My family has been doing one thing for three generations, making handmade shoes in Lewiston, ME USA. in 2010 we decided to launch our own brand, with the goal of offering shoes and boots of exceptional quality, made completely in the USA, at a fair price.

I've been in this industry my whole life, and in a family that has always depended on US manufacturing to thrive. Feel free to ask me anything about manufacturing, small business, design, fit, menswear, you name it.

I'm going to start answering questions around 1 pm EST and will continue as long as time allows, at least one hour.

for the visual learners: watch our video "The Art of the Handsewn"

Here's our company Twitter and Facebook pages with verification.

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who participated in this AMA, I hope you learned something and enjoyed your time. I certainly did. hearing from you guys is just as much a learning experience for me as it is for you. I'm off to make some shoes.

Comments: 218 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

13246579822 karma

What is up with your return policies? I understand that you're not a huge company and everything but the policies are archaic.

Your cheapest shipping to me is $12. If I want to return the shoes I have to again pay for shipping and also a restocking fee of $25. I don't even think electronic stores charge a restocking fee anymore. If I order shoes and don't like them then I just paid $50 for the priviledge. Or I could use your try-on service for $50 but then if I don't like the shoes once I see them I'm out $50.

Honestly the only reason that I haven't seriously looked into purchasing shoes from you is because the risk is too high. I own several pairs of quality shoes from your price range but your return/exchange policies and costs scare me off from trying you out.

Do you have any plans to change these policies as you (if you) expand?

RancourtShoes14 karma

There are no plans to change these policies. Look at the price of our shoes compared to Oak Street, Eastland, Yuketen, etc. (AE is not a fair example because they are made in the Dominican Republic.) We are anywhere from $50 to $200 less per pair than those equitable brands. The policies are to protect us and allow us to offer our shoes at a fair price

13246579810 karma

I don't disagree that you have cheaper prices than your competitors and that you make a great shoe. It just seems like you ask every customer to really roll the dice and hope they don't get stuck with an extra $40 in fees each time they buy.

I'd even be much more comfortable with the idea if there was no restocking fee. That puts me off just on principle.

RancourtShoes10 karma

we are confident that we will make a pair of shoes for you that fit and that you love. If not, we'll try again. We don't always get it right the first time, but we sure as hell will get it right the second time. We don't see any reason that you would need to return shoes to a manufacturer like us, we'll make it right no matter what.

1324657982 karma

And second question just out of curiosity as I look through the site. Not a complaint at all but why are the Beefroll penny loafers $50 more than your Pinch loafers? Are beefrolls that tricky to make?

RancourtShoes8 karma

that is due to the sole construction. The pinch penny has a simple rubber camp moc sole that gets stitched into the bottom of the upper.

the beefroll has a double leather sole, midsole/outsole construction that is expensive and time consuming to prepare and make.

Twigglesnix1 karma

There are lots of great shoes that just don't fit certain feet. I would not order shoes from you with this policy. Even though I'm anxious to buy made in US handcrafted shoes.

RancourtShoes8 karma

you are absolutely correct, this is why we created the Made to Fit program. You'll have the right to find a fit that you like before you buy.

Keegan-19 karma


RancourtShoes45 karma

I'm paraphrasing/reposting comments I made yesterday:

There were 5 reasons I gave for our shoes having value: "Taste, integrity, patriotism, preserving tradition, and saving money" taste - most of out shoes don't go out of style. When did people stop wearing camp-mocs, boat shoes, or penny loafers? Find pictures of men from any generation, any decade, and you'll see these styles. The level of quality in our construction and materials shows that you are a man of taste integrity - committed to manufacturing ALL of our shoes in Maine, USA. Our average worker makes more than double the minimum wage, and the highly skilled and experienced worker, even more than that. Can walmart or any other big box retailer say the same? patriotism - patriotism is someone who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion. As a manufacturer that produces all of its products in the United States, employs 62 people in the United States, sources 90% or more of its raw materials in the United States, and supports its community in a multitude of ways, I'd like to think that we qualify as patriots. It could be easier and more profitable to produce shoes off-shore like Allen-Edmonds, but we chose not to because we believe in the people of our state and in the people of our country. The jobs we've retained and created with this company have a significant ripple effect on the economies of the state of Maine and the United States. Those are 62 people who will not be on unemployment, not on welfare, and not struggling to make ends meet. Customers who choose to support us with their wallets, and not take the easy way out by buying disposable products, qualify as patriots in my book. It can be a tough decision to spend $250 on a pair of shoes, and I applaud anyone willing to do so.

