The history of Sioux from 1954 to the present day.

Journey through time

In 1954, Sioux was founded by Peter Sapper in Walheim in South Germany. Throughout the company's history spanning more than 60 years, Sioux has frequently been a forerunner with trends and innovations in the shoe industry. We'd like to take you on a little journey through our history and share with you some of our most important milestones and the development of our traditional shoe brand.

1954

It all starts with an idea: to manufacture moccasins - the traditional, comfortable Native American footwear – for people in this country.

1956

HEK – as he was nicknamed – not only created the iconic logo, but also designed and sketched all the adverts for Sioux up to mid 1960s. As a political cartoonist, he worked for prominent German newspaper such as DIE ZEIT and FAZ among others.

1957/58

“Autoped” - a lightweight, close-fitting slip-on with a skid-proof grooved sole specially designed for drivers, revolutionizes the footwear market. Sioux launches the first driving shoe on the market. Today, this type of shoe is well established. Famous wearers include the “Racing Baron” Huschke von Hanstein and British Formula 1 driver Stirling Moss.

1958

The non-slip nubs conquer the shopping boulevards: Sioux “Intarsia”, the elegant urban moccasin. Sioux is the first company to manufacture a perforated leather sole with rubber nubs – a German invention, not an Italian one, as many people mistakenly believe.

1964

A new lifestyle. Grashopper is a natural moccasin – a shoe offering complete freedom of movement for the toes – heralding the birth of casualwear for the feet. The “Grashopper” model becomes Sioux’s most successful model ever and a true style icon.

1967

The first television advert for the original Grashopper goes on air. Sioux is the first ever shoe manufacturer who takes advantage of this modern medium. The film was shot by Inselfilm, Munich. Michael Ballhaus was both director and cameraman.
https://vimeo.com/107149277

1969

From 1968 to 1988, Sioux worked on and off with photographer Franz Lazi from Stuttgart. Lazi's photographs, presenting the Grashopper and Slopper models, had a great importance for Sioux. Franz Lazi (1922-1998) is regarded as one of the leading photographers for architecture, advertising and design in the 20th century.

1970

The British shoe manufacturer “Clarks” acquires the license for the “Grashopper” from Sioux and sells it under its own brand. The Sioux license agreement with Clarks ends in 1996.

1972

Sioux becomes official supplier to the German Olympic Team – and continues in this role until the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

1979

Sioux celebrates its 25th anniversary. Lothar Späth, at that time Minister-President of the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg delivers the celebratory speech.

1981

After the death of the Sioux founder Peter Sapper, his wife Karin takes over the management of the company.

1986

Production expands to Lousada in Portugal. The Sioux workshop creates the finest footwear focusing on attention to detail – the basis for the unique quality of Sioux shoes.

1998

The men’s footwear brand “Apollo”, featuring classics made in the very best craftsmanship tradition, becomes a fixed part of the Sioux range.

1999

Sioux wins coveted awards - the “Silver Effie” for especially efficient advertising and the “German Footwear and Leather Award” for an exceptional and creative moccasin design.

2004

Sioux celebrates its 50th anniversary with an exhibition of the company’s history. The poster features the logo and long-term mascot.

2014

The German shoe manufacturer Sioux turns 60. The two cult models, the Grashopper and Autoped, appear in new anniversary editions to tie in with the milestone.

2016

The new “Feel the Indian Spirit” campaign is born. The branding combines tradition with craftsmanship, freedom and a sense of belonging with the latest fashion topics.


THE COMPANY

Since it was founded in 1954 in Walheim, Baden-Württemberg, the Swabian company with a long tradition stands for shoes with unique quality, artisanal craftsmanship and inimitable comfort.

PHILOSOPHY

Indigenous ideals have a role model function for us. Our mission is to fulfil the highest demands of our customers when it comes to the wear properties, quality, look and fit of our shoes.

SUSTAINABILITY

The word sustainability was included in the Duden German dictionary in 1915 - clear proof that ideas around this theme are not new and have been important to people in Germany for a considerable time.

INTERVIEW
LEWIN BERNER

Lewis Berner, the face of Sioux, has set his sights on bringing the brand to back to its former glory, going back to its roots, but with an up-to-date and modern twist. When the Swabian heard about the temporary difficulties experienced by the traditional company from his region in 2010, he decided to help Sioux out.  He bought shares in the company, along with other private investors.