Hiking is a great way to see America, but finding hiking boots made in the USA can be a real hassle. We did the research to find all the American made hiking footwear, which we listed below. We also included some material sourcing and made in the USA labeling tips and some well-known brands that we came across in our research that aren’t made here. Let’s get started.
Full List of Hiking Boot Brands Made in the USA
For nearly a century, Danner has been making boots for those who work, hike and hunt. They also sell casual shoes, but ultimately their footwear is made for those looking to explore and work hard in them. They make their boots out of quality materials to ensure they’re built to last, but they also offer a recrafting service. It’s worth noting that not all Danner boots are made in the USA, but they have a filter on their website so that you can find ones that are. These boots feature a small American flag on them, so you can wear them with pride.
Thorogood, an employee-owned Wisconsin company founded in 1892, makes some men’s hiking and work boots in the USA. Their outdoor boots feature options like waterproof materials, insulation, and aggressive slip-resistance tread. A few of these boots are made in the USA with USA and globally sourced components.
L.L Bean manufactures shoes for men, women, and children. Their footwear range includes sneakers, shoes, boots, slippers, sandals, and water shoes. Their boots are suitable for hiking and hunting – they specify the level of water protection offered by each of their boots so you can find something suited to your needs. L.L Bean has been crafting shoes for the road less traveled since 1912. Though it’s worth noting that only some of their range is made in the USA, these often have ‘Maine-made’ written on the product description, but they’re not entirely transparent about where other boots are manufactured.
Founded in 1946, Schnee’s Boots produces hiking and work boots. The company has its headquarters in Bozeman, Montana, where the final assembly of the boots takes place. However, a few materials are imported.
Truman Boot Co. started in 2014 and makes high-end hiking and work boots in a small factory in the Pacific Northwest. Their leathers come from the U.S., Italy, and the U.K. Additional other materials come from the same areas. The company looks for the highest quality of materials globally, but tries to stay local as much as possible when the quality is comparable.
Wolverine, which has been in business for more than 135 years, produces men’s and women’s hiking and work boots. Only a few styles are made in Alabama and Tennessee. Check out our comprehensive research on Wolverine for more details.
YouTube Video: How to Find Hiking Boots Made in the USA
How to Find Hiking Boots Made in the USA
Finding the country of origin can be really frustrating, especially when you’re shopping online and can’t look at the tag. So, here are some tips for finding U.S.-made hiking boots.
For all our advice on shopping for American made products, make sure to head to our made in the USA labeling explainer guide.
If you’re after an American-made product, you should look specifically at hiking boots made from materials sourced in the USA. Since so many components make up this type of boot, finding a pair that is 100% sourced in the United States may be difficult, so try to find something that is at least mostly sourced in the USA.
Leather is often used for the uppers of hiking boots. It is pretty easy to find American-sourced leather compared to other materials, though China still takes the prize for the top manufacturer of this material. Just be sure to be on the lookout for cowhide specifically, as more exotic leathers are harder to come by in the United States. If you’re looking for a quality pair of boots that will last you years, US-made full-grain leather is your best choice.
Hiking boots sometimes use nylon or nylon mesh and leather to provide more breathability. Although the production of this material originated in the United States, China is now the world’s largest nylon manufacturer. However, some nylon is still sourced from the USA.
Hiking boots use rubber outer soles because they are non-slip as well as comfortable.
Rubber can be a bit more difficult to source from the United States, but it is not impossible. The USA produces around 35 million tons of rubber every year. However, note that 90% of natural rubber grows in Southeast Asia, and only a third of the USA’s rubber production is natural rubber. So, synthetic rubber is generally the way to go to find US-made rubber.
Plastic is used in the midsoles of hiking boots. A lot of the world’s plastic comes from China, but the USA still produces some plastic of its own. We produce roughly 20% of the world’s plastic, which is certainly not an insignificant amount. So, all in all, finding US-made plastic parts shouldn’t be too difficult.
Some hiking boots are waterproof, which means their uppers are made with membranes such as Gore-Tex or eVent. Although some production of this material has shifted overseas, plenty is still made right here in the USA.
Boot laces are normally made of nylon and polyester. Although China is the world’s largest producer of both materials, there are still companies that produce shoelaces made in the USA.
The U.S. has laws that help with some country of origin labeling transparency. Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304 of the United States Code requires all imported products to be labeled as such with their country of origin on the product or packaging. According to the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and Wool Products Labeling Act, most clothing and other textile products that are made in the USA have to be labeled as such on the tag.
However, the requirements for being able to label your products as “made in the USA” are about as clear as mud. In order to advertise a product as “made in the USA,” the FTC requires that the product be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. The FTC also doesn’t require pre-approval for using “made in the USA” language and doesn’t have a good history of policing the abuse of it.
Many companies use confusing jargon to trick consumers into thinking a particular product is made in the U.S. For example, some companies use phrases like “assembled in the USA” or “manufactured in the USA,” but that could mean most or even all of the materials for a product were sourced from overseas. It might even mean not all of the production was done in the U.S. Similarly, the “made in America” label means the product could have been made in Canada or Mexico.
Another thing to watch out for is the American flag. The usage of the American flag on labels is not protected, so just because a company uses the flag does not automatically mean that the product is made in the USA.
Most people who buy hiking boots prefer to do so in a brick-and-mortar store so they can try them on to make sure they fit and are comfortable. This also makes it easier to check the labeling to see exactly where they were made. However, if you can’t find what you want locally and have to search online, it’s much trickier to figure out if the boots you are buying were really made here. In that case, it’s a good idea to call the company, email them or chat with them online.
Hiking Boots Not Made in the USA
Here are some popular hiking boot brands that are not made in the USA. We’ll keep updating this list as we find more.
- Columbia – Columbia is headquartered in Oregon with factories in the UK, Middle East, Indonesia, Mexico, Asia, USA, and other locations. They have a global supply chain (from a phone call with a company rep).
- Lowa – Lowa’s mountaineering boots are made in Italy, while their backpacking boots are made in Germany. Their hiking and all-terrain sport models, as well as their kids’ models, are all made in Slovakia.
- Nortiv – Nortiv products are made in China.
- Saloman – Saloman shoes and boots are manufactured in factories in China, India, and Vietnam.
- Timberland – Only 2% of Timberland boots are made in the USA. The rest are manufactured in China, Vietnam, India, and other countries.
- Merrell – Made in Vietnam and China.
- Georgia Boot – Mostly imported.
- Keens – Only a few models are assembled here.
- Xtratuf – Made in China.