At Parkhurst we aim to deliver a quality product. Each pair of boots is handled over 180 times through dozens upon dozens of steps before they get packed and shipped to you. Throughout this construction process, the human eye and hand play crucial roles in every stage from cutting to finishing.
Our uppers are guided by hand through sewing machines, which in some cases, are older than all of us. This is contrary to what is widely done in the footwear industry currently as most of the pattern stitching is automated and requires very little human interaction other than sliding a pattern into and out of a cutting/sewing machine and watching the computer run stitches. The way we do this takes longer, and involves a bit more risk since it's manual. We believe at the end of the day, the human hand and eye play the most crucial parts in creating a quality, hand-crafted product.
Our patterns are traced and cut using laser-guided measuring and cutting technology. While we do sometimes use clickers for insoles and custom orders, we believe that using this technology provides a more accurate cut, more precise fit and helps to utilize more of the leather hide, resulting in less leather which gets wasted or discarded.
We use genuine vegetable tanned leather Goodyear welts made in Massachusetts. The style we use is called split reverse and provides excellent water resistance. The welts are sewn and held onto our boots via an insole rib which is attached to the bottom of the insole unit. This process has helped to ensure the boot/shoes' longevity for decades to come while allowing for easy repairs and maintenance to parts of the boot.
We design our own lasts - we don't use anybody else's. In an industry where it is common for brands to go to existing factories around the world and use existing lasts, we chose to develop our own. It was an expensive, timely process (1.5 years to make and test 9 prototypes before launching) but we believe in providing our customers with a unique fit and silhouette.
Midsole and Outsoles
Our midsoles are genuine vegetable tanned leather. This type of leather tends to last longer and provide more comfort during the break-in period of a boot or shoe. We believe in using quality outsoles from Dainite, Goodyear, Itshide and Vibram. Every midsole and outsole is applied and trimmed by hand. Once these have been applied each boot is ran through the sole stitching machine, guided by hand.
This is our final inspection to ensure everything blends together, looks good and is secure. Loose threads are trimmed, uneven edges are sanded and mild heat is applied to bring out some color in each leather as well as make sure any wax or oil from the leather tannage is locked in.
Our boots are made by some of the most skilled craftsmen and craftswomen in the industry and we are incredibly thankful to have them working with us to create our boots here in Western New York. The owner of Parkhurst, Andrew, also plays a role in making and finishing the boots by nailing heels, creating insoles, heel supports, arch supports along with sanding and staining.
The men and women who help make our boots have been carrying on generations of boot and shoe-making under the same factory roof in Western New York since 1867 manufacturing many different types of footwear. Each set of shoe-making skills has been passed down from worker to worker since 1867 to ensure the same standards of build and quality are upheld. The factory is one of the oldest American shoe factories physically in existence and we are proud to be a part of keeping the factory moving into the future. Your support helps keeps the craft alive.