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 to us that we do everything we can to support the 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 our partner factory only 30 minutes away from Buffalo. Before a pair is placed into the box to be shipped to you, they complete around 200 detailed manual 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 limited production, small batch due to the time it takes to make a single pair. The factory works on dozens at a time rather than hundreds or thousands a day or week.
Why was Parkhurst started?
While looking for a boot to wear for dress and casual purposes, two common dilemmas presented themselves to us for the Made in USA footwear market:
1. An offering of many different work-style boots.
2. Price-points for dressier, or higher end boots starting around $460-$700 were often out of reach for many people.
Parkhurst aims to strike a balance between what we saw as 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 thick upper leathers and vegetable tanned bends leather insoles (commonly found in higher end boots) all while making boots in the USA. Our boots are limited production run styles which means for the most part, re-stocks of sizes and styles do not take place. Are Parkhurst boots perfect? No. But we will always provide you with a handsome, quality made boot at a valuable price-point.
Design Inspiration and Value
Parkhurst aims to create footwear with character, soul, and a long life—something that delivers a great look for a discerning buyer who demands the most for their money. The best part? The value. Our boots are often in the $300 - $400 price range. We aim to keep all of our boots around this price-point and our more exotic-leather models are generally priced higher due to material cost.
Some of the upper leathers alone, tanned by Horween, CF Stead and SB Foot, may cost as much as a new pair of sneakers per pair. 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.
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.
We have a two-tiered approach to this - First is to manufacture in the USA and second, source as many USA-made components as possible. In this ever-changing world of supply chains and manufacturing, we aim to stay as true to this as possible. Nearly all of our components/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 from a tannery. Even our popular 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. Is this a revolutionary idea? No, but we believe in taking the small steps needed as part of working towards a larger goal of keeping this industry going.
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 cemented shoe-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, 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 within the USA 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?
Attractive, quality footwear built in the USA. The world doesn’t need one more pair of disposable boots. We make footwear that lasts and can be maintained—not disposed of. That's us. That's Parkhurst.