When your history reaches all the way back to the early 20th century, it would be fair to say you’ve have quite a bit of experience under the belt, even an understatement. In 1930, Samuel J. Katz began the Hubbard Shoe Co. in Rochester, New Hampshire. And, while the brands humble beginnings as a small children’s shoe factory in New England marked its birth, it also foreshadowed what was to come and what we see today. Much like any iconic brand, the Samuel Hubbard Shoe Co. has seen its ups-and-downs. In 1973, the doors closed during a time when many New England shoemakers moved off-shore in favor of cheaper labor markets.
It was around this time that Bruce Katz joined his father Saul Katz to launch The Rockport Company sourcing shoes from small factories in Brazil and working with local craftsman who shared their expertise in making high quality footwear. Building on a longstanding tradition that goes back 85 years, in 2012, the Samuel Hubbard Shoe Co. was born once again as family run business. Today, as in the past, style, comfort and performance, alongside unmatched quality, are the hallmarks that make this brand one of the most diverse and important.
With a collection comprised of sleek, casual and contemporary silhouettes, one model that fully represents the aforementioned qualities is the Samuel Hubbard Free. A fitting name for a shoe that makes you as if your feet feel the same exact way. A combination in style, the Free is both casual and formal. Seen here in a Charcoal option, the exterior is covered in soft Nubuck leather. A glove-leather lining, light and springy Vibram soles and the memory-foam cushioned insoles add even more comfort.
More importantly, there are no seams in the critical points of contact with your feet due to the one-piece vamp construction. And, since the ankle area is designed with what S.H. calls ‘a hidden padded collar’, it creates a very soft point of contact with the ankle without the bulky padding look of a running shoe. To say this is one of the best shoes you’ll ever buy would be playing it light — it is without question, a shoe built to last and looks incredibly stylish as it was meant to be.
The Samuel Hubbard Free is available now online | $210.