The art of shoemaking has a rich history in the United States. Dating all the way back to the early U.S. colonies in the 17th century, it has been an important trade to help support the lives of countless Americans. Today, the American shoemaking trade has virtually evaporated. 99% of shoes sold in the U.S. are imported from countries like China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Since 1990, over 80% of U.S. shoe manufacturing jobs have disappeared, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What happened? Like many other industries, large multinational shoe brands were attracted by the cheap labor overseas, overlooking the potential decrease in the quality of their shoes. It’s not all bad news though. There has been a bit of a resurgence in American shoe manufacturing in recent years and a lot of great, smaller brands that are crafting high-quality shoes made in the USA.
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