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The German Shoe Brands Bringing Luxury to Athleisure

German shoe brands Shoepassion and Heinrich Dinkelacker continue to make an impression on the U.S. men’s footwear market. The purveyors of high-quality men’s shoes made their second appearance at Project Sole last week, offering a European flavor to traditional silhouettes and elements pulled from athleisure and sport.

The Berlin-based companies combined efforts earlier this year, bringing Heinrich Dinkelacker—one of the oldest German shoe brands—together with Shoepassion, a new kid on the block with a fresh design perspective. The brands made their U.S. debut in January 2017.

Heinrich Dinkelacker brought an exclusivity factor to Project Sole. Only 10,000 pairs of Dinkelacker shoes are made a year. For Spring ’18, the brand focused on new colors, adding bright blues, mint green and salmon to the mix. The traditional brand also introduced velour uppers and colorful penny loafers for the season.

Despite Shoepassion’s dress shoe roots, Marc Schiefelbusch, Shoepassion America Corp. president, said athleisure remains a key driver of sales. Shoepassion is delivering on this trend with a number of patina leather sneakers and boat shoes with an athletic outsole.

Shiefelbusch reported that tan and natural color leathers are gaining momentum for spring, which were represented in the collection’s range of sneakers and welted hybrid shoes. Also new for Spring ’18, a patina Goodyear welted dress shoe with a flexible sole and a collection of suede chukka boots and Chelsea boots. Wholesale prices are around $160.

Shoepassion complemented its men’s collection at Project Sole with some women’s styles, including suede and leather mules, slides and sandals in powdery colorways. The brand also presented its signature Goodyear welt oxford reinterpreted for women. Women’s wholesale prices start at $75.