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The success story began in the 1930s, when Mürren master shoemaker Fritz von Allmen ran out of work in the off season. ‘This mountain business with all its unproductive working time,’ he wrote in his diary in desperation. To get by, the businessman started manufacturing ski boots for the local Kandahar ski racing club.

Swiss Deluxe Hotels Stories Winter 2023 2024 No Frills Luxury Charlichaplin T407 V2 Dotgain SW

His big breakthrough came some 15 years later with the first lambskin-lined après ski boot – a light, comfortable shoe that pampered the feet. These winter boots with their conspicuous look quickly caught on – including abroad and with celebrities. Among the most well-known customers were the conductor Herbert von Karajan and the actor Charlie Chaplin – as seen in the picture with Petula Clark post-skiing in Mürren in the 1940s.

In 2022, the von Allmen family passed on the Kandahar brand to the Müller entrepreneurial family, thus securing the future of the traditional brand and its shoe production in Switzerland. The shoes are still made individually by hand in Sennwald in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley, in a process that involves around 200 steps.

The name Kandahar has been synonymous with exclusive quality, handmade craftsmanship and Swissness since 1932. Having continuously honed its expertise over the generations, the company continues to produce with materials that are both high-quality and sustainable.

The complex production process also justifies the price of this handmade in Switzerland brand product. A Kandahar shoe is made of around 50 individual parts. To this day, they are cut according to the old templates. Sewing them together is a long process. There is no step that doesn’t involve some form of manual work and the company still produces all its individual parts in Switzerland.

Whether the design is sporty, cool or elegant, natural materials like suede, nappa, nubuck, goatskin, horse hide and velour guarantee sustainability and outstanding quality in terms of both optics and function. With their timeless, straightforward design, these shoes are an investment in the future. Worn soles can be replaced, guaranteeing the wearer many years of enjoyment.

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