Dansko Craftsmanship

Every Dansko product must meet the highest standards for comfort, support, durability, fit and performance. From initial sketches to final inspection, hundreds of steps take place before a pair of our shoes will make their way onto your feet.

WHAT COMES FIRST? YOU!

Each season, our goal is to bring YOU your new favorite shoes! Using your feedback along with fashion trend information, our design team develops the direction for the upcoming Dansko line. Every collection has its own custom "Last", the 3-D form that determines how your shoes will be designed, constructed and fit. It is crucial that the Last be developed correctly as it is a critical component used throughout our shoemaking process. The design team then creates a series of drawings for each shoe style, serving as the blueprints for our newest creations.
Footprint
Prototype

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

At this step, all components of the shoe are combined with the Last to ensure that fit, function, and style all align with the creative vision. A prototype shoe is built around the selected Last. Each element is inspected by hand to evaluate quality and performance, both individually and when combined into the shoe.

THE PERFECT FIT

Detailed measurements are taken and prototypes are fitted on the Last and on our Test Team (in-house Cinderellas!). The goal is to ensure that the shoe fits comfortably. If needed, the Last and shoe prototypes are adjusted. Materials, construction and fit are all finalized by testing a wide range of sizes (and types of feet) before production begins.
Fit and Size
Material

UPPER MATERIAL SELECTION

The selection of upper materials is also a very detailed process. Our design team reviews thousands of fabric and leather swatches from all over the world each season, choosing only those materials that meet Dansko's high standards. The upper material is tested multiple times throughout the development cycle to ensure the final finished product meets our high quality standards. Our Material Technicians take great care to ensure that the materials perform at their best - our full grain leathers are rich and luxurious, our patents bold and vibrant, our fabrics stunning, and our suedes silky to the touch.

PATTERN CUTTING

With the upper materials chosen, it's time to start cutting. Our Material Technicians carefully place the patterns in such a way to ensure that the natural beauty of the upper materials is preserved and that waste is minimized. They also take care to cut the material so the grain of the leather is aligned with the design to ensure the natural wear and give of the material is preserved. Before an upper is attached to the outsole, it is inspected for material quality and workmanship.
Cutting
SATRA

PRE-PRODUCTION TESTING

We test shoe components, prototypes and pre-production pairs throughout the development cycle. Many tests are performed at independent laboratories, as well as our own laboratory, to ensure that our shoes perform the way we expect. Our laboratory, at our Pennsylvania HQ, has been certified by SATRA, the international organization that sets testing standards for the footwear industry. Dansko's lab performs a wide range of tests, including abrasion resistance, durability when flexing, and tensile strength.

STAPLED CONSTRUCTION

Our Stapled Collection launched Dansko! This collection has a distinctive construction process that deserves a special mention. Each shoe is carefully stapled by hand to attach the upper with the outsole.
Staples
Finishing

BAKED TO PERFECTION

Once the shoes are constructed, they are heated to 'set' the upper materials. Creams, waxes and finishes are applied to enhance the handcrafted beauty of every pair.

TESTING, TESTING, TESTING

All Dansko shoes go through an extended fit and wear test process. Our Fitting Experts evaluate every Dansko style and size, working with our Test Team to conduct evaluations such as the 30-day "Walk & Wear" marathon...boots in August anyone?
Testing
Final

FINAL INSPECTION

The final step is a detailed inspection for quality, aesthetics and craftsmanship. Only those shoes that pass all the rigorous inspections are approved to proudly wear the Dansko brand. These pairs are then placed into Dansko shoeboxes to begin the journey to your local retailer and, eventually, your closet.

AND OUT THE DOOR!

More than 2,800 independent, national and online retail partners proudly carry Dansko footwear and would love to introduce you to your new favorite pair!
Out the Door