The Rieker Shoe Company is a true family success story. Founded in Germany in 1874, Rieker has produced footwear for over 130 years. Today, the company produces the Rieker Antistress shoe line, "designed to provide the customer with the feel good factor in everyday life." Let's look at how Rieker has done this.
Herr Heinrich Rieker founded the Rieker Shoe Factory in 1874 in the Black Forest region of Germany. When Herr Rieker died in 1924, the ownership and management was passed down to his three sons: Ernst, Karl and Heinrich Jr. Initially, Rieker were producing footwear for only the wealthiest people of Italy, but today they are a global company, employing over 10,000 people worldwide. A family business, Rieker has been operating for over five generations, and Markus Rieker now runs the company.
Rieker shoes are made from templates called "lasts." The lasts determine the size, shape and fit of the shoe. Rieker changes the last periodically, in accordance with fashion trends. Each new shoe style requires a new last.
Rieker has created an anti-stress system, which they claim produces shoes that are "lighter, roomier, more flexible and shock-absorbent." They are lighter, as a result of the material used to make them; roomier, as the lasts allow for extra room at the toe. Rieker describes the shoes as "more flexible," since they are made with hand-stitching, and "shock-absorbent," as the sole distributes pressure over the entire surface of the shoe. In addition, they offer four different sole types: polyurethane, thermoplastic, rubber and multi-colored.
Rieker shoes are available in fifty-three countries, including almost every country in Europe, Russia, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. The corporate office is based in Orlando, Florida and the corporate office in Germany remains in the Black Forest region, where Rieker began.
Rieker has accumulated a number of awards over the years. Some of these include:
Winner Draper Footwear Brand of the Year (2008) Finalist in Draper Footwear Brand of the Year (2006) Independent Footwear Retailers Best Customer Service (2006) Independent Footwear Retailers Brand of the Year (2005) Independent Footwear Retailers Brand of the Year (2004) Independent Footwear Retailers Brand of the Year (2003)