Shoecrafters Rancourt & Co. are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, having hand-crafted shoes and boots in Maine since 1967.
The new Otto collection brings their history full circle, with two designs based on their popular Blake boot. The collection uses a handsewn construction technique borrowed from traditional moccasin-making, and — most impressively — each shoe is made from a single piece of leather.
Rancourt Otto (2 images)
They begin as heavyweight, vegetable-tanned steerhide sourced from Italy, which is then constructed in Maine with a Reltex Lactae Hevea Aspen sole and handsewn up the back. Both the larger boot ($390) and half-size blucher ($350) are available in a classic natural or more versatile black. (Though it should be noted that that undyed natural will develop a rich, unique patina depending on where you take 'em and how thoroughly you decide to beat them up.)
While delicate-looking compared to the piece-by-piece construction of most leather boots, these will suit a walk in the woods just as readily as city living. In fact, the lack of seams will make them more robust than your average shoe, meaning fewer repairs and a longer shelf-life.
Who knows: you may still be wearing them when Rancourt's 100th anniversary rolls around.