For more than a century, the city of Pirmasens and the Southwest Palatinate region have been connected to shoemaking. However, the advance of industrialization and globalization led to the decline of the craft in the region. Only a few places still produce artisanal shoes as a labor of love – like our factory, Hummel&Hummel Schuhmanufaktur. As a family company, we know the business very well. We are honored to operate a production facility in Münchweiler, near Pirmasens, where we help keep the regional craft of shoemaking alive with our experienced team. We make high-quality shoes, and are very proud that every step in the process bears the label „Made in Germany.“
Our team of highly specialized shoe craftsmen works with a passion for the product. For several years, we’ve been training career changers as well as refugees who found a temporary home in our region; we have successfully integrated them into our team. Modern machinery allows us to manufacture high-quality shoes in a variety of designs. Our factory’s current focus is on the production of athletic shoes.
We founded our factory in order to meet the growing demand for regional, sustainable production. We also set high standards for quality. Our company name, Hummel&Hummel, reflects the two generations in our family business.
Hummel&Hummel Schuhmanufaktur harks back to the craft of shoemaking.
It’s a great privilege to have our factory in our hometown, and to be able to carry on the tradition of our family and the region. For many years, an awareness of continuity, tradition, and sustainability paired with the confidence to follow new directions and ideas has given our family business its positive potential for development.
Bernd D. Hummel has been a success in the international shoe business since 1968. At age 20, he completed his training in sales and the technical aspects of shoe manufacturing at his father-in-law’s factory. In 1972, he took over the factory and began producing his own line of shoes. Beginning in 1976, the shoes were manufactured in other European countries. After he acquired the KangaROOS brand and entered the athletic shoe market, most manufacturing moved to Asia. Hummel was driven by a passion for shoes, a love for what he made, and that special feeling of creating something and being able to hold a finished product in his hand and the end of the day. It’s no wonder that he decided to buck the international trend and bring manufacturing back to Germany with the Hummel&Hummel factory.
His two daughters Anne-Katrin and Julia were „brought up in a shoebox,“ as they say in the „shoe city“ of Pirmasens. Their grandparents and great-grandparents worked in the shoe industry as stitchers and piecers. Their grandfather had his own small factory and later a shoe store. Anne-Katrin Hummel has been on the board of Bernd Hummel Holding since 2006, and Julia Hummel since 2008. Both found their way to the family business through their passion for flip*flop: Anne-Katrin worked as an architect in Berlin and developed an interior design concept for the brand, and Julia opened a flip*flop store while living in Amsterdam.
While Bernd Hummel and his daughters put their passion into the shoes, his wife Gabriele Hummel makes sure that everything runs smoothly in the family’s other business, the renovation and management of historic buildings.
In addition to their passion for shoes, the family loves art, architecture, and traveling together, and has a close connection to the Palatinate region.
Our business is based in our hometown of Pirmasens in the southwestern Palatinate region, known as the German „shoe city.“ Pirmasens still has greatest concentration of footwear expertise in Germany.
History of the city: Landgrave Ludwig IX of Hesse-Darmstadt took up residence in 1741 and set up a garrison and a well-funded Grenadier Guards regiment. His death marked the end of the residence and the garrison, depriving the population of its livelihood. Out of necessity, women sold shoes made from leftover leather and uniforms in the surrounding area.
After a rocky start, the industrial revolution led to an economic upswing. Pirmasens became internationally known for its shoes. The city’s ascent was briefly interrupted by the Second World War, which destroyed seventy-five percent of the city. Pirmasens only began to face serious economic troubles and increasing unemployment after production moved to Southern Europe in the 1960s, and later to Asia.
New product lines also developed as part of the shoe industry, including shoe glue, plastic products, and manufacturing machinery and production equipment. Today, Pirmasens is still a hotbed of shoe production expertise, taught at the German College of Footwear Design and Technology, the University of Applied Sciences, and the International Shoe Competence Center (ISC).
From the start, we sought to bring together people at our factory who are passionate about their work, and who are proud to create an outstanding product – an inspirational product. At our production site, an outstanding team of experts works hand in hand with newcomers who are trained onsite. It’s especially important to us to pass on knowledge and the traditions of shoe production.
We also strive to maintain the shoemaking tradition of our family and the city of Pirmasens, and to build a sustainable, forward-thinking business in line with the tenets of regional production.
Quality is paramount in every production step, including materials, technology and handicraft. We want to grow gradually, in accordance with our self-imposed quality standards. Quality, not quantity. And we always produce the entire shoe in our factory: Our shoes are 100% Made in Germany. We do not purchase any shoes from other production facilities in Germany or abroad. All production happens onsite, and we expressly avoid working with foreign subcontractors.
Hummel&Hummel Schuhmanufaktur is a family-owned shoe company with traditional values. To us, sustainability means thinking about the future and planning for the long term. We create jobs, educate our employees and offer them good benefits. We think that businesses should be honest and fair. We operate with respect for others and their values and rights. Sustainability also means maintaining a high level of product quality.
Our work and collaboration is based on our company guidelines and our Code of Conduct.
Check our YouTube Channel for videos showing the team at Hummel&Hummel Schuhmanufaktur working on collaborations with our partners.
Neuffer am Park
D- 66953 Pirmasens
Julia C. Hummel