Image: Jason Eric Harwick
I'm not too sure about the true history, but Herbert Schier's 74 year old company's hand-crafted Velskoen boots (or "Vellies" for short) claim the title of Original Desert Boot and I wouldn't be surprised if the more well-known boot was inspired by them.  Based on the traditional footwear of the local Khoikhoi tribe, these springbok boots are made in a workshop on the Namibian coast.  Kudu, the large antelope used to make Vellies are over-populated in the region and Schier works with local farmers to meet the government quotas that are necessary for population control.  The boots are cut entirely by hand using a paper pattern and as a result, no two shoes are identical.  The two pieces of Kudu hide are then hand-sewn The resulting boots are comfortable, durable and whimsical. 

Schier has recently launched an exclusive collection of Vellies at Opening Ceremony where boots for adults and children are available for purchase.

Images: Jason Eric Harwick
Images: Opening Ceremony