Chicago-based company Oak Street Bootmakers continues to churn out products using old-world ingenuity as its guiding force. George Vlagos, founder and designer, steps in front of the camera to walk the viewer through what makes the Maine-crafted pieces so very special. The highest standards of production are employed to yield shoes that are as durable as they are comfortable. Each pair makes use of replaceable outsoles, a feature normally reserved for formal footwear, to ensure a lifetime of wear. Oak Street shoes and boots are constructed from renowned Horween Chromexcel leather. Chromexcel undergoes 89 separate processes taking 28 days and utilizing all five floors of the Horween facility in Chicago. Over the past 100 years very little has changed in the formula. Food-grade beef tallow, cosmetic-grade beeswax, marine oil, chrome salts, tree bark extracts and naturally occurring pigments are combined. The mixture is then applied using heat, steam pressure, the hands of craftsmen, and time. This ultimately yields the soft, supple and durable leather that is used for your shoes or boots.
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