Our brand’s story begins circa 3,500 BC when the oldest known leather shoe, recently discovered in the Areni 1 Cave, was crafted. Its creator diligently stitched this shoe together as both a functional and ceremonial piece. To this artisan, it perfectly symbolized humanity’s ability to create useful beauty out of the wilds of nature.
Thousands of years later, Urartians on the same lands continued this reverence for footwear. Often wearing tall leather boots, they also created symbolic shoes. In their case, this came in the form of goblets and clay containers shaped like the boots they wore. The Areni 1 Premier High Top (PHT) bears subtly laser etched text from their fortress, Erebouni.
Ancient Armenians carried on the torch. In the pagan era they retook to the tradition of making leather shoes for ceremony. The very same zigzag stitching method often found on these can be seen prominently in the Areni 1 Premier Low Top (PLT). To this day, that stitch is done 100% by hand.
In the Soviet era, Armenia provided leather dress shoes for men and women of the utmost quality. Everything from sneakers to tuxedo shoes and all in between were made, by hand, in and around Yerevan. It’s estimated that over 30 million pairs per year were made in the Armenian SSR, chiefly for export.
Today Areni 1 Footwear proudly carries this history forward by incorporating bits and pieces of these distant eras into designs that display as much futurism as reminiscence. An experienced team of 40 experts in Yerevan, Armenia is responsible for each pair to ensure quality. The soles are forged out of a single piece of polyurethane, a long lasting and eco-friendly material.
We pledge to continually provide you with shoes that are as beautiful and nuanced as they are comfortable and long lasting. We pledge to make the next chapter of this spectacular story one to remember.