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03 Dec 2020

Features Ecco Gore-TexSponsored

Inside the ECCO Chamber


ECCO started out as a modest Danish footwear brand almost 60 years ago before growing up to become a manufacturing behemoth. Still fuelled by the founder’s tenacious spirit, the brand is currently connecting city-slickers and trail-treaders alike with the Great Outdoors. Time to enter the ECCO chamber and find out how one man (literally) grew too big for his boots!

Joke’s On You

While stylish designs like the LongLegs got things wriggling, ECCO’s methodical European expansion exploded in 1978 when chief designer Ejnar Truelsen reimagined the classic moccasin.

Fusing form-fitting design with premium materials, the ECCO Joke was anything but. The right shoe at the right price at the right time is a highly prized unicorn and sales duly skyrocketed. This unicorn’s footprints were stamped ECCO, as Toosbuy had the ingenious and industry-first idea of advertising his trademark on the outsoles. Two more product sequels subsequently arrived in the form of the ECCO Life and ECCO Free, further refining the hybrid-moc-comf template.

The brand entered the 80s in the big leagues after selling more than a million pairs of the Ecco Joke (which was, seriously… no joke!). Toosbuy once again had to double-down on his investment to ramp up production. He immediately looked south to his German neighbours at DESMA, whose shoe-making machines used an efficient process known as direct injection.

The revolutionary technology sprayed the soles directly onto the leather uppers, producing a super strong bond and a softer and more flexible ride.

The first DESMA unit was imported to Denmark in 1980. ECCO’s output immediately exploded and Karl Toosbuy once again had the last laugh. The following year, the ECCO Soft debuted. The flexible and lightweight sole was a boon for the young brand, cracking the hard target of eclipsing the Joke’s already impressive sales figures. In time, it too would become one of ECCO’s all-time greatest hits.


Having spent 60 years mastering the art of product innovation and mass manufacturing, ECCO’s thirst for expansion shows no signs of being extinguished. As their confident new Outdoors range ascends to even greater heights, the ECCO name is once again writ large around the world.

You’ve just heard the good word – now get it out there!

This feature was originally published in Sneaker Freaker Issue 44. You can get your copy  here.

03 Dec 2020

Features Ecco Gore-TexSponsored

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