In 2005, Heinrich Dinkelacker—a German shoe brand with roots dating back to 1879—was in dire need of saving. While it teetered on closure, three longstanding clients stepped up to save their footwear favorite: Ex-Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking partnered with his former Porsche communications director Anton Hunger and former IBM manager Norbert Lehmann. In the past 12 years, the team has turned the business around without turning their back on its historic roots.
To this day, there is no “production line” to speak of in the Heinrich Dinkelacker factory in Budapest. Staying true to the brand’s handmade origins, roughly 40 master craftsmen toil away using traditional methods, working with the finest leathers from France, Italy, and Scotland. Each craftsman is tasked with completing a single pair of shoes per day, though bespoke offerings often take longer.
The brand’s current collection includes a broad range of classic styles—from simple cap-toed Oxfords (from $587) to a beautiful Brogue boot in oxblood Shell Cordovan ($1,115). Depending on the chosen style, most offerings can be ordered with either a leather or rubber outsole. Though quite traditional in design, the collection isn’t shy on uniquely dyed hides in shades of amber and grayed blues in case something a little outside the ordinary is in order.
Though primarily focused on other global markets of late, Heinrich Dinkelacker’s footwear can be found via the brand’s e-commerce site and through the Stitched boutique in Las Vegas. For the past year, it has also been the manufacturer for Porsche Design’s top-tier footwear, which is readily available across the country.