By  on April 15, 2019

It’s been called the “desert shoe,” and the “field shoe,” worn by farmers in South Africa for centuries — and Thandie Newton and Prince Harry more recently — but colloquially, these shoes are known as “vellies,” short for veldskoene, a combination of veld and skoene, the Afrikaans words for “field” and “shoes,” respectively. Now they’ve caught the eye of businessman Mark Cuban, who has invested in the South African footwear brand Veldskoen.

Veldskoen, a Cape Town-based start-up founded in 2016 by Ross Zondagh, Nic Latouf and Nick Dreyer, has updated and reimagined the iconic shoe, adding contemporary touches of color and creativity. In terms of construction, each pair is still handmade, cut and sewn from South African rawhide leather and attached to a leather footbed and rubber sole without tacks or nails, making each shoe not just unique, but ethically sourced and produced.

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