The Allen Edmonds’ family shoe tree

I knew my Allen Edmonds shoes were special.

After visiting the Allen Edmonds factory in Port Washington, Wisconsin last Wednesday I now know why they are special.

The best quality materials, hand crafted by experienced members of our extended American family, are transformed into a work of art you can wear every day.

Allen Edmonds shoes are the best mens shoes you will ever buy.

I arrived at the Allen Edmonds facility last Wednesday and was introduced to Bob Steffes and Luke Gibson.  Bob is the Manufacturing Manager at Allen Edmonds while Luke is the Director of Marketing.  Bob and Luke showed me all the different materials that can go into a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes:  calfskin, ostrich, alligator and shark.  I watched as the craftspeople at Allen Edmonds cut, shaped and stitched the uppers of a myriad of styles of Allen Edmonds shoes.  Then, the uppers were attached to lasts, joined to the insoles, welt and the sole and then finished.  Click on this link to take a video tour of the Allen Edmonds facility.  While I was there, Bob Steffes politely commented that my DelRays could use a shine.  The photo below shows Bob hard at work returning my DelRays to optimal Allen Edmonds condition.

While the 212 step process necessary to handcraft a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes is simply amazing, what impressed me most during my tour of the facility were the people.  These people were working hard.  They take seriously their task of making the finest shoes in the world.  But they also seemed to be having a pretty good time while accomplishing this task!  As I introduced myself to different people on the floor, I kept running into family members.  Members of our extended American family to be sure.  But also lots of immediate family members as well.  Carolyn has worked at Allen Edmonds for 37 years while her daughters have worked at Allen Edmonds for 21 and 19 years respectively.  Equally impressive to me were the three siblings that work in the recrafting department: a brother and two sisters.  The brother supervises his two sisters.  I wonder how often that happens!

Allen Edmonds is an American manufacturing firm that is thriving.  Production last year topped 500,000 pairs of shoes, an increase of 150,000 from the year before.  In order to make more shoes, Allen Edmonds had to hire more members of our extended American family.  Since 2010, the company has hired more than 100 workers.  This phenomenon can be repeated across this country if we do our part.  And it is pretty simple.  Just buy more American made consumer products.

A new pair of Allen Edmonds shoes would be a good start in our joint endeavor of putting Americans back to work in manufacturing.  Fellas, you know that pair of Chinese made shoes you bought last year are already looking fairly ratty.  Step up to the plate and buy a pair of Allen Edmonds Wilberts.

For the younger crowd, there are a host of new Allen Edmonds styles to choose from.  When I was in Port Washington I almost bought a pair of Allen Edmonds Cascade boots, named for the Cascade Mountain range just east of Seattle I would bet.

Or if you are looking for a great Christmas gift for a guy in your life, why not buy him a pair of Croc embossed Haskell Golf Shoes so he is set to hit the links in style next spring.

No matter what style of Allen Edmonds shoes you purchase, you will receive a pair of the highest quality shoes.  Shoes handcrafted by members of our extended American family I had the good fortune of meeting on my Mid-West trip.  And I don’t want to forget to thank Paul Grangaard, President and CEO of Allen Edmonds, who was nice enough to invite me for my visit.

Now get shopping!

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at
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