Helmuth Ohlhoff — Copyright: Jörn Neumann

A  shoe that goes by the name “barefoot” is already a reality. Its inventor, a passionate long-distance runner and journalist, was convinced that the safest, healthiest, and most natural way to run was barefoot. With this firm belief in mind, he started down a pathway that led to the de
velopment of minimalist footwear with a sole that wraps around the foot, leaving the feet feeling as if they were bare.

Today, the visionary known as Helmuth Ohlhoff is the owner of the Leguano shoe company that produces Barefoot shoes and sells them around the globe. His dream was made possible thanks to the partnership with Desma which, with its technology, allowed these shoes to be manufactured as if they were a second skin, representing a real productive challenge.

How did Leguano arrive at this point? It all began in 2004 when Ohlhoff founded Leguano Ltd. in Sankt Augustin, Germany and began developing the concept of Barefoot shoe, with the idea of offering maximum freedom of movement and protection at the same time, thanks to its wrap-around and anti-perforation sole.

leguano aktivIn 2009, Desma machines were used to produce these cutting-edge shoes.

The popularity of Barefoot shoes grew in parallel with the increasing tendency of consumers to adopt of a more natural lifestyle. In 2013, the activity of the company experienced a significant upswing following the sharp rise in demand by the market. Thus, Leguano began to create a network of branches and directly-owned production facilities in Germany. Once again, it sought out Desma as its partner: since Leguano was already extremely pleased with Desma’s machines, now it wanted its German partner to develop moulds for the production of its soles that needed to fit perfectly, as if they were a second skin. A technical challenge that pushed Desma to develop an ad hoc solution for Leguano.

Our customer fully trusts in our abilities – were the comments of Klaus Freese, managing director of Desma – and is always open to our suggestions, making it a pleasure to work with them.

2013 was also the beginning of the Leguano retail project with the opening of its first Barefoot shoes store in Bad Zwischenahn. 90 other store openings followed throughout Germany, with 13 outlets opened in 2018 alone. Even the international business of Leguano began to bloom and “barefoot” shoes could be found in stores in China, Singapore, Canada, and Spain…

Copyright: Jörn Neumann
Copyright: Jörn Neumann

Today, Barefoot shoes can be found on the feet of runners, athletes coming from different disciplines, and lovers of the great outdoors. The annual production of Leguano is estimated at around 300 thousand pairs in 16 different models: a production capacity made possible thanks to the technical support of Desma: “Our machines play a decisive role in allowing Leguano to satisfy the demand for its footwear” – declared Klaus Freese, Desma Managing Director. To this, the founder of Leguano, Helmuth Ohlhoff, replies: “Together with our partner Desma, we have the opportunity to continue to produce shoes with success in Germany”.

Barefoot, a story of success built on the reciprocal trust between Leguano and Desma.