For outdoor enthusiasts around the globe the LEKI brand is synonymous with high quality walking poles – a success that every company is dreaming of. LEKI is widely recognized for products that are highly functional, clever, well-designed and innovative.
The Kirchheim unter Teck-based company owns more than 250 patents – more than any other manufacturer in the outdoors and ski industry. Its distinct innovative spirit has characterized the company right from the start. Karl Lenhart, a passionate and visionary entrepreneur and skier, founded the company in 1948 as a spin-off from the family’s wood processing plant.
“Back then, Karl Lenhart was quite unhappy with the quality and functionality of ski poles,” remembers Waltraut Lenhart, who runs the company since 2012, following a fatal accident of her husband. “He used his own machinery and started producing grips and baskets for skiing poles. Ever since, one of LEKI’s main characteristics has been to develop and manufacture products with outstanding functionality and reliability.”
Based on this approach, LEKI has gone through an exceptional development. The company gained international fame with technologically advanced walking and skiing poles, gloves and folding chairs.
However, its core competence has always been the development of poles designed in Kirchheim unter Teck and produced in the Czech Republic. Due to the constant quest for better and safer solutions, LEKI regularly set new standards. In 1998, the company introduced a new trigger system – a veritable breakthrough in pole technology.
Other highlights reflecting LEKI’s outstanding know-how are turbo disc grips, anti-shock spring systems, antishock cushioning systems, fiberglass composite shafts, flex tips and Nordic trigger sharks. Market novelties like these are the reason why LEKI has received many prestigious awards – in 2013 and 2015, it was proclaimed best brand in the outdoor accessory category by Outdoor magazine readers.
Many successful athletes rely on LEKI products as they do not want to make any compromise in quality. The exceptional success is the result of a quality-driven philosophy – and a great team. LEKI has 300 employees today and annual sales of 50 million EUR. Worldwide exports make up 50%.
“We can rely on loyal and future-oriented customers in entire Europe,” states Ms. Lenhart. “We mainly distribute through providers for skiing and outdoor equipment and our online shop. Finding the right balance is essential. It is important to keep up with new technological developments, but always in a careful manner. Luckily, I can rely on a fantastic team that constantly motivates and stimulates me. I have total trust and confidence in our employees and they have comprehensive decision-making freedom. This mutual trust is pivotal – I simply cannot run the company without my team.”
LEKI is keen to further cater the needs of adventurous outdoor lovers. Trail running comes as a new trend – and LEKI is ready to offer the perfect equipment.