There are few places as synonymous with a shoe style as Lewiston, Maine is to the beefroll penny. It’s like Detroit and the car, or Washington D.C. and politics – being born there seems to make you an inherent expert. However, like the GM vs. Ford battle in Detroit or the Democrat vs. Republican battle in D.C., battle lines exist in this small community. Turf wars break out between kids whose dad works at Rancourt vs. their classmates at Quoddy. Slings made of Horween’s Chromexcel can be seen in every grocery store.
When it comes to American-made handsewn footwear, there are really three names that consistently come up: Quoddy, Rancourt, and Oak Street Bootmakers. Over the last few years, each of these brands have grown from relative obscurity to being the faces of this classically American style.