Parkhurst is a Buffalo-based footwear design and manufacturing company who focuses on creating a new category of style for the American footwear industry to be defined by. We do this by mixing sustainability and American manufacturing with refinement and contemporary styling while offering a great value. We are not making another bulky American work boot.
Being from Buffalo, New York, we know what it’s like to brave unpredictable weather. Frustrated with constantly seeing cheap shoes and round work-style footwear, we wanted to make something with more character and body while maintaining a high level of performance for our most discerning quality-seeking customers. Before a pair is put into a shoe box and shipped to you, it is handled by our skilled factory workers at each of the over 150 steps involved in making them. The human eye and hand both play large parts in our manufacturing process.
Shoe-making in America is a dying art with only a few companies left in the industry. For these few large companies, the end product is assembled in America while having the bulk of the components made overseas. Where other companies choose to discount American labor by producing overseas, we choose to value it. Being able to make something cool and producing it in the USA is part of our mission. It seems everyone knows somebody who lost their job at one point because their company began to outsource jobs. That is something we will never do – plain and simple.
Larger companies go directly overseas to get their raw materials– not us though. We work with American mom and pop shops along with 3rd generation manufacturers right here in the USA to get our materials because we believe in supporting the American manufacturing industry from sourcing to assembly as much as we can. If we couldn’t find a quality component that was made in the USA, we made sure to go through a US-based distributor in order to support American jobs. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s the right thing to do. In an industry where components come from all over the world, we aim to give our customers transparency.
Most of the shoes on the market are glued together with toxic cements and adhesives. Where the big guys use plastics, glue and other synthetics that will pollute oceans for generations to come and harm our airways, we believe in keeping it simple by using leather, thread and some recycled materials. “Mainstream” shoe-making emits a few dozen pounds of carbon dioxide per pair. With over 2 billion pairs of shoes produced the “mainstream” way per year, the impact on the environment becomes staggering. We do not make shoes the mainstream way. The world doesn’t need another pair of shoes built like this. We make footwear that will last and is easy to maintain as it ages with wear.
At Parkhurst, we believe in using quality leather. We only use hides from fully grown cows that come from primarily the US and sometimes Canada. In addition, we also source our hides from ranches out West with free range cattle who live full, free roaming and grass-fed healthy lives. Our kudu leather is an antelope leather that comes from South Africa. Responsible hunting is conducted by the local government for population control to prevent disease from forming and spreading. Meat is then distributed to towns in need of food. We will then buy the hides once tanned to make our product in the USA. We can assure none of the larger companies out there take the steps we take to ensure we are looking out for the supply chain and doing the right thing within our industry.
We make our footwear the old-fashioned way – with Goodyear welt construction. This process was developed in the late 1800’s and is known to be the highest quality construction method for boots and shoes available. In this process, the upper is stitched to the insole by using a thick piece of leather called the welt. The dual stitch construction ensures stitching will never come loose, while the welt serves as a barrier between the upper and the outsole. Your feet will remain dry in rain and puddles as this type of construction forms a water-tight barrier between you and the elements. Our soles are a cobbler’s delight – they can be easily replaced once worn through. This way you are not stuck having to buy a new pair of boots or shoes. We offer a resole service as well, just email email@example.com for more information.
We design and test our prototypes right here in Buffalo, New York. Most of our materials come from only a few states away and our factories we are partnered with are all within the United States. So many newer shoe and boot companies are going overseas to have their products sourced and produced yet they have their companies based here in America. For us this was a huge contradiction – We are an American company and we make our product here in America.
The quality of the materials we use provides our footwear with an added level of character which make each pair truly unique. Our upper leathers come from world renowned tanneries. Our leathers are tanned with animal wax and natural oils in order to provide the most pure form of elemental resistance all while developing a gorgeous patina. Other tanneries we work with produce our leathers using vegetable tanning along with natural oiling and waxing processes. We only use tanneries that have the best reputations in the industry. So what will you notice when you are wearing our boots? The leather will conform to the shape of your foot and ankle all while protecting you from the elements in the most natural way possible. Be sure to check out our product descriptions for more information on how we do things differently.
In manufacturing it is easy to see that everything must come from somewhere. Nearly all of our materials come from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. Unlike some other companies, we will never use third world or child labor to produce our products. We want everybody to experience our footwear and take comfort in the fact that they are made and sourced responsibly.