preserving tradition - making shoes is the ONLY thing my family has done for three generations and it is a craft that thrived in my hometown but is now dying. I want to see it continue. Its a shame to let something this special go away Saving money - for arguments sake, you want to compare to a $25 pair of shoes? OK. You buy a pair of our shoes for $210, you take care of them, you get them resoled every three years for $50 ($75 includes refinishing, but with a little know-how and fortitude, you can do it yourself). Your $25 shoes made of plastic or other man made materials crumble and fall apart after six months, laces break, eyelets pop. etc. in six years we're at a break even, in seven years of owning our shoes you're saving money. PLUS you have all of those virtues described above. last thing, some people see value as how much of something you can get for the cheapest price. that is not what the word means and it is a notion in this country that we are desperately trying to change. Value should be seen as the worth or merit inherent in a product, not just the price tag. this misguided concept of value has given rise to massive corporate retailers like walmart that come in and pillage small business

gramuf-6 karma

It could be easier and more profitable to produce shoes off-shore like Allen-Edmonds

Pretty sure AE makes their shoes in the US...

RancourtShoes24 karma

nope, sorry. Many of their handsewn shoes are produced entirely in the Dominican Republic and it says so right inside the shoes, I'm not breaking any news here. Also, its a little known fact that many shoes of theirs that say "Made in USA of imported materials" means that the uppers were produced in the DR and shipped to Wisconsin to put the soles on. essentially they are assembled in the US. alot of their shoes say "made in usa of imported materials"

gramuf-5 karma

i'm pretty sure you are only talking about certain models. i know they did a line that was italian and they have a few certain lower-end ones that were made in DR. you may be over-hyping this news since most people associate AE with park aves, strands, etc which i'm 99% sure are 100% usa made

RancourtShoes13 karma

my father was VP of sourcing and design for Allen-Edmonds for over 10 years.

edit: you are correct and maybe I didn't make it clear, some of their shoes are made 100% in the US, some are not.

castle_danger13 karma

Why no Oxfords? Any plans for Oxford styles?

Also, we share the same last name! I'm a Minnesotan Rancourt.

RancourtShoes19 karma

We're working on oxford and derby (blucher and Balmoral) styles in our Blake Collection. Look for them at the end of 2013.

Good name

bywayof11 karma

Why you and not Alden ?

RancourtShoes20 karma

I can't make that case for you. Alden makes great shoes, I wear them sometimes... more so I can compare the fit of their shoes to ours but also to study such a great company with a long history. Alden is awesome, I've got nothing but love for them.

They don't make handsewn shoes, they buy their "Cape Cod" collection from another factory in Maine. If you're buying handsewn shoes, buy them from us, we make them.

bywayof9 karma

Good answer. Now for my second. Horses are my nemesis; do you do shell cordovan ?

RancourtShoes14 karma

ha, great comment.

yes we can produce any of our styles in shell cordovan. In fact we buy mostly natural shell cordovan and then dye our own colors here.

AIDane10 karma

My wife has searched far and wide to find an American manufacturer of boots. Wolverine 1000 Mile has a few styles sized for women. Very hard to find a Cordovan boot for women. Will you enter this market? Why or why not?

RancourtShoes14 karma

yes we will enter this market. It is planned for 2013. Women seem to be gravitating toward these "heritage" styles as well

jhartwell2 karma

Any plans for western boots (aka cowboy boots)? I recently bought a pair of Ariats and love them and would love to get another pair and would be open to a US made boot.

RancourtShoes13 karma

no, sorry. that is not in our skill set or our tradition. There are plenty of US made cowboy boots available. I believe Lucchese is one.

Vagabond_Octopus9 karma


RancourtShoes14 karma

  1. false. if you take care of the shoes, cedar shoe trees, cleaning them, keeping them dry. rotating them (not wearing every day). they will last just as long.

