american made shoes

Cabot Hosiery Mills ∆ Vermont

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darn tough vermont socks run bikeKenny is a consummate booster of American products.  With the family’s 3rd Generation retail chain of stores, Kenny specializes in the finest shoes made in America.  While visiting to inquire of his health, he saw me perusing  a rack of biking socks.  “Made in Vermont.  Guaranteed for life”, he quipped.

“Impossible”, I thought.  Socks that will either last forever or be replaced?  But sure enough, right on the packaging are Ric Cabot’s words.  With endurance bicycling one of the painful pleasures among my vices, these socks look a natural for me.  Especially the lines:  “Fine Gauge Knitting.  High stitch count ensures a foot hugging fit.  Less bulk.  More comfort.”

ric cabotA little pricy?  All is relative, Kenny again points out.  Earlier this week I chose the hottest, most humid day Philadelphia can offer for R&D.  The new socks went on. 

WOW, Ric’s endorsement is not an exaggeration.  Firm fit, like a thousand tiny angels surrounding my feet with love.  Into my sneakers and onto the Raleigh.  Ten miles later, cooling off, I remembered I was product-testing.  Humm …  An hour later, at home, I realize how comfortable my feet are.

These socks cost more that other bicycling socks I own.  With wicking, deceptive body, and comfortably snug fit, I see the value.  Add Ric’s ric cabot's socks areguarantee, and we honestly access this product Six Thumbs Up, our highest rating.

Editor’s note: I am upon the cusp of sizing.  Mediums, sized to 9 ½.  Large, Size 10 and up.  9 ½ I am, went with the Large, and they are PERFECT.

Alden Restoration • Cordovan

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alden before jserg cKenny taught me a valuable lesson.  Because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it isn’t worth more.  Better products can be cheaper to own.  Look at shoes, for instance (coming from great shoe salesman).  They hold up better and can be restored to new condition.  You get added benefits: comfort, looks, better foot health.

alden restoration new loafer 1KENNY SHERMAN stood from a position of facts delivered with passion.  Yet again, his words prove true.  After ten weeks absence, my ’09 cordovan loafers are back.  For quarter the price of new, my old shoes were restored.  Treated to skillful craftsmanship and shoemaking experience from the factory which manufactured them over a lustrum ago, they are now virtually brand new.

LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WEAR A CHEAP PAIR OF SHOES

Taken apart, cleaned, dyed, reassembled with all worn parts replaced, then polished.  Boxed in correct retail packaging in tissue with new cloth dust bags and cedar shoe trees.  A complete “new purchase” experience.  Except these were my shoes.  Not new shoes.

You know how shoes start falling apart in a year?  Right about the time they become your favorites?  Aldens typically last me three years.  After recrafting, they come back as new shoes but their uppers are “broken into” to my feet.  Cork, outsoles, insoles, heels, all replaced, all sewn together on the original last (shoe mold).  Pre-broken-in new shoes.  What a concept!  An ultimate “body off” restoration.

Once again, a pleasure for rambling about windy concrete canyons and shady flagstone parks.  Don’t your feet deserve the best?

Alden Unlined Flexwelt Loafers

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alden shoes jserg photographer 1SUMMER TWILIGHT WALKS!  Fresh cut grass and kids playing.  Steaks sizzling and popping over hot charcoal.  Dawn ’till dusk, dirty and barefoot.  Shoes?  Only on Sunday.

Speaking of shoes, did we mention how cheap I am regarding footwear?  We discussed Alden Cordovan Loafers when my favorite $120 dress shoes fell apart after only a year.  Long conversations with Kenny over leather, insoles, lining, vamps, and welts produced one firm conviction.  The cheapest shoe is the best shoe.  He then opened Sherman Brother’s inventory to my perusal.

Wow, what nice material!  Hey, these are absolutely the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn.  But Kenny, did you notice the price?  $400?  $600?

Who doesn’t love a great salesman!  Kenny Sherman brought it all down to my level.  You buy a shoe that is designed and manufactured to last years after it becomes your “favorite”.  Instead of falling apart, it is just getting started.  After three-to-five years, your cost is identical to an average shoe.  Another year or so, and you’re MAKING MONEY!  And when something fails, this shoe can be recrafted.  SOLD!

After Kenny hooked me with superior dress shoes, he appealed to my vanity.  “Jim, you seem the type of guy who likes wearing loafers without socks”.  Yup, quietly wealthy.  Tennis camp, dinner at the Club.  That’s me.  Who doesn’t like the feel of leather against skin?  I invested in my first pair of Alden Unlined Flexwelt Loafers.

These are, literally, the closest thing to going barefoot.  Your foot will sing the praises of superior American craftsmanship.  New England at it’s finest!  Easily surpasses their chowder!  Skin soft suede.  It is no wonder a Special Order of these takes months to get.  Asia’s appetite for quality American shoes is voracious.

If you want a three season (four, in some locations) shoe comfortable as a fine leather glove, visit Kenny.  Or someone with his passion.  Get your feet accurately measured.  Slip into a pair of America’s finest summer shoe.   Alden’s Suede Unlined Flexwelt Loafers!

Socks?  We don’t need no stinkin’ socks!