All core products such as our welted, flexible-sewn shoes, boots and cases etc. are entirely produced in the manufacturing plant in Süßenbrunn, Vienna. Some of our other products such as sport shoes, ladies gallantry shoes, handbags, belts, accessories and jackets etc, need certain parts to be produced off-site in workshops in Austria and neighbouring countries.
Design, purchase of material, production planning, end production and control are handled in-house, giving us more control over the quality of our products.
Most of our materials originate out of Europe with the exception of the special horse leather, which we import from the USA.
Yes, grinder and sewing machines are utilised in the initial production process of the shoe. This production process is the same in a handcraft business, the typical difference of a factory being they have to a great extent different sections responsible for certain shoemaking processes. With this combined degree of specialisation of skilled labour it enables a higher quality and larger variety of products.
We do not offer bespoke shoes but offer our clients in addition to the existing models so-called "custom-made" shoes. With the international "custom made" way of producing shoes according to the customers criteria, model, leather, sole and last are configured and produced.
With the help of a sample-book and colour cards the model and leather is chosen. The correct last, which is the three dimensional form of the shoe, is chosen with the help and expertise of our shop assistants and through trying on various existing shoes available in the Ludwig Reiter shop.
We utilise about ten different lasts for men, each available in 2 – 4 widths and 16 different lengths, giving us about 500 different lasts to chose from. The probability of not finding the fitting last is practically impossible except with problematic orthopaedic requirements.
Generally speaking, a bespoke shoe is produced in the same way, however, the customers lasts are cut and trimmed by means of the individual foot measurements. We consider this method as incorrect, as the foot has a complicated shape. One can’t determine the individual preference of the shoe wearer through exact measurements. Some prefer a comfortable others a tight fit. This can only be established through trying on the shoe.
It is a mixture of natural Carnauba wax, raw Montan wax, silicone oil, Lanolin, solvent, emulsifier (amine), fat matter (Oilseed). Trials were done over many years to develop the exact formula, therefore the exact recipe of the paste will not be revealed.
With a flexible sewn shoe the shaft is sewn directly onto the sole (which is not the case with a welted shoe). When the sole of a flexible sewn shoe is separated, it loses its base and collapses. Therefore replacing of a sole on a flexible sewn shoe is not possible.
With the welted shoe the shaft and inner sole are joined through a ream making it possible to replace the sole.
As always it would be possible to repair the shoes in a makeshift manner. This would not last very long, and alters the characteristics of the shoes. Therefore Ludwig Reiter generally refrains from such repairs, even with sewn welted shoes.
The leather used for shoes has to fulfil different criteria than that used for handbags. Leather that is used for belts has other characteristics again. There are few leather types that can fulfil all requirements. The shade and surface finish are always linked to the material properties.
As with fashionable products, that have a shorter use and life-span, the visual appearance has priority, other qualities come second.
It is therefore an indication of quality, when - as done at Ludwig Reiter - shoes, bags and belts are all made of different leather types, which never look completely identical, even with the same colouring.
The actual production of carefully made "custom-made" shoes takes about 3 weeks. We have to consider disposition, planning, control, and delivery in this order, and have to add possible holidays, sick-leave and production-errors into our calculations. Hence we always plan a maximum of up to 8 weeks for production, even if it doesn’t usually take this long.
The time span for repairing shoes is not much shorter, because the shoes have to be sent from the shop (where the customer drops the shoes off) to the manufacture in Süßenbrunn, where they are checked before anything can happen.
All products on this website are available for online purchase here. We recommend you visit one of our Ludwig Reiter stores, if you wish to purchase shoes which require expertly consulation.
Since 1885, the business of Ludwig Reiter is located in Vienna. The production plant is located in Süßenbrunn since Spring 2011. Additionally, there are branches and own stores located in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and England.
100% of the company is owned by the Reiter Family.
Generally speaking, the durability of shoes is strongly dependent on their treatment and care. Additionally, it depends on their styling. For instance, Goodyear-welted shoes last significantly longer than glued or flexible-sewn shoes. Resoling your shoes can enhance the durability of them. In spite of good treatment and care, the upper leather and the inner lining ware out. You can estimate the durability of your shoe to be around 3.000 hours.
You should then grant your long-worn shoe a worthy end, and subsequently get yourself a new pair of Ludwig Reiter shoes!
Without appropriate care (see "Shoe Care") it is possible that shoes wear off significantly faster. For personal expert advice, our colleagues in our stores (see "Sources") are happy to assist you in the name of Ludwig Reiter.
The most models of Ludwig Reiter are based on classical samples, there are continuously developed. These developments as well as occasional innovations are like with any good design the result of the practical experience of the owner as well as of the producer of the product. br br Classic does not flow out of the feather of a designer.
"Classic is the final product, how it emerges out of a work shop or a factory." Elio Fiorrucci