  2. if the soles split we would replace them for free. if the shoes are defective you'll get a new pair. if you wear them every day and walk 5 miles a day on pavement and want a new pair of soles after 6 months, thats not being reasonable.

zultor9 karma

Mr. Rancourt is telling the truth here and I will be buying from his company again because of excellent customer service. When the heel of one of my boots fell off after a month or two of wear, they replaced it free of charge.

RancourtShoes15 karma

thank you. again, sometimes we fall down, but we will always make it right.

bobbbaba8 karma

What sets Rancourt shoes apart from competitors such as Quoddy, Yuketen, Eastland, and LL Bean?

I bought the ranger mocs from you guys a month or so ago. I can't wait for spring so I can wear them! I figured the quality between the companies would be very similar and Rancourt seemed to have the most competitive pricing. Thanks for taking time to answer our questions!

RancourtShoes18 karma

Yuketen, Eastland, and LL Bean are not manufacturers. They buy shoes from factories like ours. Eastland and LL Bean buy the vast majority of their shoes from factories in China and South America.

Quoddy was a brand in the 60's and 70's that my grandfather made shoes for. He owned a factory that contracted with Quoddy to produce their shoes. That company / brand died. A few years ago, someone took over the name, from what I understand, if a brand name is dormant for long enough someone can take it. Thats what happened, they opened a small factory in perry, maine approximately 8 years ago. Now they have a larger factory about two miles from our factory right here in Lewiston.

the fact is that the heritage is not there, the owners don't have the history in this business that we do.

monkey34777 karma

Eastland actually does have a made in Maine line-- so what else differentiates you from them?

RancourtShoes74 karma

We make those shoes for Eastland.

kwanon5 karma


RancourtShoes16 karma

yes, true. I was talking about their handsewn shoes which are made in San Salvador. The bean boots are made in Maine. I own a pair

scapino786 karma

Any idea when the made-to-order section of your website will launch? I know I can request them via email but want to play around with all the options.


RancourtShoes7 karma

you mean the "custom made" section. it's hard to say, this is a really complicated project with a lot of moving parts. I'm hoping for 4 weeks as a launch date, but it could be another 6-8, I'm just not sure.

we are building a custom module into our ecommerce platform and custom shoes are a difficult thing.

Twigglesnix6 karma

Please have a "show all" per page option when looking at your products. I'm amazed I've never heard of you before, I've been looking for made in US shoes and all I know of are Aldens, which I don't love. So here's your question, can you make shoes that don't have leather?

RancourtShoes9 karma

on the side nav in our "shop" page, if you click on "Men's" it will show all men's products

we won't make shoes from synthetic materials, we don't believe in the quality of that kind of footwear. I'm sorry.

Colonel_Oscopy6 karma

In a pair of shoes like a Beefroll Penny or a 4-Eyelet Moc, what are your thoughts on the properties of shell cordovan vs. a leather like Horween Chromexcel? Will the fact that shell stretches less make the sizing different? Will the fact that shell is now used mainly for dressier shoes (althought I hear it began as work boot leather) make a pair of shell beefrolls look less casual than a pair of chromexcel beefrolls? Any other thoughts on shell vs. other leathers for the type of more casual footwear you guys are making?

Also, beautiful shoes you guys have going on there. Keep up the good work. And if you ever need someone to test out your shoes, I am your man.

RancourtShoes9 karma

Shell cordovan is always a good investment for its beauty and longevity. The leather will retain its original properties for a very very long time. There is talk of people owning shell cordovan shoes for 50 years and they still look good.

chromexcel stretches more than shell cordovan. But you should order the same size in shell cordovan as you would in any other leather. we try to engineer our shoes so that you can always order the same size. its not true in every case, but for the most part it works.

acwhite19856 karma

How would you compare the overall quality of your shoes to another successful American shoemaker. Red Wing, for example...

RancourtShoes16 karma

Red Wing is a giant among US manufacturers, in the ballpark of 30,000 pair of shoes produced each week.

We produce 800-900 pairs of shoes per week. that being said, they have rigorous testing and quality procedures that accompany a manufacturing plant of that size. bottom line is that their quality is exceptional.

we lack the budget for technologically advanced and rigorous testing procedures, however we put hours into each pair of shoes that is made. this doesn't mean we won't have quality issues, but if we do we'll make it right.

