Shoes and stuff …

Posted by Big Mike on June 05, 2012

Don’t you love a great pair of dress shoes?  I do.  America used to make more shoes than anybody, yet it’s almost impossible to find a pair made in the USA now.  There are Allen Edmonds in Wisconsin and Aldin in Massachusetts, and that’s about it!  Interestingly, both companies sell handmade, expensive shoes and are no longer endangered with a growing demand for a quality USA made shoe.

A well made pair of shoes can last over 20 years, so it can be a great investment in style and comfort.  The quality of the imports is not as good. American Made is still best!

About 20 years ago my father-in-law visited for a few days. Though Pete was nearly 80, sitting and relaxing was never his thing. He had to be busy. So one day while I was at work, he figured he’d clean out the back yard of brush, tree stumps and unsightly growth.

He must have been out there for 6 hours and did a great job! But imagine my surprise when I came home to discover that during the clean-up he was wearing my Allen Edmonds Hamilton Cordovans. I couldn’t believe it. Sure, I have work boots and even chunky snow boots available, but he slipped on the Cordovans because of the easy on/off.

So I arrived home and found on the garage steps my pricey Allen Edmonds scuffed up, caked with mud, grass and leaves. In fact, there was even some of the backyard inside the shoes!

Well, that was 15 years ago and Pete recently passed away at age 97. Those Allen Edmonds cleaned up nicely and whenever I wear them I think of Pete fondly and feel good that he once had them on too. But to be honest, it took a little while for me to feel good about that day.














Above is an ad for shoes made by The A.E. Nettleton Shoe Company. Founded in 1879, Nettleton was locally owned and made quality shoes here in Syracuse for over 100 years, before it went out of business in 1984. Considered to be the Rolls Royce of footwear, some customers were The Wright brothers, Theodore Roosevelt, and Charles Lindbergh. Losing a local company like Nettleton Shoes (and there sure are others we have lost too) is sad.

When you find something that says “Made in America” it is a quality product. And “Made In Syracuse” is always something we should cherish.

Whenever possible, support locally made.  Eat at area restaurants that are family run.  Shop at local stores and farms.  And listen to radio that is locally owned, like Sunny 102 … part of Galaxy Communications, headquartered here in Syracuse. Thank you for doing that!!