Editor’s note. A high end men’s shoe company moves some production back to the US.
On the whole, American brands haven’t exactly earned a reputation for being expert shoemakers—bar perhaps the hardworking boots worn by cowboys or coal miners. Fine footwear has largely been left up to the experts across the pond, with cobblers in England and Italy turning out one sleek shoe after the next. But there are a few U.S. brands with history enough to hold their footing alongside labels like Frank Clegg and Mark Cross and are working to preserve the country’s leatherworking heritage—and Bostonian is one of them.
But now, Bostonian—still owned by Clarks—has course-corrected. Earlier this month, the brand unveiled a complete reboot (pun fully intended), rolling out elevated styles and returning to its made-in-America roots. Though not every shoe is produced stateside as the name suggests, the Made in the USA collection absolutely is. The five office-ready styles—ranging from an elegant cap-toe boot ($500) to lace-ups that feature longwing brogue details that sweep from the toe to the heel ($475)—have all been made in Buffalo, N.Y., and feature design elements carefully sourced from as far west as Chicago.
Each has been crafted on the brand’s signature No. 16 last, which has been used to build Bostonian shoes for half a century. All of the classically minded pairs also feature sturdy Goodyear-welted soles to ensure they’ll withstand the test of time.