BOOTS

1851 - Present 

BALLY   (Schonenwerd/Solothurn)

There was a time that Switzerland was the largest shoe and boots production centre in the world, led by the Bally

Company, with more than 150 million pairs since inauguration. Carl Franz Bally (1821-1899) and his brother Fritz,

established in 1851  “Bally” in the basement of their home in Schoenenwerd/AG.

1883 - Present 

HEIERLING  (Davos/Grisons)

Franz Heierling, a Davos shoemaker made his first pair of leather shoes for skiers in 1885. He copied the Laupar

shoes of some Norwegians who had been teaching skiing to a few locals. Years later, his family fabricated what

became known as the Rolls Royce of hand-made leather ski boots.

1885 – 1973

HENKE  (Stein-am-Rhein/Schaffhausen)

Matthäus and Andreas Henke with Johann Georg Storz, three Germans, set up a shoe factory on the Swiss side of

Stein on the Rhein In 1885, this to avoid high custom duties. They employed in 1889 56 persons, in 1911 130 and

went public in 1920.

1909 - 2003

RAICHLE  (Kreuzlingen/Thurgau)

Louis Raichle founded his Company in 1909 in Kreuzlingen, close to the German border. It became famous

for ski, climbing and recreation boots (represented in the U.S. by Frank Kerner).

1919 - 1977

MOLITOR  (Wengen/Bern)

Fritz Molitor, an Austrian saddler, began work at Wengen in 1912 and as of the mid-20s, made shoes including

ski and climbing boots. His son Karl (1920-2014), became a successful ski boots entrepreneur, probably because

of his racing triumphs.

1927 - Present

KUNZLI  (Trimbach/Solothurn & today Windisch/Aargau)

In 1927, company founder Werner Künzli opened his first atelier in Trimbach, near Olten. He specialised in the manufacture of ski boots. The success of this enterprise led to further developments and to the production of customised footwear for the football, skating, handball and cycling sports.

1932 – Present

KANDAHAR  (Murren & today Gwatt/Bern)

Fritz von Allmen, ski instructor, a racer and a shoemaker in Mürren, crafted as of 1932 famous boots known for

their workmanship and design. The members of the local Kandahar Ski Club  appreciated the boots so much that

von Allmen could name the Company he founded in 1932: Kandahar.

1938 - 19??

SPINI, Giacomo  (St. Moritz, Grisons)

Georg Spini of St. Moritz manufactured what he called “Vorlage” boots, thus forcing a forward position. It served some of the Swiss

women team, such as Niny von Arg-Zogg, slalom silver winner of the Ski championship (1938). The Spini boots were ultimately sold by Löw, a maker of expensive shoes with their own shops.

1948 - 19??

MAURON, Joseph (Broc/Fribourg)

In 1948, Joseph Mauron, a 21-year-old Swiss shoemaker, didn't like tying and untying his double-tied ski boots (a rea

l nightmare when they were frozen), He tried different designs. His last one was a boot with two leather straps, one

to hold the foot firmly and the other to prevent snow from entering it. Mauron boot was not a commercial success

but he received in 1948 the Diplôme de Vermeil medal from the International Leather Bureau in Paris, and in 1949

a gold medal from the International Leather Organization in London. For the record, Heierling used a heel strap in

1941 to supplement a laced double-boot. In 1953, the Swiss Hans Martin patented the metal buckle, and licensed it

in 1955 to Henke, already one of the world’s leading boot manufacture to worldwide acclaim.

1947 - 19??      

ROMINGER  (St. Moritz, Grisons) Patent PDF/Bally/Swisswing

​                                   (IN PROGRESS)

2010 – Present

DAHU  (Châtel-St-Denis/Fribourg)

The story of DAHU Sports Company Ltd has started while Nicolas Frey, its founder, couldn’t find ski boots in

which his girlfriend wasn’t having sore feet, even after trying high-end boots injected and molded to her feet.

Disappointed not to find the right product in shops, he decided at the end of the winter 2009 to completely rethink

the construction of this object which, according to him, weren’t answering current needs any more. He then started

designing the first prototypes on paper before tinkering with them in his garage.

​​Our information for the following Swiss Ski boot manufacturers is limited or non existent. Help us out if you can by sending an email to info@swissskimuseum.com

  •  CHODAN 

  •  DOELKER & WALDER 

  •  LUSCHER & LEBER 

  •  BUHRER - NUSSBAUMER

  •  GRANDE CORDONNERIE VOLTAIRE

  •  RICKENBACH

  •  STINGELIN

  •  KURT

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© 2017 by Pierre Schneider