ATHEIST Shoes are…
- designed in Berlin, inspired by the minimalist aesthetic of the Bauhaus
- handmade by traditional shoemakers in Porto
- really quite absurdly comfortable
We're a team of 7 humans - 3 in Berlin, 4 in Porto - and we've been making shoes, by hand, since 2012. It has been our honour to earn loyal customers all over the world, from Stockholm to San Francisco, Tehran to Tennessee.
Our shoes are unisex, perform well in all weathers, and are made as naturally and sustainably as possible, in small-batch productions. We only use European materials, which include the finest leathers known to humanity - for example, the luscious calfskin lining that helps make our shoes so comfortable.
We're proud to be independent - unhindered by the conventions of big shoe brands. For example, we don't use retailer middlemen or spend anything on advertising, preferring instead to sell direct to any customers who find their way to us organically. It means our customer base is small, and growth isn't a super priority for us. But it also means we can afford to spend more on higher quality materials than other shoe brands, whilst keeping the price of our shoes reasonable, selling for about half what you'd pay elsewhere for such tip-top, handmade quality. This is awesome because (a) our handywork is accessible to more people and (b) we don't have to waste our time in salesy business meetings and can instead simply enjoy making shoes.
How did we begin?
The first "ATHEIST Shoe" came into being on a whim. Back in 2012, everyone in Berlin seemed to have lots of time and "projects" - artistic and pointless pursuits that made you sound more interesting if you were ever asked "what do you do"? A couple of us (one a shoemaker, both atheists) wanted to do a project with shoes and we really wanted it to be something we believed in, which was nothing at all... and so the idea of an Atheist Shoe was born. It wasn't a totally pointless project... we did actually believe the world would be a better place if non-believers were more open about their godlessness... and if they had the words "ICH BIN ATHEIST" carved on their shoe soles ... and if the shoes attached to those soles happened to be very elegant, minimalist and Bauhaus in aesthetic, all the better.
So we made a first shoe, chiefly for our own amusement. And when we posted a picture on reddit, in January 2012, it blew up, in just one hour reaching "the front page of the internet" and leading to 1000s of emails asking where to buy our shoes. What began as casual whimsy clearly had the potential to be a business.
In April 2012, we ran a successful Kickstarter to fund a first batch of shoes, and the orders have been coming in ever since, allowing us to dedicate ourselves full-time to work we love. We're super grateful to our diverse and wonderful patrons who make that possible.
We’re flattered by the feedback our shoes receive … “the most comfortable shoe in the known universe”… “like walking on hugs from baby kittens”… “the best shoes I’ve ever owned” … it’s lovely to hear and we’re grateful to everyone who takes time to feedback their thoughts. Our only ambition is to continue making shoes, to our own high standards, for a long time to come.
We hope you enjoy exploring our site. And, if you've any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
The ATHEIST team