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December 27, 2013

USA-Made Shoes: Oak Street, Quoddy & More

Nordstrom got its start as a shoe store when our founder, John W. Nordstrom, set up shop in Seattle in 1901—and to this day, our shoe department remains the cornerstone of our family-run company’s reputation for quality and service. So when our Men’s Shoe Buyers tell us they have something special in the works, we know they mean it.

Keep reading for a closer look at six small-batch brands that our shoe team felt deserve a larger spotlight. They range from American icons with 100-year histories to a future legend founded by a cobbler’s son. The common thread? All six make impeccable shoes and boots right here in the USA.





Oak Street Bootmakers. The son of a cobbler, Oak Street Bootmakers’ founder and designer George Vlagos apprenticed at his father’s shop, where he learned the craft of shoemaking from an early age. Today, Vlagos seeks to preserve the heritage of fine shoemaking through thoughtfully designed and attentively crafted shoes. All Oak Street shoes and boots are handcrafted in the USA, using Horween Chromexcel leather from Chicago.
[Shop Oak Street Bootmakers online and at selected Nordstrom stores*.]
 





Broken Homme. Designed in Long Beach, California, Broken Homme is the youngest brand of the group. Founded by two friends who share a passion for skating, surfing, and motorcycles, Broken Homme reflects the personality of their lifestyle. Broken Homme is less concerned with nostalgia, and more focused on providing their own unique perspective on American-made boots.
[Shop Broken Homme at selected Nordstrom stores.*]
 




Quoddy. The hand-sewn moccasin dates back hundreds of years to the native Passamaquoddy people of Down East, Maine. In 1909, Harry Smith Shorey started a business making footwear with hand-sewn moccasin construction, inspired by the native craft. His customers were local shoe purveyors such as L.L. Bean, and hunting and fishing guides who appreciated the comfort and durability of a true moccasin-construction shoe. Today, the Quoddy workshop is located in Lewiston, the historical home of Maine shoe manufacturing, while the headquarters and heart of the company remain in Perry, Maine, on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay.
[Shop Quoddy online and at selected Nordstrom stores.*] 
 






Chippewa. The Chippewa name comes from the large Native American tribe, consisting of 120+ individual groups or ‘bands,’ that inhabits the northern Midwest United States and Canada—including the Wisconsin area, where the company was founded back in 1901. Their rugged boots were built for the local logging community, and they have continued making high-quality boots in the US ever since.
[Shop Chippewa at selected Nordstrom stores.*] 
 




Ace Boot Co. After years spent in the vintage market, Californian Robert Medellin and Masa Ono, who hails from Okayama, Japan, formed Ace Boot Co. to reproduce some of their favorite, classic, American-made footwear. Ace Boot Co. has built a strong following in Japan, and is now available stateside for the first time.
[Shop Ace Boot Co. at selected Nordstrom stores.*] 
 






Danner. This brand got its start in 1932 and relocated to Portland, Oregon, in 1936, where Charles Danner built a name by making high-quality boots that could handle the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest. They quickly gained a reputation with the tradespeople and outdoorsmen who wore them. To this day, Danner standards remain incredibly high, and they continue to make some of the most durable boots available.”
[Shop Danner at selected Nordstrom stores.*] 

—  —  —



Dubbed “Style Lab” due to its experimental nature in highlighting under-the-radar brands, our shoe team’s shop-in-shop is available with limited quantities at selected locations:

Oak Street Bootmakers and Quoddy available online.
*Danner, Chippewa, Ace Boot Co. and Broken Homme available at the following Nordstrom stores:
Downtown Seattle • Michigan Avenue (Chicago) • The Grove (L.A.)
San Francisco Centre • Barton Creek Square (Austin)

SHOP ALL:
BOOTS | SHOES

Comments

Bill J. December 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Great showing of US made shoes. New Balance has been in your stores for many years, and I was one of their Reps that sold them to you, but you neglected to show them as well. All their top end shoes are still made in New England.

Justin, Blog Editor December 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Bill J., thank you for your comment! And great point about New Balance manufacturing in the USA as well. Our intent here was to highlight a few lesser-known brands—but we certainly love us some NBs as well. For anyone else reading, please feel free to shop our selection of New Balance here.
Best,
—Justin, Men’s Blog Editor

Tony G January 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Looking for the Chippewa boots 5″ BLACK ODESSA LACE-TO-TOE BRIDGEMAN featured above. Can you let me know what select Nordstrom has this boot?

Justin, Blog Editor February 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

Hi Tony G – thanks for reading.
I checked with our Buying Team, and the boot you mentioned is still available at the 5 participating Nordstrom stores: Downtown Seattle, Michigan Ave (Chicago), The Grove (LA), San Francisco Centre and Barton Creek Square (Austin). To look up the phone number of any store, check out our Store Locations page.
Best,
—Justin, Men’s Blog Editor

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