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What are the good American Shoe Makers (still producing in the USA in 2013?)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Men, For my web site, I’m making a list of those shoe makers who are currently manufacturing in the United States:

 
I realize there are already lists out there like this — but I’m trying to make a better and more up to date one. For instance, the existing lists often list makers who haven’t made shoes in the US in years, like J&M, OR, they don’t include some new options such as the new-ish Bass Made in Maine line of weejuns.
 
So far, I have listed the following in my database:
  • Alden
  • Allen Edmonds
  • Bass
  • Chippewa
  • Justin
  • LL Bean
  • New Balance
  • Quoddy
  • Rancourt
  • Russell Mocassin Co
  • Wolverine (1000 Mile)
 
As well as
  • Eastland (Made in Maine collection)
  • Footskins
  • Kepner-Scott (very young men’s!)
  • Oak St. Bootmakers
  • Red Wing
  • Thorogood
  • Town View Leather Mocassins

 

I know there are more than a few shoe aficionados here at the forum, so I'm wondering if you all have any other suggestions for worthy makers to add. Any tips are much appreciate! :worship2: 

post #2 of 18
Wondering what the point of assembling an entirely USA made wardrobe is?

Your stated purpose: "A CURATED GUIDE TO ASSEMBLING A USA-MADE WARDROBE."

I assemble mine based on aesthetics and quality, not national origin.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

Wondering what the point of assembling an entirely USA made wardrobe is?

Your stated purpose: "A CURATED GUIDE TO ASSEMBLING A USA-MADE WARDROBE."

I assemble mine based on aesthetics and quality, not national origin.

Some people like to put value in things made in their country. I know if given the option of two identical items (quality, price, aesthetics), one made in China and one made in USA, then I would pick the one made in USA.

To add to your list, not all are 100% in the USA:

Helm
Arrow Moccasin Company
Julian
Leatherman LTD
Walk-Over
Yuketen
Sperry
New Balance
Rios of Mercedes (there are probably a tan of boot makers in texas, I only know this one because they supply RRL's cowboy boot)
The Vintage Shoe Company
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

Wondering what the point of assembling an entirely USA made wardrobe is?

Your stated purpose: "A CURATED GUIDE TO ASSEMBLING A USA-MADE WARDROBE."

I assemble mine based on aesthetics and quality, not national origin.

I do realize my site is in a small "niche"--most people WON'T be interested in building a USA-made wardrobe.

 

Those that do, as Saturdays points out, put a bit of extra value on items made in their own country. They might do this because they appreciate the 'heritage' of an item made by particular people in a particular place. Others (not me, if I'm being honest) primarily try to "buy local" for environmental reasons. Still others simply want to support the American worker, given that many friends and neighbors are un- or under-employed at the moment.

 

Last note, I don't think hardly anyone would really want 100.0% of their wardrobe to be USA-made. But I'm exploring whether it's possible to. And meanwhile, many US folks have a 100% non-USA made wardrobe. If those folks get interested in quality USA-made clothing and accessories, I'd argue the best place to start is footwear! :slayer:

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturdays View Post


Some people like to put value in things made in their country. I know if given the option of two identical items (quality, price, aesthetics), one made in China and one made in USA, then I would pick the one made in USA.

To add to your list, not all are 100% in the USA:

Helm
Arrow Moccasin Company
Julian
Leatherman LTD
Walk-Over
Yuketen
Sperry
New Balance
Rios of Mercedes (there are probably a tan of boot makers in texas, I only know this one because they supply RRL's cowboy boot)
The Vintage Shoe Company

I will look into all of these suggestions -- thank you!

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

Wondering what the point of assembling an entirely USA made wardrobe is?

Your stated purpose: "A CURATED GUIDE TO ASSEMBLING A USA-MADE WARDROBE."

I assemble mine based on aesthetics and quality, not national origin.

Agree 100% - I am not fond of any kind of protectionism.
post #7 of 18

I agree with the OP on this one.

 

My most recent example being jeans - sorry, not shoes as the OP's original topic.

 

If you search, you can find some nice American made jeans that are less expensive and better quality than a lot of stuff out there.

 

Why not support an American company, and help keep American workers employed? What is wrong with that?

 

Shoes are another good example, same logic.

 

America's manufacturing sector is shrinking and supporting any company that produces quality American made goods is always a good idea.

 

I personally plan on supporting Wolverine and Allen Edmonds over the holidays. ;)

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexE View Post


Agree 100% - I am not fond of any kind of protectionism.

Where does my site say anything about protectionism? Protectionism is a governmental policy to promote domestic-made goods (usually via punitive taxation or restricting imports).. I am certainly not in favor of that.

 

My site is just geared towards individuals who choose to spend their own money on American made goods (often for the exact reasons of: quality, and aesthetic).