Red wing is also producing a product meant for industrial purposes, much different than a casual handsewn shoe. I guess what I'm saying is that we're comparing apples to oranges

recidivism5 karma

L/A shoutout!

It seems like one of the defining things about Rancourt now is this huge tradition in the actual craft of shoemaking combined with an increasingly larger selection, outreach to the internet and bigger brands, new initiatives like 'Made to Fit'... do you find it hard juggling this kind of stuff vs. just concentrating on making awesome shoes? What's the hardest part for you in "making it" in this business now?

RancourtShoes7 karma

everyone in here will read L/A and be like what the hell are they talking about!

My partner who is also my father is the operations/manufacturing expert. He focuses all of his time on making great shoes. I work on the more modern stuff like the Made to Fit, and our custom shoe application that we'll be launching in the coming weeks. We really are a great team in that sense. But I understand the manufacturing side and he understands modern marketing as well so we're not stuck in our little worlds.

oddfuture5 karma

What do you see for the future of Lewiston? Do you think the new businesses on upper Lisbon St. like Forage and the Vault are sustainable in that location?

RancourtShoes10 karma

Absolutely, I fully believe in the businesses down there like Fuel, Rainbow Bicycle, Forage Market, the Vault wine shop, etc. I shop there every day and I love the revitalization that lower Lisbon street is seeing.

there is inherent beauty in that area, it just needs a face lift.

I have my eyes on some space down there but it's too soon to say anything about those plans.

rootb33r5 karma

Your father mentions in the vimeo video that you or he personally inspects every pair of shoes. I don't question the accuracy of this statement, but I wonder from a business standpoint when this will no longer be viable.

At what volume does this become unreasonable? How will you substitute this "goodwill-like gesture" if you ever have to stop doing it? Or is there not a capacity (given your current factory setup) where this would be a problem...

RancourtShoes4 karma

We inspect all of the shoes personally that go out to retail/ecommerce customers. We have a trained inspector and quality manager that handles our private label and wholesale business due to the high volume.

rootb33r2 karma

Thanks. Your Blake boot may have jumped OSB as my next purchase.

Ever thought of doing a quarter-brogue boot with a slimmer sole (i.e. a dressier option)?

RancourtShoes2 karma

thank you. I'll keep that quarter brogue boot in mind

nolanreagan5 karma

I know your father had a long time stint with Allen Edmonds. I love their shoes, but really like the fact that you guys will use wilder colors. I own two pairs of your Barron Boat shoes (Jack Spade edition) and was wondering if you'd make pairs of the beefroll penny loafers in that ROYAL BLUE that you make the boat shoes in?

RancourtShoes22 karma

we'd be happy to make your shoes from any leather we have in stock, we happen to have some Royal Blue Rockford right now.

in 1998 My father sold his factory to his biggest customer at the time, Allen-Edmonds. The factory grew, they hired more people, things were good. times changed, AE was sold, they wanted to close the factory. in 2009 We bought some assets back and took on the people they were laying off. We saved jobs, preserved the tradition of making shoes here in Lewiston. We are happy.

Twigglesnix5 karma

Is there a website that makes a list of all the top quality USA made craftsman producers?

Underbart3 karma

Was there any difficulty in getting the business started? By this I mean finding customers etc without a well established name already? (Must be hard competing with Allen Edmonds and such) The shoes look beautiful but I haven't had the chance to see any in person yet. That said, how is my order coming along? (#100001330) I like that you post pictures of the progress of your work on Facebook, it's really nice getting to see the hard work that goes into each pair.

RancourtShoes7 karma

my family had made a name over the past 50 years as a private label manufacturer so there was business at our doorstep immediately. There are not many shoe manufacturers around anymore, so we had that going for us. As far as the brand goes, a huge notch in our belt was when Brooks Brothers picked it up in 2010. They were making a move toward better quality across the board and a return to tradition so it was a great fit.

I think we can compete with the bigger guys like AE because we have an authentic story and we are fully committed to producing all of our shoes in Maine. People are starting to care about that more and more now.

I took a quick peek at your order, nice choice, you'll love those boat shoes.

Twigglesnix3 karma

If I come to your factory, can I try on shoes to get the right fit?

