An interesting report by MDR about the renaissance of the oldest German sports shoe brand. Embark on a great journey into the eventful past of our brand and to the place where everything began about 20 years ago.
In the GDR, Zeha was the leading shoe brand for all top athletes. I was a soccer player as a teenager in the 80’s and looking back I was very fortunate to have a pair of Zeha soccer shoes on my feet. And I was very proud, not because they were Zehas, but because they were just really good, light, supple and even with screw-in studs. I knew next to nothing about Zeha as a brand, apart from the fact that the shoes were almost impossible to buy anywhere, they were produced somewhere in Thuringia and GDR athletes usually wore them on the podium.
The fact that Zeha was founded in 1897, that several generations of the Häßner family ran the company until it was expropriated, that their passion for sports and football shaped a legendary sports shoe era from the 1950s onwards, I only found out in 2002 when I met a good friend with an old pair Zehas and we went in search of Zeha.
Weeks later we sat for hours together with a family member of the Häßners in the small attic of the local history museum in Hohenleuben, in front of us boxes with old shoes, catalogues from all eras, lasts, pictures, postcards with thanks to Carl Häßner, newspaper clippings and much more… . We were fascinated by the story, the shoes and had a lot of thoughts in our heads.
Producing shoes was and is not easy, but it has become our passion. Today we are happy that our retro-style sneakers are in such high demand because of the design, the quality, our philosophy and last but not least because of the commitment to manual work and, if necessary, it is better to repair them than to buy new ones. Also fits in perfectly with the change in times against the throwaway society and fast consumption, right? But feel free to see the short documentary about the history of Zeha for yourself!