A few years ago I came across an American made shoe company called SOM's based in Montrose, Colorado. My first thought was "wow, I didn't know there are still companies manufacturing shoes in the U.S., and my second thought was "that's awesome!"'. Fast forward a year or so and I finally got my hands on a pair of SOM Trailhead shoes, and as I thought, they are excellent.
Forewarning: I'm going to keep talking about how great these shoes are, include photos of the actual shoes I received, and then share a link where you can check them out for yourself. Here we go.
So, I received my shoes around 6 months ago and have been wearing them pretty regularly (2-3 times a week on average for around 8 hours at a time) and they still look amazing.
One of my Trailhead shoes after wearing them for 6 months.
Shoe box packaging on the outside.
One thing that can make or break a shoes longevity is the quality of the material. I know the material used on the SOM Trailhead's is excellent because it's the same brand of material we use in some of the performance winter accessories we manufacture. The unique thing about the brand of material used in these shoes is that they print mini plastic armor plates as the pattern on the material, making it super tough and flexible at the same time.
The second part that impacts shoe longevity is the quality of the stitching and overall construction of the shoe. As a fellow sewer, I know how difficult it is to get stitches and an overall stitched product to look good; it is a very fine craft that not everyone can do but SOM does it right! Also, the adhesive used in these shoes to set the sole to the main part of the shoe is excellent. My current pair shows absolutely no sign of sole separation from the main part of the shoe.
Shoes fresh out of the box. Excellent craftsmanship!
Now, one thing that makes SOM shoes different from most shoes out there is that they have a wide toe box (this means that your toes have more room side to side than usual and I love it). Another thing to note about SOM shoes is that they are a zero drop shoe which means there is no arch support. For some this doesn't work, but for me it has been surprisingly comfortable.
Sole pattern on the bottom of the shoe.
Inside info tag. Made in USA baby!
Most shoes produced in the world are made overseas in factories where workers receive minimal wages for their craftsmanship, the working conditions are poor, and child labor is very present. With SOMS, you are supporting an entrepreneurial dream to make a better shoe by offering excellent designs, excellent working conditions, a fair wage, and a more sustainable product overall.
If you're interested in this company and the Trailhead shoes, click here. We don't make any money on this article, we just love sharing small outdoor companies that are making awesome stuff in the USA.
Written by Cai Dickman
Owner / Founder of Brfur