Parkhurst was born in Buffalo, New York, a city that's seen the unfortunate situations that a loss of American jobs can create. So to us, it's incredibly important to do everything that we can to support the Americans who do such hard, honest work in every corner of the quality footwear industry.
The most obvious example of this is the group of 8 skilled bootmakers we work with here in Western New York. Before a pair is placed into a box to be shipped to you, they complete more than 180 detailed steps. With the human eye and hand playing absolutely indispensable roles, each pair will have its own subtleties. We take our time making boots in small batches.
Why was Parkhurst started?
While looking for a boot we could wear for dress and casual purposes, we ran in to a couple of very common dilemmas for the Made in USA footwear market:
1. An offering of many different styles of bulbous work boots.
2. Price-points for higher end boots were often out of reach for many people.
Parkhurst aims to strike a balance between both options of footwear by offering the best possible price we can for using a Goodyear welt construction (commonly found in work boots) and premium leathers (commonly found in higher end boots) all while making our boots in the USA.
Design Inspiration and Value
Frustrated with constantly seeing cheap shoes and boots on far too many feet, we wanted to create something with more character, more soul, and a longer life—something that delivered a seriously great look for a discerning buyer who demands the most for their money. The best part? The value. Our boots are often around or under the $300 mark and made in the USA.
Our upper leathers alone, tanned by Horween, CF Stead and SB Foot, may cost as much per pair as a new pair of sneakers. We believe in using name brand materials and leather, creating honest products and offering them at a fair price. We want our customers to be confident knowing they received the best boot for their buck while supporting the Made in USA heritage.
Our boots are designed to be sleekly handsome, while also infinitely capable in many different conditions. We believe that boots should be made to look better the more they're worn. Our leathers are tanned with wax and natural oils in order to provide the purest form of elemental resistance, all while developing a gorgeous patina, especially our vegetable tanned models.
Nearly all of our raw materials come from suppliers and manufacturers in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania. We use leather hides from tier 1 North American free-range cattle who live fully grass-fed, healthy lives, primarily in the US. Each hide we use is what's called a "first-quality tannery run," which means it's the best quality you can get. Even our trademark kudu leather, which is tanned at England's famed C.F. Stead tannery, is purchased from a US-based supplier. The same goes for our Dainite outsoles. It costs us a little more, but we think it's worth it to support an American job in every part of the sourcing process in this global economy.
Sustainability is hugely important to us. Our boots are made to last for years—and be easily re-soled when the time comes (we'll even do it for you!). “Mainstream” shoe/boot-making involves using nearly 100% synthetic materials in the shoe-making process and emits a few dozen pounds of carbon dioxide per pair. With over 2 billion pairs of shoes produced that way per year—and often thrown away far too quickly—the impact on the environment becomes staggering. We're hoping to change that by keeping our operation small and efficient (8 people), running machines only when necessary and using quality, name-brand components. All of our product packaging comes from a recycled source, is recyclable or comes from organic cotton. Add this to our carbon-neutral shipping program and our impact on the environment becomes much smaller than other shoe brands who manufacture with large factories.
So what is the bottom line with Parkhurst?
We believe in making an attractive, quality product in the USA because we have seen what happens when American manufacturing jobs are lost in the USA. The world doesn’t need one more pair of cheap, disposable boots. We make footwear that lasts and can be maintained—not disposed of. That's us. That's Parkhurst.