RancourtShoes7 karma

yes, but we'd prefer if you visited one of our retail partners in Portland. David Wood or Portland Dry Goods. We are not well suited to help retail customers here.

virid3 karma

I've been considering ordering a pair of your beefroll penny loafers, but I wear orthotics and am unsure about sizing. Any guidelines?

I measure 12D on a brannock without my orthotic.

RancourtShoes9 karma

email [email protected] and explain this. Send us your orthotic and we'll build the shoes with extra space for your orthotic to fit. it will cost you extra but it should be worth it.

you should try our Made to Fit program as well

Vagabond_Octopus3 karma


RancourtShoes3 karma

we'll be releasing a video on this in the next few days, check back on our vimeo channel.

There is no difference in durability. The blake doesn't use a welt or a rib on the innersole, we stitch the midsole right through the bottom of the upper/innersole. They can be more flexible. But what it boils down to, there isn't much difference between the two.

the blake is a very popular construction for european manufacturers while the goodyear welt is popular in the US and England

amkhz3 karma

More of a nerdy and specific question, but can you share any more details about the new Trooper Sole? How it wears, durability, manufacturer, etc?

I've just placed an MTO order for some black Ranger Mocs (PO Number: 02181301) with the Trooper Sole and I think it's going to look fantastic. I just like to nerd out on the details. Thanks!

RancourtShoes2 karma

its a killer. double midsole, triple leather wedge heel and that rugged flat rubber outsole. this thing is bomb proof. the rubber outsole will wear out in time, but still very durable. They will be very stiff at first but just give it time.

amkhz2 karma

Thanks, Kyle. I'm really looking forward to getting my pair. Could these be one of the first pairs of Ranger Mocs with a Trooper Sole?

RancourtShoes4 karma

yes, probably is.

Vagabond_Octopus3 karma

Can you give us a rundown on your different lasts?

RancourtShoes3 karma

handsewn lasts: 114 is used for loafers, we have this available in all widths B, D, E, EE. It is considered a narrower last with a tighter heel and toe box

800 is used for boots and lace up shoes, we have D and E width only. larger toe box, broader cone, larger heel

2592 is used for boots and lace up, D and E width only. very large toe box and broad cone.

Blake boots and chukka, and hamilton are on the John Last. It has a slightly bulbous toe to give us that workboot rugged look. the mid part is slightly narrow for a good fit on the foot.

Our Blake dress shoes will be on the 115 which is a classic american shape.

rydor3 karma

A couple of things:

First off, I have a pair of brown cxl ranger mocs, and #8 cxl boat shoes from you guys. Both are 9EE shoes, and would love it if you guys could make some pairs in EEE. I know it sounds like a small step up, but mine are tight, and the CXL has bulged at my outer toe, but are the exact right length (so 9.5EE wouldn't work). Putting CXL on a shoe stretcher is also not really a great solution. As much as it pains me to tell you, I had to buy my most recent pair from Quoddy because of that.

Second: Any plans to introduce some goodyear welted and/or storm-welted boots in the future? The Blake construction is pretty good, sure, but it's not quite doable for me when it comes to boots, especially for water proofing the welt.

Thanks for the great shoes!

RancourtShoes3 karma

first of all, thank you for buying shoes from us.

Secondly, we are looking into adding 3E, but the requests for it are so few and far between that it may not justify the cost.

no plans for Goodyear welts, we are sticking with the Blake. I've spent days in mud and rain and snow with blake boots and emerged with dry feet.

rydor5 karma

Thanks for the reply. Get a 9EEE last and I'll buy my next pair from you (probably natty cxl with red soles).

This recent pair, btw, have a Chromepack upper. I actually checked with you guys first, got a "probably not" on that kind of upper. It's ~10-11oz, thick like a beast, and super comfortable. Figured I'd give you a head's up, if you might want to add that to your selection.

Also, found it interesting that you say Quoddy isn't the same guys as they used to be. Can't find any info on that, but it explains why they used to run big (LL Bean Boot sizing) and now are TTS. I gather you respect them as a competitor, but are you friendly with them at all?

Also, can you settle a question from Style Forum, do you make any of the shoes for Oak Street?

RancourtShoes6 karma

I do respect them as a competitor and I think they have great handsewers and make good moccasins. They're heritage story is just misleading.

