Strassberger Shoes was born in 1834, is the oldest shoe factory in South Africa and has been a family business for five generations, under the management of:


  1. Gustav Schmolke
  2. Willy Strassberger (Son-in-law)
  3. Heini Strassberger (Son)
  4. Hennie du Plessis (Son-in-law)
  5. JJ du Plessis (Son)

The German Rhenish missionaries, Baron Theobold Von Wurmb and ReverendJohann Gottlieb Leipoldt – a shoemaker by trade – founded the settlement of Wupperthal deep in the heart of the Cederberg mountainsTravellers and residents alike soon realised they needed shoes as tough as the terrain and in 1834 Leipoldt opened the Wupperthal shoe factory.

The factory continued to grow and 87 years after its founding, Reverend WillyStrassberger took over the reigns from his father-in-law Gustav Schmolke.

In the early 1950’s Heini Strassberger decided to move the entire shoe making operation to the bustling business district of Clanwilliam. The new factory opened under the Strassbergers banner, whilst the Wupperthal operation continues to this day, albeit on a much smaller scale than the Clanwilliam factory.

The factory as it stands today was only built in 1980 and is centrally located in Clanwilliam. It houses the manufacturing floor, storage facilities, the company’s administration offices and a show room where you can try on and buy your favourite Strassberger shoes.

In keeping with the heritage of Strassbergers, 80% of the manufacturing process is still done by hand. Certain aspects of construction have been mechanised to ensure the best quality shoe money can buy, but for the most part your shoe is put together by hand by a skilled team of professionals.

After its existence of approximately 200 years the current MD, JJ du Plessis, announced the good news to his employees that with the provision that they stood together, worked hard and loyally, they would become part of a profit-sharing scheme.

This day officially occurred on 17 March 2019, the birthday of Arnie September, one of the shoemakers. Profit sharing bonusses are now paid out to each worker on his/her birthday, calculated on the profit of the previous year.

There are currently many other “veldskoen” brands of high quality “vellies” available online, but Strassberger Shoes aims to distinguish itself by being know for the excellent after sales service which it provides. To make an unhappy client a happy client is paramount.