Chala – The urban barefoot experience

Chala – The urban barefoot experience

Chala is a barefoot sandal with a design reduced to the bare essentials. With Chala you'll be stepping on vegetable tanned leather soles, tied in locally crafted original Chala laces wrapped around your feet - providing a unique footbed experience. The whole footwear range is extensively customisable, from eco leather and vegan soles, to sole, footbed and lace colour as well as different lacing styles.

The inspiration for Chala came to founder Armin Gretzmeier during his time working in the outdoor shoe industry. In 2004, together with partner Anna Dickmann, he opened the sales agency voycontingo which specialised in the distribution of minimalist Barefoot shoes from niche labels. Barefoot shoes are distinguished by their absence of any cushioning or foot padding. A reduction towards a more natural step which more and more hikers and outdoor enthusiasts have chosen to favour.

One enthusiastic customer told him about the Tarahumara Indians in Northern Mexico who are well known for their ability to cover extremely long distances on foot. Over many years the tribe developed into true endurance artists, easily coping with distances of over 300km usually wearing nothing on their feet or a most simple sandal – the huarache. The idea of this sandal is as genius as it is simple: a sole that is attached to the foot with lacing. In this way the sole is protected from dirt and damage whilst at the same time allowing complete freedom of movement for your foot.

In 2012 Gretzmeier, originally trained as a gold and silversmith, created his first prototypes for the “European” foot and in 2015 he converted his sales agency in Freiburg, Germany, into a production facility. Since then he has been furthering development on the shoe design for Chala and their famous “red leather sandal”. Chala are delivered laced or as a do it yourself personalised kit, with the new “Evo” there is even a new running sandal available, made from non slip synthetic leather soles featuring a lacing system with buckles. To top it all of the entire production chain relies on organic ingredients and locally sourced products.

Chala originated as a shoe presenting a perfected minimalism combined with the lightest possible weight yet it has recently trekked its way firmly into the lifestyle market. Following up on their flagship concept store in Freiburg - Chala warmly invites you to celebrate their new store opening in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg on the 28th July.


#chala #chalasandals #barefootsandals

Store-Event 28th July 2016 - 3pm to 9pm - Chala Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Immanuelkirchstr. 28
For press accreditation please send a mail including your shoe size to

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