timberland ladies snow boots A guide to Minnesota’s best shoe brands
Red Wing Shoe Co. was founded in 1905 by Charles Beckman, a shoe merchant based in Red Wing, Minn. The company originally manufactured high quality work boots for tough industries such as mining, logging and farming. They also created footwear for soldiers during World Wars I and II. Foot Tanning Co. In 2008, Red Wing capitalized on its growing popularity as a fashion item and debuted its Heritage catalog, which features fashion styles not intended for hard labor. And it recently introduced a line of women boots.
Patti Steger learned how to make mukluks and moccasins during an Arctic dog sled expedition in the early 1980s with her former husband, famed Arctic explorer Will Steger. Her teachers were the Native women they encountered in villages along the way. In 1985, she began making the traditional footwear out of her home. Then, three years later, she opened the first Steger Mukluks factory and retail store in Ely, Minn. Twice as warm and half the weight of traditional winter boots, Steger Mukluks are rated for extreme weather meaning minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit and colder making them a popular choice for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctica. In recent years, the brand has begun to offer trendier options for women, men and kids, including styles trimmed in faux fur and American Indian inspired tapestry.
After enjoying a wave of popularity in 2008, when celebs such as Kate Moss were spotted wearing the brand lace up, knee high boots, Minnetonka Moccasin has dipped its toe into the high end fashion market. Over the past year, it debuted buzzed about collaborations with designer Rebecca Minkoff and cult brand Opening Ceremony, producing styles covered in colorful Swarovski crystals. Minnetonka Moccasin was founded in 1946 by Philip Miller,
selling moccasins as gift shop souvenirs to cater to roadside tourists. Back then, a pair of moccasins set you back $3.80. Today prices start at $40.95 for moccasins and $99.95 for boots. The fourth generation, family owned business has since expanded to manufacture trendy knee high boots, slippers and sandals made from premium deerskin, sheepskin, moosehide, cowhide and shearling in its Minnetonka factory.
Chanel gets all the credit for kicking off the clog craze by introducing its platform mule variation in 2010. But Chisago City based Sven Clogs has been producing the classic Swedish footwear since 1974. Its sheepskin is imported from Austria. And every shoe is handcrafted in its Chisago City factory. Though Sven Clogs still produces traditional Swedish styles, it also offers fashion forward twists on the classics, such as high heeled mules, 1970s inspired sandals and metallic finishes.
Founded in 2012, Lanona Shoe Co. hasn been around as long as the other Minnesota shoe companies, but it well on its way to becoming a heritage brand. Founder Ben Ransom was inspired after ordering a pair of custom made shoes. Four years later, his company offers fresh takes on men classics, such as workwear boots, boat shoes, moccasins, drivers, even a leather slide. Everything is designed at Lanona Lowertown workshop, where shoppers can view more than 30 customizable, vegetable dyed leather hides. Everything is handcrafted in factories in Maine and New York. Available in unconventional colors including deep Mahogany and hunter green,
Lanona prices range from $145 to $380 but that a bargain for this level of quality and craftsmanship.