Despite what NAFTA & other trade policies have done to our beloved American SewBiz industry, with a little effort you can still find just about anything you need sewn right here in the U.S.A. Here are a couple of menswear items for which I can personally vouch. I like them so much I just ordered a replacement pair of both of these boots.
The first is a hiking boot made by Thorogood. I hike from four to eight miles virtually every day at my home out with the hillbillies and hound dogs in the Tennessee sticks. My trails are steep, rutted, and rocky and include a couple of shallow creek crossings.
My first pair of Thorogoods lasted two years and would have lasted longer if I had taken better care of them. You should never use hiking boots as work boots, especially pushing a shovel. You are liable to ruin the sole. I did exactly that. But that was about a year ago and I’ve been wearing them with one bad sole since then and they’re still the most comfortable, durable boots imaginable.
The other thing I should have done – and this applies for the work boots below as well – is to rub saddle soap on them regularly. Over their lifetime I probably soaped them about twice. The saddle soap helps deflect moisture. Eventually there’s no hope for deflecting moisture if you don’t put some sort of protectant on the leather.
Other than my sloth about caring for them, the Thorogood boots are a joy to wear. The only drawbacks are that they are a bit on the warm side in summer and they are not waterproof, meaning that even if you have soaped them well, if you submerge them above the toe in a creek they will fill with water. But for surface hiking, they’re perfect. And they provide very good traction on snow and ice. To get to the Amazon listing for the Thorogood hiking boot, CLICK HERE.
The second made in U.S.A. boot is a work boot made by Chippewa, a Justin brand. They even come with little metal flag slides on the laces. And they ARE waterproof and have good strong soles for shoveling and rough use. The leather smells so darn good out of the box you’ll just about want to eat ’em.
Again, they should be soaped regularly. I do a lot of digging on my land, virtually every single weekend, and these boots have held up three years through all kinds of wetness, mud, clay, and abuse. The upper finally split from the sole on one of them or I’d still be wearing my old pair. To get to the Amazon listing for the Chippewa work boot, CLICK HERE.
So listen, if you’re a guy and need good boots or a gal who wants to make your man really happy with a nice gift, take my advice, try these and support some American SewBizzers in the process.