You’d be forgiven for thinking that Yogi Footwear was a new brand that recently arrived on the market. And whilst that is true to some extent, Yogi’s history and heritage goes back much further. The brand’s origins date back to the late 90’s when they began to produce premium leather footwear in Portugal. They were inspired by the Earth and Roots shoes of the 1970’s which were the first shoes to be marketed with a ‘negative heel’, meaning the heel was actually lower than the toe. The reason for this was to mimic the effect of walking in sand, resulting in a superior posture. With comfort and orthopedic benefits in mind, Yogi channeled a boxy shaped moccasin and sourced soft premium leathers in order to bring a more contemporary offering to the menswear market.
During the 90’s, Yogi’s popularity surged due to the advent of ‘Brit Pop’ and its association with notable brand ‘Duffer’. The brand were intrigued by the style and ergonomic benefits of Earth Shoes, so they trialed them in one of their stores and sold out almost immediately. Noticing a gap in the market for a modern and premium alternative, but keeping the core philosophy and approach of Earth Shoes central to the concept, Yogi was born. Rather than having the brand named ‘Duffer Footwear’ or similar, it was felt that Yogi needed its own identity and moniker.
Being worn by key musical figures like Noel Gallagher, Yogi found themselves in the wardrobes of casual connoisseurs and style enthusiasts across the country, with the classic moccasin construction and comfort rivaling fellow British brands like Clarks.
Fast forward and Yogi’s latest offering of hand crafted, un-lined moccasins are still hand stitched in third-generation specialist factory in Portugal. They feature leather uppers, leather laces and either Vibram or crepe sole units. Sustainability and environmental impact are also key to Yogi’s approach, with construction of the footwear minimizing waste and reducing the use of solvent based adhesives during production. Materials are also sourced locally where possible, reducing the brand’s carbon footprint.
When the brand visited Liquor Store, Head of International Sales Paul Batista talked through Yogi’s history and showed the brand’s Autumn / Winter offering. From the Willard and Lennon through to the Lawson and Elijah, there is plenty of choice within a brand that offers one type of footwear. There is something inherently youthful about Yogi footwear, they are a brand that has firmly found their footing but there is a clear excitement for future, so watch this space. Scroll down for some of our pairs!
Elijah Boot in Cola Brown
With a tumbled leather heel patch and suede upper, the Elijah is one of two Yogi boots which we offer. With a similar silhouette to the Lennon moccasin, they feature the hallmark negative heel outsole which Yogi has become famous for. The boots have a chunky yet unspoiled silhouette, making it the perfect partner for any trouser or jean. With a centre seam, this is a recognizable and classic model which references Yogi’s history.
Willard Mocassin in Chocolate
The Willard is a staple style from Yogi which has a strong resemblance to the Earth and Roots shoes of the 1970’s. With a square and flat toe box, you might think this is a shoe your Geography teacher would wear (and they might if they’re style conscious) but don’t be mistaken, this is an iconic piece of footwear that looks at home on the terraces or about town. Like the Elijah, the Willard also utilizes the negative heel outsole for maximum comfort.
Lucas Mocassin Boot in Tan
With a more sleek appearance, the Lucas boot is a two-eyelet moccasin / boot hybrid which uses a Goodyear welted Vibram sole unit with a tan leather upper. With classic u-shaped stitching around the toe box, the Lawson’s tumbled leather is soft and pliable but will also offer some added protection. Pair it with some slim tapered selvedge jeans and you’re good to go.