Nicks Boots

Nicks Boots

A note from Kate and Jack: We’d like to thank our friend Trent Peterson for introducing us to the owners of Nicks Boots. Not only do Nicks produce the most beautiful handmade leather boots, they’re also doing good: creating employment and keeping skills alive by bringing people in to learn the craft – something we at WAM are very passionate about. Nicks’ CEO Shuyler Mowe kindly spent some time with us to produce a few articles to share on our website. Our first article is in Ed.10 of We Are Makers.

Full article of Nicks Boots Story inside Edition Ten -

We Are Makers Article #2

"I'm interested in exploring your collaborations with other makers. From a brand perspective, how essential are these partnerships? Are they primarily philanthropic, or do they offer tangible benefits to Nicks? Could your brand sustain without these collaborations? What value do they add to Nicks, especially considering the complexities involved in such partnerships?" - Jack & Kate

Nicks Boots is renowned for producing the finest heavy-duty work boots in the market. Makers who endorse our brand do so not merely as consumers but as professionals who rely on our boots as essential tools. Much like a woodworker requires precise tools like chisels or planes, our makers depend on our boots for durability, protection, and comfort. They recognize and value the craftsmanship embedded in every pair.

Our commitment is to make all workers, across various fields, feel confident purchasing from us. What excites me most about Nicks is the longevity of our products. It's rewarding to see a pair of boots so well-worn that they need resoling or rebuilding, transforming them back to their former glory.

While not everyone will wear their boots to such an extent, consider a carpenter in rural British Columbia, who might get five years out of their Nicks boots before needing a rebuild, whereas someone in a less demanding job might extend that lifespan to over a decade.

Our decision to collaborate with other makers is strategic and core to our identity. It enhances our brand recognition within each maker community and solidifies our messaging.

Without our network of dedicated craftsmen and women, Nicks would still be a leader in quality footwear, but perhaps not as recognized. Our makers not only wear our boots—they share our story, and in turn, we celebrate theirs.

Building trust within our community is essential. We believe in the quality of our boots so strongly that we typically don't provide scripts or extensive guidelines to our makers. Instead, we let them experience the boots firsthand for an extended period. The feedback is often overwhelmingly positive, affirming the boots' worth as an investment.

Collaborations can be tricky, but by partnering with passionate, creative individuals who produce high-quality work, we sidestep many common obstacles. Their genuine appreciation for our boots makes our partnerships seamless and impactful.

When considering new collaborations, I always explore what a partnership with Nicks would mean for them. What motivates them daily? What are their business aspirations? If their values align with ours and point to a sustainable partnership, we're eager to get them into our boots.

This relationship is reciprocal. When our audience sees makers wearing Nicks boots, they recognize a shared commitment to quality—each maker delivering exceptional craftsmanship, albeit in different forms.

Over the years, we've collaborated with a diverse group of talented individuals, such as Bachtel Forge, Bourbon Moth, and Trent Peterson, who depend on our boots as much as any tool in their workshop. Trent's decade-long relationship with us, including his trust in our boots for a significant journey from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail, exemplifies the enduring partnerships we strive to build.

Ultimately, we're all passionate about different things but united in our respect and support for one another's crafts. The mutual respect and appreciation between us and our makers are palpable daily, embodying the spirit of true collaboration.

What's it like to work at Nicks?

We Are Makers Q&A with Jamin from Nicks Boots

Nick: "Jamin, could you share your role here at Nicks?"

Jamin: "I'm a bootmaker, focusing mainly on bottoming and occasionally lasting when needed."

Nick: "Can you explain why bottoming and lasting are crucial in the bootmaking process?"

Jamin: "Lasting gives the boot its size and shape by stretching it over the shoe mold, and bottoming involves nailing the midsole and attaching the outsole. Lasting transforms a sewn, formless piece into a fitted boot, while bottoming solidifies the structure."

Nick: "What led you to this job, and why did you choose to work at Nicks?"

Jamin: "I've always had a fascination with boots. While studying civil engineering, I experimented with leathercraft by making wallets. My passion for boots led me to pursue bootmaking full-time, and I moved to Spokane to join Nicks two years ago."

Nick: "Has the job met your expectations?"

Jamin: "It's surpassed them. Despite my familiarity with Nicks from their videos, the hands-on experience proved more challenging and engaging than I anticipated."

Nick: "How has your role or the products at Nicks evolved since you started?"

Jamin: "While my day-to-day tasks remain consistent, the diversity in boot styles and leathers has grown. It's fascinating to see less traditional work and fire boots and more heritage styles now."

Nick: "What motivates you to stay at Nicks?"

Jamin: "I take great pride in seeing a boot I've worked on go to someone's feet. My favorite part is perfecting the nail pattern for speed and consistency, which is crucial due to the natural variations in leather."

Nick: "What's the most challenging aspect of your job?"

Jamin: "The variability of leather can be frustrating, especially for newcomers. Training new employees to manage these variations is demanding but rewarding."

Nick: "What are your thoughts on the future direction of Nicks?"

Jamin: "I'm excited about our growth and innovation, particularly with our high-end Brandle line. It's rewarding to work on products that showcase the pinnacle of our craft. The blend of maintaining our core offerings while expanding into new lines keeps things interesting."

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And this month it's Nicks Boot's 60th Anniversary!

Image Credits: ©Nicks Boots

Nicks Handmade Boots - Best Work Boots for Men and Women
Nicks boots: Durable handmade work, fire & duty, heritage, western, women’s & outdoor boots for every adventure. Get free shipping and expedited lead times.