We do not produce for Oak Street and never have. I am friendly with George though. he's a good guy.

c4h5n2o13 karma

Is there anything fun to do in Lewiston, or do you have to visit Portland like everyone else?

RancourtShoes3 karma

ha, yes I go to portland.

However, I have three dogs, I'm on a cycling team, I mountain bike, and I enjoy some of the restaurants we have here like Fuel and Fishbones. I find plenty to do in Lewiston.

ryandaflyin6 karma

I'm a dishwasher at fishbones. Gotta represent. And I might of made your salad.

RancourtShoes6 karma

I love that place.

giantoctopii3 karma


RancourtShoes4 karma

sorry, not now. We are planning to expand to sizes 15 and 16 but we only go up to size 14 for now.

Keegan-3 karma

What is the process for refurbishing customers' old shoes? Which materials stay the same and which are replaced? How much does it cost? Thanks

RancourtShoes9 karma

the midsole and the outsole are replaced. the laces and sockliners are replaced. the leather is cleaned and moisturized and colored if necessary.

the upper remained the same.

the cost is $75

RCIIIcm3 karma

What differentiates you from Quoddy? I am looking to buy some moccasins soon, and I guess I don't know enough to tell the difference.

RancourtShoes9 karma

We've been in this business alot longer than they have, so I'd like to think in that time we've perfected what we do.

to be honest, they have some great shoemakers over there, many of their people have come to work for us and a couple of ours have gone to them. most coming to us though!

our shoes are generally less expensive, their lead time is longer, and they offer a really limited collection. all of their shoes kind of look the same, this rugged moccasin look. we can do that and a whole lot more. Also, they just started doing leather soles, before they couldn't do them. and I'm not impressed with the leather soles they are using. Our midsole / outsole process is difficult and expensive.

hotmetalslugs3 karma

How long would you expect a pair of shoes like your Blake Chukka suedes to last, if you use them for a daily mile or two of walking in a "city" job?

Are these the kinds of shoes that can be repaired / resoled, etc, and can you talk about the mass-produced stuff (like my trusty Skechers) and whether or not they could be repaired?

RancourtShoes6 karma

I would expect them to last 20+ years if you take care of them and use cedar shoe trees when you take them off.

Yes they can be re-soled and repaired when needed. If you wear them every day and walk alot you may have to re-sole them in one year or less. It all depends. typically people re-sole their shoes every 2-3 years.

most mass produced shoes like skechers cannot be re-soled or repaired. the soles are glued on and there is no way to safely remove and replace them

Twigglesnix3 karma

does anyone carry your shoes in NYC?

RancourtShoes7 karma

yes. Brooks Brothers, Jack Spade, club Monaco, Steven Alan, just to name a few.

fakesonnystitt2 karma

Do we still live in a country where small-time, artisan work can be born?

Do you care about 'menswear' as a scene, or as a movement, or do you just make the shoes?


RancourtShoes7 karma

Absolutely! We work with artisans like that. All we need is the support from people like you.

I care about menswear, with that being said, I tend to stick with tradition when it comes to designing our shoes. But I'll never neglect current trends completely, that would be just dumb.

fakesonnystitt5 karma

Ok, cool. I live in a small but vibrant arts city, Richmond, VA. With no experience or product to offer (I don't make awesome leather goods) how do I, and people like me, make myself an asset to companies like yours? I'm very excited by local/family entrepreneurship and by menswear, I just have no idea how to attach myself to anything I'm attracted to. Have you seen people going through what I'm describing?

RancourtShoes7 karma

start making something, man. get an apprenticeship or don't. teach yourself. Just start making something.

we want people who understand and know how to make things. the last thing we need is another designer or some guy with an opinion.

fakesonnystitt3 karma

wordup, makes sense to me. Thanks, man.

RancourtShoes3 karma

best of luck.

Keegan-2 karma

It is uncommon to see a successful shoe company that makes their shoes in the U.S. Why do so many companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc have their shoes assembled elsewhere and how does this affect the cost and quality of these shoes? Do you think your business would be more be successful if its labor was outsourced to countries outside the U.S?

RancourtShoes12 karma

Those companies have investors and/or stockholders and all of the pressure and expectations that brings. We do not, we are a family owned small business. We don't want to maximize profit, we want to make great shoes for a fair price and pay our workers a fair wage.

