The moccasin is one of the most authentic shoes in the world. The indigenous peoples of the Americas knew what was good for their feet – and moccasins have been the characteristic footwear of indigenous Americans for centuries. The Indian tribes were at one with nature and saw themselves as part of a much bigger picture. Their tribe was the smallest common unit, something that they were proud of and whose craftsmanship and traditions were integrated into everyday life and passed down through generations. From time immemorial, only natural materials were used.
When the Stuttgart-based shoemaker Peter Sapper bought a small shoe factory in Walheim, southern Germany, in 1954, he had one vision – to bring the moccasin to Germany. He was familiar with the Indian footwear through his ancestors, who had themselves been German exiles in Guatemala. The oldest type of footwear in history and Indian spirit were therefore the inspirations behind his work. With no separate heel, but soft leather that is almost unnoticeable on the feet, making for an exceptionally comfortable tread. Everything was based on 100% craftsmanship by hand. A simple sole made from natural crepe that is soft, flexible and very hard-wearing. Treading lightly became the typical moccasin feeling.
This is how Sioux brought moccasins to Germany – making quite a mark on the footwear market here. The rest is fashion history. Yet the moccasin remains more up to date than ever.