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History

Merging innovation and tradition


Quality and sustainability, customer satisfaction and innovation are deeply anchored in the DNA of the pedag brand. Schelchen GmbH is a medium-sized company with a long tradition (founded in 1955) that creatively combines new technical possibilities with traditional values for the benefit of its product users.

Customers in more than 50 countries appreciate the quality products of Schelchen GmbH due to their high functionality, the environmentally conscious production in Germany and the professional and reliable cooperation with orthopaedists (foot supports), chemists (shoe care) and other experts.

 

Well-being – step by step

In 1955, Hartmut Schelchen started selling shoe care products and insoles. At that time, the insoles on the market were mostly imported goods and did not meet the customers and shoe sellers expectations and demands. Hartmut Schelchen decided to change the status quo: in 1965, he started manufacturing his own insoles in a former cowshed in Berlin, district Charlottenburg. His idea worked out – the customers loved the Schelchen insoles.

Schelchen-Geschichte-Berlin_975-504In front of the "cowshed" in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

 

The pedag international brand

1969, just four years after producing his first insole, Hartmut Schelchen started exporting them. In 1971, the demand for high-quality insoles and shoe care products had increased so much that the company had to leave the property in Berlin-Charlottenburg and move to larger premises in Berlin-Schöneberg. In 1975, the original brand name HS Schuhbedarf was changed to pedag international, derived from the Latin word pedes, meaning foot.

pedag’s goal was to promote the natural and healthy way of walking and this goal lead to wellness and well-being becoming the essence of the company’s mission statement. Based on this ideal, Schelchen GmbH started developing its premium product, the VIVA® foot support, in 1993.

pedag VIVA® was the first all round supporting insole combining an anatomically shaped foot bed with finest cow hide and the world’s first odour-preventing activated carbon filter that was not based on latex.

25-Jahre-Viva_975-504In 2018 the premium foot support pedag Viva® celebrated its 25th birthday.

 

The historical gift – the fall of the Berlin Wall

The opening of the border in 1989 between the eastern and western parts of Germany (symbolically referred to as the 'Wall') led to German reunification in 1990. A historical gift, initiated by the peaceful revolution of the civil rights movement in the former GDR. In addition to the human significance for the German population, the fall of the Berlin Wall also brought Schelchen GmbH forward as an entrepreneur: very quickly we became a German-German team and in 1993 we were able to move to the Berlin environs in order to gain sufficient space for our continuous growth.

 

Around the shoe - shoe trees, laces and shoe care

In 1998, Schelchen GmbH expanded its product range and included its own shoe trees and laces to meet a wide range of customer requirements. In 1999, Schelchen GmbH presented another world innovation of the pedag brand: The world's first winter footbed pedag SOLAR PLUS, now pedag VIVA® WINTER.

In 2003 we introduced our self-developed leather care and shoe care products. Since a large number of consumers were looking for easy to use, manageable and functional care products, we were attracted to contribute our know-how to such a programme. Whether sneakers or frame-sewn brogue shoes - pedag has the right, uncomplicated care product.

 

„Made in Germany“

Nowadays, Schelchen GmbH is located in Königs Wusterhausen in Brandenburg, only about 30 minutes outside of the Berlin city centre, where it keeps on adding new chapters to its success story. Day by day, 150 employees are concerned with producing high-quality goods that contribute to maintain the feet’s health. To comply with our standards, every detail is important. From choosing the most appropriate leathers and carefully bonding the single parts of the insole, to meticulously controlling the final product – every product is handmade and the result of expertise and knowledge.

Insoles, foot supports, laces and shoe care products of the highest quality – this is what pedag international will continue to stand for in the future. We will keep on developing new and innovative products with all our passion and manufacture them with care and attention.

Leder-stanzen_975-504The production of insoles is handcraft: here the leather is punched out.

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