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February 05, 2019 3 min read

More than a Desert Shoe

Veldskoenis a legend reimagined – the sole of South Africa is in a league of its own and has transformed ‘the desert shoe’.

On your quest for the perfect ‘desert shoe’, you are more than likely going to stumble across a range of different international footwear brands. From Clarks to any myriad different makes and styles. Something you may or may not know already is that Veldskoen is where it the Desert Shoe originally started. Veldskoen is the shoe that started the Desert Chukka boot revolution, it’s no secret that the design for the Clarks Dessert boot was first borrowed by Nathan Clark when he was a soldier in Burma.

The year was 1941, and the soldier, well he wasn't just any infantryman, he was Nathan Clark, and he'd been sent to war with two missions. First and foremost to protect his country, and, secondly, to discover some new shoe designs for his family's company. As a member of the Eighth Army, Clark had been deployed to Burma, and it was here that he noticed that the officers in his formation were wearing these strange, sand-colored chukkas during their downtime. Clark investigated the shoes and learned that they had originally been commissioned to Cairo cobblers by South African soldiers whose old-military issue boots had failed them out on the desert terrain. They wanted something that was both lightweight and grippy which led to the creation of a boot with a suede upper on a crepe sole.

. Jake Gallagher, GQ, August 15, 2012[

Now you know where this groundbreaking desert shoe style popularity comes from you should also know that Veldskoen has been around since the first European settlers in South Africa as far back as 1642. Through our discussions with the Koisan (whose ancestors migrated to Southern Africa possibly as early as 260,000 years ago) tribe elders, it is also quite possible that the settlers had borrowed the style from the tribes when they saw them wearing them in the harsh African climate. The leather helps to regulate foot temperature in the searing African heat and the durability will last a lifetime. A perfect combination for a true desert walking shoes

What Veldskoen means to South Africa

Veldskoen shoes often referred to as ‘vellies’,are a national heritage and proudly South African. No matter your background Vellies are to South Africa what gumboots are to England or Uggs are to Australia they have been part of the South African culture for centuries. At Veldskoen,the ‘traditional’ shoe has transformed entirely and become so much more than a ‘shoe’ – it’s become  ‘a way of life’; a part of the South African soul.

Proudly South African, Proudly handmade

Veldskoen shoes are handmade in South Africa. We are a proud and passionate people that want nothing more than to let the rest of the world know what an amazing and beautiful our country is. Our diversity is second to none with 11 national languages and many more spoken. It’s why we are often referred to as the rainbow nation. At Veldskoen we want to export that passion the sole of South Africato countries all over the world. It is important to us that people from all over the world get a taste of what it’s like to be truly South African. Anyone can buy a pair of desert shoes’, but would you prefer the original the shoe that started it all.

Veldskoen reimagining an ancient shoe for a new generation.

Veldskoen is a unisex all terrain dessert shoe reimagined for today’s modern lifestyle. From the farms and plains of Africa to New York City 5th avenue. What truly sets Vellies apart from other ‘desert shoes’ is the pop of color exploding from the sole and matching laces.  The vision was to take an age-old South African classic and transform it into a shoe that is fit for anyone and for any occasion; an icon reimagined and reinvented. The incorporation of color brought the ‘legend’ back to life and really showed the world the rainbow nation. We want Vellies to be an extension of what you feel and who you are, the minute you put them on you are bold and confident and we inspire you to a “bolder outlook” with each step you take.

The rainbow Lifestyle 

Now you know more about what Veldskoen means to us as a nation. To us, Veldskoen is much more than a ‘desert shoe’, it’s a South African legend transformed. Now go out and live the rainbow lifestyle.

steve watts
steve watts

★ Reviews

Let customers speak for us

213 reviews
You'll love'em

5/5 stars. I've owned Bata, Courteney, livingstone, etc.... These are the best vellies. Not to mention they're ALREADY IN THE USA! So you wait 2-3 days to get them instead of 2-3 months(no kidding). A tip with vellies.. No socks.. If you want to break them in quick put them under steaming water and wear them around the house for 4-5 hours or till dry. AND MAGIC! they conform to your feet and saves you blisters! The leather is sooooo smooth and feels GREAT on your feet. I have 3 pair of Veldskoen Brand vellies and looking forward to getting the new high tops soon!

Well made

Great show that you tel only improves with wear , comfortable and light weight

Excellent shoe!

My husband is South African and almost exclusively wears vellies. I finally gave in and bought a pair for myself and not only are they super cute but they are comfortable and hold up well when we are walking potato fields! Love these!

Love ‘em!!

True to size, so comfy and looks great!!

Great shoes, good quality, delivered on time. Only thing that surprised me was how round the toes were compared to the picture online, but it’s not that big of a deal, still look and feel great.