1973 - Today
It all started in Merzalben, a village right in the middle of the Palatine Forest, ten minutes from the famous "shoe city" Pirmasens. Gösta Andersson and Bruno Heim have both been making and selling shoes for many years, and they understood the signs of the times: everyone wanted docksider shoes, those casual loafers that were traditionally worn on boats. The Gerli GmbH decided to pick up on this trend. In 1985 they designed and produced for the first time leather slip-ons for men. The clear aim was to ensure that everyone could afford “Dockers”. Therefore, there was a clear focus on the cost-benefit-ratio – without neglecting the quality.
The brand’s breakthrough, however, was a different kind of shoe: the famous Dockers Boots. They became iconic, in their bright corn yellow or chocolate brown with high, cushioned shafts, reminiscent of mountaineer boots. The first Dockers Boots were produced in factories in Portugal and Spain. They were made especially durable by the Goodyear design. The sole is not just glued to the upper, as is usually the case, but the sole, frame and upper are sewn together. Today they are reinterpreted almost every year by Dockers designers, with new sole types and details. But their original character has remained and the Dockers Boots are always recognizable as such at first glance.
Little by little the collections were expanded. At first, the focus was on unisex models, but later there was a separate women's line and also later children's shoes were added as well.
Today, Dockers by Gerli stands for fashionable, sporty shoes with attention to detail. An extra decorative seam here, a rivet there. Trends were picked up and implemented to match the brand. In recent years, membranes have been added, Docktex and Sympatex, which make winter shoes wind- and waterproof, but leave them breathable. Also new and patented is the Soft Insock, a particularly soft insole.