its natural grain look. At Sioux, we prefer to use it for our unlined moccasins, for example for the hand-stitched, supple „Claudio“ model. 

Sioux Hirschleder

Deerskin

Deer hide is particularly elegant and rare as it very limited – flawless game hides are certainly something very special. The structure of this leather is unique and is exceptionally soft. Thanks to its elegant look and feel, it is used for the super comfortable „Mathias“ model.

Sioux Büffelleder

Buffalo leather

Buffalo leather has a hard-wearing and firm fibre structure, and is, therefore, mainly used for robust, casual shoes and sandals. It has a lively and slightly glossy look. For example: the „Leonic“ model.

Sioux Ziegenleder

Kid leather

Its natural, small grains give the leather a distinctive look. It is also lightweight, water-repellent and extremely supple. As the individual layers of hide are bound together, the leather is extremely durable and versatile. Leather coming from free-range goats, which provide the best quality, are used in Sioux footwear. For example: „Ziada“.

Sioux Nubukleder

Nubuck

Nubuck leather is impressive thanks to its velvety, matt surface; the grain side of the leather is slightly smoothed over. Fine and soft fibres remain, allowing the foot to breathe. If you gently stroke the shoe, you will see the grain on the soft surface, which is what gives leather its vibrant look. All leather is dyed using pure vegetable dyes. example: Kajetan marine

Sioux Veloursleder

Suede

What is generally termed as “suede” is cowhide or calfskin that has been partially ground on the flesh side. This can be recognised by its typically matt, soft change in colour when running a finger over it and by its homogeneous, fibrous texture. A great example is our fringed moccasin „Zibja“.

Sioux Huntingleder

Hunting or nubuck leather

The partially ground flesh side of this suede is worn on the outside and the soft grain part on the inside. A lining is therefore not necessary. 

Sioux Lackleder

Patent leather

The extremely fine, soft and smooth calfskin is coated with a protective varnish. Its glossy, mirrored finish, which was only used on luxury shoes in the past, now adorns everyday footwear in a range of bold colours, including the black „Lovina“ city shoe for women. . 

Sioux Fantasieleder

Fantasy leather

How is genuine fine calfskin given an exotic look? Discover our women’s shoe „Campina“ with its floral print.  

Sioux and production Designed in Germany, made in Portugal

Whoever takes a look at our manufacturing facilities in Portugal, quickly sees that there are many people working there. We are convinced that artisanal tradition in footwear manufacturing cannot be replaced by machines.

 

Wherever a feel for quality and an eye for detail are required, European craftsmanship is just the thing. This is why our commitment to artisanal manufacturing is the expression of perfect fit, durability and excellent quality. A Sioux shoe shows how exceptional craftsmanship should look. 

 

A tour through our production process in 150 steps:

Sioux and the shoe constructions What makes a shoe?

Why are there so many different models of shoes? The constructions used by Sioux depend on what the shoe will be worn for and what the wearer requires from it. And, ultimately, the shoe must fit perfectly. The type of construction defines how the upper part of the shoe (shaft) and the sole are connected together. What should it look like? How robust or flexible should the shoe be? Should the shoe be waterproof? A Sioux shoe combines look, craftsmanship, feel and material perfectly – the result is inimitable wear properties. With dedication and passion to hand-crafted detail, Sioux gives each shoe its distinctive character. 

A comfortable and soft companion The moccasin

It is our favourite as it is so comfortable to wear. The soft leather fits perfectly like a glove over the entire foot. Moccasins were originally worn by Native Americans, who valued their individual fit and the fact that they could be worn barefoot. Sioux became famous with the moccasin and it is still, today, a defining model in the Sioux collection. The hand-stitched moccasin seam that is visible on the top of the shoe is its stylish trademark. The moccasin style is the most frequently made model of our shoes manufactured in Portugal. Its therefore no wonder that we see ourselves as the market leader when it comes to moccasins. 

 

How a moccasin is made:

The sporty one The San Crispino

This model is the sportiest of all elegant men’s shoes from Sioux. Not just because of its sporty look, but also for its great flexibility, and the San Crispino seam that gives this style its name. In order to be able to roll through softly in the shoe, the flexible insole should extend slightly above the last.

 

And this is how a San Crispino is made:

 

 

A well-padded leisure shoe The California

The construction of these shoes, which hails from the West of the USA, ensures that the wearer is light on his feet. The special textile midsole lends the shoe its comfortable cushioning. On the outside, the California shoe is characterised by its striking California stripe: a stripe of leather from the upper that is stitched around the lower shaft. 

 

 

The glued basic shoe The Ago

A mini revolution took place in 1911 when the Milan-based tanner Francesco Rampichini invented a way of bonding leather. This light and shape-retentive construction method went down in history as AGO (A Great Opportunity). The AGO leather adhesive is used to affix the leather upper to the underside of the insole. The outsole is then glued on top. This construction method is the newest of all production methods. Where, in the past, the only way to attach the shaft to the sole was with stitching, eyelets or tacks, most footwear today (particularly that coming from the Far East) is made using the AGO method. However, AGO is only used for a small proportion of Sioux shoes. 

 

 

The fashionable choice in a moccasin style The Sacchetto

Like a moccasin on the inside: comfortable and flexible, soft and light. In the Sacchetto technique, the soft leather used for the lining is sewn together like a sack (Ital.: sacchetto) and integrated into the upper. The supple leather cocoons the foot like a glove. The AGO method on the outside: the leather upper is bonded to the outsole using adhesive, which makes almost all fashionable shoe styles possible. 

 

How a Sacchetto is made: