Get Durable, Handmade Boots for this Winter Season and Beyond


( ENSPIRE Fashion ) Nicks Handmade Boots Promises Quality and Durability, while Supporting Local Communities

ENSPIRE Contributor: Kaitlyn Cruz

Nicks Handmade Boots is a family-owned and operated footwear brand based in Spokane, Washington. They are the self-proclaimed, world’s toughest work boots. They ensure customization and embrace customer individuality. Each pair of boots is made to order, allowing customers to personalize a plethora of details. With over 30 leather options and 15 sole choices, individuals have the freedom to select the perfect combination of materials, colors, and finishes. Every pair of Nick’s Boots is unique, reflecting the individuality of each wearer.

Being in business for nearly 60 years, Nicks Boots has an extensive range of handcrafted boots, catering to both men and women. From rugged work boots and fire boots to stylish western and hiking boots, their collection suits diverse styles, tastes, and needs. Nicks Boots are proudly made in the USA. They support local communities by using completely American materials. Besides boots, they offer a range of other accessories and items, such as wallets, coats, belts, bags, and more.

ENSPIRE spoke with Shuyler Mowe, CEO of Nicks Boots, about the brand, products available, and why it stands out as a company.

Can you tell us about the history and ethos of Nicks Handmade Boots, and what sets the brand apart from other footwear companies?

Nicks has a long history, and next year will be our 60th year of existence. There is a lot of institutional knowledge that’s been built up here. One thing that sets us apart is our focus on durability and the fact that our boots are all made here in the US. We use certain shoe-making techniques that require a lot of handwork because machines don’t handle the thicknesses of the leather we use very well. For years, our main business was in Wildland Firefighting, where our customers are wearing our boots in some of the toughest conditions out there. So, we had to get good at making boots that will last. All our boots are made the same way and in the same place. Many brands outsource portions of their production or have certain lines that are made overseas to hit a price point. It can be confusing, but our offering is straightforward. You will always get a very durable boot regardless of how you spec it.

Nicks Boots offers a wide range of boot styles, from work boots to western and hiking boots. How do you ensure that each style meets the diverse needs and preferences of your customers?

While every boot is made the same way, we offer different components, like soles, midsole materials, leathers, etc. We have a fairly rigorous testing program where we will reach out to some of our customers who are in a relevant field and have them perform real-life tasks with the boots on. Besides this, we use third-party labs to verify slip resistance, pull strength, fire resistance, and any other qualities that might apply to a boot’s performance.

One of the standout features of Nicks Boots is the customization options. Could you walk us through the process of how customers can personalize their boots, and what are some of the most popular customizations?

Yes, we offer a lot of options. I think that’s a major benefit of being located in the US and making the boots to order. In short, all our options are listed on the website. The potential number of combinations is kind of staggering. On our custom configuration work boot, there are over 60 billion potential combinations. So, you can certainly find something unique. We have several buying guides on our YouTube channel to help people through the process as it can be overwhelming. Some of the most popular customizations are things like toe caps, which are an extra layer of leather on the vamp area to add strength. I see soft toes selected a lot more recently, and I think this is a bit of a style trend that has started where people prefer a bit of a collapse in the toe area. I also see people select all eyelets, forgoing the speed hooks, for a more formal look.

Besides boots, Nicks Handmade Boots offers a variety of accessories. How do these accessories enhance the Nicks Boots experience for customers?

We are committed to only making high-quality leather goods, so it will be a great product. But. we also do it to minimize wasting leather. Not all leather is suitable for being used in boots, but would be perfectly fine in say, a wallet. So I think it’s cool that people can get a leather good that matches their boots, for example. The fact that we use so much leather for boot-making also opens up more color options as we can use the same leather after splitting it down for many applications.

Nicks Boots takes pride in being made in the USA with American materials. Can you share more about your commitment to supporting local communities and maintaining exceptional quality?

We first prioritize ensuring that we can pay a thriving wage to our employees so they can live and work well. As you mentioned, we also source from other US manufacturers and businesses and think it’s important that we support those communities by ensuring our vendors can also pay their employees a fair and thriving wage. We do have a high price point, which can be intimidating, but the vast majority of every dollar spent with us goes to the workers and ensures that we are only buying the highest-quality materials to put into the boots.

 Can you highlight any unique success stories or customer experiences that showcase the individuality and craftsmanship of Nicks Handmade Boots?

One that comes to mind is a picture from a customer of his boot after he slipped while harvesting. His foot had gotten caught in the combine that was cutting the wheat. While it did destroy the boots, he said that it saved his foot. That was pretty crazy.

What can customers expect when they choose Nicks Boots over other footwear brands, and where can they find your products?

You will get a boot that will last you for years and is fully repairable and rebuildable. It will be made by American craftspeople who care deeply about what they do and how these boots impact the lives of those who wear them. You will also get what I think is some of the best customer service in footwear, with experienced people all based here in Spokane, Washington. We have a few dealers throughout California and the Mountain West. We also sell through our website, and if anyone is ever in Spokane, you can come by the showroom and see how the boots are made, we would love to have you in!

Nicks Boots is committed to providing high-quality products that also support local communities. Each customer’s needs are catered for because of the option of customization. The brand focuses on the importance of customer satisfaction and providing products that suit different individual’s needs and unique tastes. It is no wonder the business has been running and successful for nearly 60 years.

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