Simon King says the way we think about shoes is all wrong.
“It’s like we make good-looking shoes and squish people’s feet into them,” he says.
King is explaining why he started importing Danish-made shoes, Duckfeet, to his shop in Fitzroy. “The thing with Duckfeet is the designers draw and design around the foot.”
Duckfeet’s sturdy, handmade leather shoes are slightly wider than your average shoe, allowing room for your toes to sit comfortably, and for air to circulate – great news for anyone who needs chemist-shoe comfort with a little more style.
King began importing the brand almost seven years ago, and remains one of its few stockists in the world. “It’s not a big company,” he says. “Even now they’re still small, but they continue to make everything the same way they did 40 years ago.”
The variety of unisex flat sandals, mary janes, T-bars, slip-ons and boots are made with vegetable-tanned leather and a focus on minimising waste.
“I went to their tannery in Germany a couple of months ago and was so impressed,” King says. “They were so conscious about re-using and recycling material … all the tiny leather scraps were collected to be used in making pavement later.”
King’s shop, fittingly in an old shoe-polish factory, stocks Duckfeet alongside his own leather-bag brand, All the Kings Men. Both are made with the same principle in mind – functionality and longevity.
Duckfeet Australia / All the Kings Men
Rear 169 Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy
Thurs to Sat 10am–5pm