Our shoes being Made in Maine, USA sets us apart, it is our defining characteristic. If we were to sell-out and produce our shoes somewhere else, it would kill us. We will never do that.

TehNoff2 karma

What sort of shoe or boot do you recommend for heavy use in rough terrain? Almost like a work boot.

I just want to say that I'm not the sort to buy expensive shoes as I'm totally unfamiliar with "menswear" or whatever, but looking around your online shop is amazing. Those things are beautiful.

Clay_Lagoon2 karma

I like the ranger mocs but can you guys also make a blucher moc like the ones Quoddy have? like this one?

Blucher Moc front view

Blucher Moc side view

and what is the history behind those two different styles? I notice the ranger moc style is also called a blucher moc by other places such as LL bean.

RancourtShoes1 karma

i think [email protected] would be a better venue for answering these questions

twootten2 karma

I cannot seem to find the RSS feed for your blog. Is there one?

Also, i'm looking forward to spending some of my tax return on some natural cxl beefroll penny loafers. Thanks for the Made to Fit program, i plan to use that as well.

RancourtShoes8 karma

there is no RSS feed, I should get on this.

ps3question2 karma

My problem every summer is that I buy a par of cheaper blucher mocs or the like and destroy them by the end of the summer, usually from sweat, etc. Would your re-sole and refinish service's replacement of various parts get them back in shape for the next summer? I just hesitate buying a pair of those beautiful mocs of yours if I'm going to wreck them in a few months.

EDIT: and thanks for the ama. very cool.

RancourtShoes6 karma

I guarantee that our shoes will last longer but it is also your responsibility to take care of them. You can't neglect leather and just hope for the best, it is a living thing and if treated right will last a very long time.

check this out:

xKHADx2 karma

Do you plan on making a sleeker shoe instead of classic american dress shoes, like, for example, Carmina? In particular, there aren't a lot of sleeker shoes made out of shell cordovan, most of them are "gunboats". This would be very interesting!

RancourtShoes5 karma

you should check out our venetian loafers, we can make them in shell cordovan.

when we launch our dress shoes we'll do some cap-toe balmorals in shell and this should fit the bill. I'm not a huge fan of the massive chunky shoes like Alden's longwing.

NegativeOffset2 karma

My Allen Edmond Park Avenues are size 11.5 A. Do you have a comparable last that'll fit my narrow feet? I see most of your sizes only go down to a B width.

RancourtShoes5 karma

you could try an 11B. Use our Made to Fit program

qtakerh2 karma

What is the deal with chromepak wrap soles? Are they durable and comfortable?

RancourtShoes2 karma

yes! amazingly comfortable and durable.

not particularly versatile as far as occasions to wear them. and they are expensive but it would surprise you how long it takes to make those things

edit: Everyday when I get home I put on beefroll camp-mocs with chromepak soles

kinganti2 karma

I'm curious how much customization is allowable.

For example, let's say I wanted the 4-eyelet ranger moc in light brown Buckaroo, but I wanted the sole you include with the green cordovan ranger mocs....

what kind of ballpark estimates would something like that entail above the normally listed retail price?

RancourtShoes5 karma

yes that is possible, you can customize just about anything. One thing you cannot really change is the shape or pattern of the shoes. everything else is fair game.

it depends on the other variables but you're looking at around $300

no_mental_filter1 karma

When I buy sneakers I wear a 9 US sizing. But when I went to Macys to buy some nicer shoes (Bally or Johnston & Murphy) I wore a size 7.

If I buy some shoes from your store which size should I get?

Also, can you help me to understand why there's such a big size difference between sneakers and other shoes?

PS, your sizing guide is 404 Not Found:

Edit: The link works now.

RancourtShoes2 karma

you can measure your feet on a brannock device or use our sizing guide. I'll see why its not responding.

you can try our made to fit program as well.

Sneaker companies use vanity sizing, they make you feel like your feet are bigger than they are. with that being said, there is no true standard for shoe sizing. every manufacturer is different.

M9Shyamalan1 karma


RancourtShoes4 karma

Laces, eyelets, and handsewing thread color are always important to pay attention to. Those small details make the shoe.

my rec is to go antique brass eyelets, chestnut laces, and tan hs thread.

OR black eyelets, navy thread, and navy laces