The idea for Parkhurst was born in Buffalo, New York, a city which has seen the unfortunate situations that a loss of American jobs can create. It's incredibly important we do everything that we can to support the American workers, both within and outside of the local region, who do such hard, honest work in every corner of the footwear industry.
The most obvious example of this is the group of 8 skilled bootmakers we work with here in Western New York at the partner factory only 30 minutes away. Before a pair is placed into the 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 and unique characteristics. Every pair of boots is made as part of a small batch. The factory works on dozens at a time rather than hundreds or thousands.
Why was Parkhurst started?
While looking for a boot to wear for dress and casual purposes, two common dilemmas presented themselves for the Made in USA footwear market:
1. An offering of many different styles of work boots.
2. Price-points for higher end boots starting around $450-$575 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 components, such as leathers (commonly found in higher end boots) all while making our boots in the USA.
Design Inspiration and Value
Frustrated with constantly seeing cheaply made 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 often range between under $300 to the mid $300 mark—and are made in the USA. We aim to keep all of our boots around this price-point and our more exotic models/collections generally above, but still significantly less than the next comparable boot out there.
The upper leathers alone, tanned by Horween, CF Stead and SB Foot, may cost as much per pair as a pair of sneakers per boot. We believe in using name brand materials and leather, creating hand-crafted 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 and knowing that our customers service has their back.
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 grass-fed, healthy lives, primarily in the US. Each production 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 through a US-based supplier. The same concept goes for our Dainite outsoles. It costs 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 working with a small and efficient operation (8 people), running machines only when necessary and using quality, name-brand components which last. 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 smaller than other major 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. 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.