Bruno Heim and Göster Andersson founded the Gerli GmbH in Merzalben, whose company name originates from their wives' names first letters - Gertrud and Liselotte. The young company's first warehouse was situated in the village's restaurant.
Gerli GmbH mostly sold cowboy boots by the brand name "Bill Montana".
A proper company headquarter was built in the Hoehstrasse in Merzalben and is expanded and modernsied ever since.
In the 80s, everyone wanted docksider shoes, those casual loafers that were traditionally worn on boats. Gerli GmbH decided to pick up on that trend and designed and produced the first leather slip-ons for men in 1985. The brand name Dockers is derived from these shoes.
The brand’s breakthrough, however, was a different kind of shoe: the Dockers Boots. They became iconic, in their bright corn yellow or chocolate brown with high, cushioned shafts. Dockers obtained a world-wide patent on the brand name in 1987.
The first Dockers Boots were made in Portugal and Spain. They became extra durable due to the Goodyear Welt Technique: outsole and shaft were not simply glued together (as is custom), but sole, frame and shaft are stitched together.
The late 90s saw the teenager hype for only one style: Plateau, plateau, plateau. Dockers had the hottest models.
Start of a newly established joint-venture production company with a Korean partner in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam. One year later, the cornerstone was laid down.
A stand-alone women‘s collection emerged...
...followed by a kids‘ collection.
Today, Dockers by Gerli stands for fashionable, sporty shoes. Well established know-how in the art of shoemaking was and still is the brand’s special attribute – figures, since Gerli GmbH has been doing this for 40 years.
Docktex and Sympatex membranes were added which make the shoes wind- and waterproof without taking away the breathability. New and patented is the extra comfy Soft Insole.