Other than bratwurst, beer, Harley-Davidson motorcycles and those foam cheese wedges worn by Green Bay Packer fans on their heads, there are precious few commodities made in Wisconsin anymore. There are Kohler plumbing fixtures, of course, everything from standard commodes to cast bronze wading pool lavatories that will set you back a small fortune. Very quietly, superb footwear is handcrafted in Port Washington, Wis. by Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., a privately-held, U.S.-based manufacturer of premium men’s footwear and accessories.
With the PGA Championship being contested at Whistling Straits in Kohler a mere 40 minutes north of company headquarters, the venerable manufacturer, founded in 1922, is presenting as a gift to all tournament competitors its Player’s Shoe, complete with personalized cedar shoe trees. The new style, designed to be worn off the course, is making its debut at the event this week.
Combining the company’s handcrafting construction processes with classic American styling, the suede Player’s Shoe is a wingtip available in five colors, including white, sand, chocolate, dark chocolate and, for eclectics and scratch players, blue. This shoe style will be available to the public in late 2010. Retail price is $295.
If you’ve never worn Allen Edmonds footwear, which I along with various popes, presidents and pros consider the finest available, here’s your chance. The Player’s Shoe is constructed with the durable, sophisticated features that distinguish the company’s finest styles: 360-degree Goodyear welt; full cork footbed that forms an imprint and cradles the foot; all leather upper, lining, insole and sole; toasted sole edges (a new feature); double thickness in the leather soles; and MacAfee (split) heels. No nails are used in the construction of Allen Edmonds’ shoes—the pieces are glued and sewn together for superior comfort and durability. The Player’s Shoe, like many in the company’s catalog, is eligible for the firm’s unique Recrafting process, which breathes new life into older shoes.
To celebrate the 2010 PGA Championship, the Allen Edmonds’ Port Washington Factory Outlet is this week offering PGA Championship specials, including $50 off first-quality shoes, $30 off second-quality shoes and 25% off all accessories. The outlet store is located one minute off Highway 43 en route to Kohler from Chicago or Milwaukee.
If you’re in the neighborhood, make the detour. The new Player’s Shoe is ample evidence that Allen Edmonds’ footwear takes shoemaking to the level of an art form.