The "Schusterloch" (Shoemaker's Gap) in the mountains above the spa resort Bad Goisern in the Salzkammergut is named in honour of a happy accident. A mountain guide fell into a ravine and because his stiff, smooth-soled mountain boots were more a hindrance than a help, he had to extricate himself barefoot. This brought about the birth of boots named after the village of their conception - the Goiserer - because the mountain guide was also a shoemaker who, one safely back in his workshop, invented the now legendary double stitching. A leather upper is stitched twice to the sole of the boot, making it robust, flexible and stable. It was a huge step forward. Due to their exemplary quality, these lace-up ankle boots with soles studded with handmade iron nails soon found a place in every noble huntsman's wardrobe. Empress Sisi herself wore a pair of Goiserer for mountain climbing.
Those who own a coveted pair of Goiserer boots knows what a joy they are to wear. Rudolf Steflitsch-Hackl is now the only shoemaker in the world who makes them to the specifications of the founder, and with tools that his father and grandfather used. No wonder then that the order book is full and the esteemed clientele (names are not divulged) from all over the world has to wait between 12 and 15 months from being measured to receiving the handmade footwear. Rudolf Steflitsch-Hackl creates his double-stitched footwear to match Tracht (national costume), business suits and evening wear in equal measure.
Once the purpose of the footwear is confirmed, Steflitsch-Hackl selects appropriate leather for the upper and sole, then adapts the design in terms of colour, shape and decoration to the personality of its wearer. He produces truly unique handmade articles. Goiserer footwear can be ballet pumps, light trekking boots, city lace-ups or snazzy golf shoes. For nothing is as individual and insightful as a handmade shoe. From the first sketch, each pair of Goiserer is the expression of a life philosophy: to stand with both feet firmly on the ground - regardless of whether that may be polished parquet or rock and ice.
This museum illustrates the history of shoe manufacturing through various displays and exhibits. It is only open certain months of the year, so please check the opening dates at the following link: www.dachstein.salzkammergut.at
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