 

Let's take the 3/2 hopsack , natural shoulder blazer. An Ivy League classic. Or the oxford cloth button down shirt-- another item originally designed & made in America. If one wants to acquire these items -- you really have a few options but let's take your choice of American made vs. made in China alternatives. The Made in USA items will be (in my opinion) of better quality , and that quality is also reflected in their aesthetic. Moreover, there is the satisfaction some people get, that they're getting "the real deal" or the original. Not a "reinterpretation", lesser-quality, made-overseas item made to look like the American classic it imitates.

 

It seems a lot of people (including me), take pride in -- and appreciate the workmanship of -- our made in Italy bit loafers, made in Scotland tartan items, or made in Ireland Donegal tweed hats and coats.

 

My own web site simply takes that same idea but focuses on those items which are made in America (and which can be appreciated for their aesthetic and quality ---- and durability ---- and timelessness in some cases). Again, I understand not everyone will be "into" this. It's a niche!

 

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/protectionism.asp

 

 

Quote:

Definition of 'Protectionism'

Government actions and policies that restrict or restrain international trade, often done with the intent of protecting local businesses and jobs from foreign competition. Typical methods of protectionism are import tariffs, quotas, subsidies or tax cuts to local businesses and direct state intervention.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Also , even if you don't want "made in USA" items, I still think some folks might be interested in items' countries of origins & manufacturing process because of things like factory fires and unsafe working conditions. Those ethical issues are not specific to any one country but certainly working conditions in the USA are, on average, much safer than many "low cost" manufacturing centers overseas. Again, not trying to paint every overseas factory with the same brush. But if it says "Made in Bangladesh" on your shirt, it's hard to know 'how' exactly it was made.

 

I'm not trying to start an argument or 'convince anyone' to buy Made In the USA -- I have NO RIGHT to tell you what to buy, or why! It's your own money.

 

I guess you could say my site is simply geared towards people who 'think like me' on this issue. Again: it's a small (but growing) niche. I'm not trying to convince your or anyone of anything. If someone finds my site useful, they probably already "agreed with" the reasons behind buying made-in-the-USA items, before they even loaded my web site...

post #10 of 18

Who is making all of the new made in the USA shoes at the RL stores?

 

I saw a chukka there recently, it looked decidedly AE......

post #11 of 18
Allen Edmonds
post #12 of 18
I am mostly a Made in USA dresser. I just prefer to support American made products. I own Bill's, Southwick, Oxxford, Gitman Bros, Hickey (the old stuff before they went to st), AE and Alden shoes, Did I leave anything out? OK, I forgot a couple of Canali shirts my wife bought me that I have to wear once in a while......
post #13 of 18

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeljohnr View Post
My most recent example being jeans - sorry, not shoes as the OP's original topic.

 

If you search, you can find some nice American made jeans that are less expensive and better quality than a lot of stuff out there.

 

Why not support an American company, and help keep American workers employed? What is wrong with that?

 

Shoes are another good example, same logic.

 

America's manufacturing sector is shrinking and supporting any company that produces quality American made goods is always a good idea.

 

I personally plan on supporting Wolverine and Allen Edmonds over the holidays. ;)

 

 

Although not an American [I am Irish] I have a love of Americana and quality US-made articles.  I do not believe it is protectionist to investigate the price/quality ratio of manufacturing and to go for the maker that adds the most value closest to you and your economy.  

 

Apparel is a great example of rent seeking on the production chain and the power of marketing over substance.  Pre-worn jeans made under very poor conditions and with a huge environmental impact are often sold for multiples of raw denim made in USA.  Levi, Wrangler and Lee ride on the image of US-made and authenticity while having done their utmost to remove all the substance:http://workingclassstudies.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/levis-braddock-exploitation-or-visibility/

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactire View Post




Although not an American I have a love of Americana and quality US-made articles.  I do not believe it is protectionist to investigate the price/quality ratio of manufacturing and to go for the maker that adds the most value closest to you and your economy.  

Apparel is a great example of rent seeking on the production chain and the power of marketing over substance.  Pre-worn jeans made under very poor conditions and with a huge environmental impact are often sold for multiples of raw denim made in USA.  Levi, Wrangler and Lee ride on the image of US-made and authenticity while having done their utmost to remove all the substance:http://workingclassstudies.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/levis-braddock-exploitation-or-visibility/

Levis was one of the last inexpensive apparel companys to close its' US production:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0926-03.htm

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-575172.html

Of course, there are a slew of "artisan" and/or high-end jean makers which seem to be flourishing with US production.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post


Levis was one of the last inexpensive apparel companys to close its' US production:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0926-03.htm

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-575172.html

Of course, there are a slew of "artisan" and/or high-end jean makers which seem to be flourishing with US production.

 

Well not all workwear or non-high end production is gone either there's still http://www.round-house.com/, https://www.pointerbrand.com/, Earls Apparel/Stan Ray: https://www.allseasonsuniforms.com/eacat.htm, http://www.texasjeans.com/, http://www.buddysjeans.com/.  US-made need not be prohibitively expensive as there are jeans made starting from $26 from these companies.  Admittedly not all are fashionable or in raw i.e. undistressed/pre-washed denim but it shows what can be done.

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