It's a story that goes back more than 40 years...
Anne Kalsø was born in the Faroe Islands off Denmark in 1905. Her life was defined by a deep immersion
in the study of yoga, and the fundamental belief that wellness principles needn't
be reserved for just one aspect of an individual's life, but could be wholly integrated
as part of an everyday existence.
Kalsø 's passion for yoga led her to study in Switzerland and eventually
in Santos, Brazil. It was there, in 1957, that she observed the excellent posture
of indigenous Brazilians, and the impressions left by their bare footprints as they
walked through beach sand. She observed that the footprints laid were deeper in
the heels than in the toes. This natural body position resonated with the thoughtful
Kalsø . It echoed a formative yoga pose she knew well – Tadasana (the 'Mountain'
As she herself emulated the pose of the native Brazilians, she noticed how
her own posture improved, and how her breathing passages opened. She was inspired.
Returning to Denmark, Kalsø enlisted the help of a Portuguese shoe maker to begin
what would become a 10-year process to design the original Kalsø Shoe. Although
not a shoemaker by trade, Kalsø was deeply immersed in the process of shoe development
-- even testing prototype models on long hikes that covered hundreds of miles. According
to Kalsø , "it took numerous years of hard work before I reached the final form of
my shoe that takes into consideration all the natural demands of the foot and body.
It is only now that I know I have created something. It is no longer an idea in
my mind, but is something that is thoroughly tested and proven."
Kalsø began selling her shoes from a modest storefront in Copenhagen. Those who
discovered her shoes became passionate about their benefits. Many reported that
the shoes helped ease chronic foot and body problems. Expectedly, people from around
the world inquired about the shoes. But Kalsø insisted that they be experienced
in-person prior to being worn.
Even with such interest and fervor, it was not until the mid-to-late 1960's that
Kalsø entertained the idea of expansion – ultimately exploring retail beyond Denmark.
And specifically in the United States.
April 1st, 1970 would mark the much-heralded opening of the first United States
distribution point for Kalsø 's shoes. Coinciding with the first Earth Day, the name
of the shoes - on the spot – was changed to "Kalsø Earth Shoes" and capitalized
on the youthful movement and energy that defined the day. The trajectory of a wellness
enterprise was underway. With much thanks and credit going to a Danish yoga instructor,
a belief that wellness could be part of everyone's daily existence, and a simple
Kalsø Earth Shoes. Designed by Nature. Created by Kalsø.