Maine Guide Boots with Strap
'At the frontier the environment is at first too strong for the man. He must accept the conditions which it furnishes, or perish, and so he fits himself into the Indian clearings and follows the Indian trails. Little by little he transforms the wilderness, but the outcome is not the old Europe... The fact is, that here is a new product that is American.'
- Frederick Jackson Turner, 'The Significance of the Frontier in American History'
Yuketen's Maine Guide collection draws inspiration from the early wilderness guides of New England, who in leading European hunters and traders into contact with indigenous North Americans brought about a cultural synthesis most aptly reflected in the boots these guides wore. The close-fitting, stitched wrappings of pliant leather worn by early natives reflected necessity laid bare by the bitterness of winter and the silent tread of the autumn hunt preceding. Modernization of the West brought lasts, dies and outsoles, applying durability to moccasin comfort. Rendered in a higher profile, the classic 'American' guide boot was born, and it is in tribute to the propulsive spirit of the boot's earliest owners that Yuketen has approached a new frontier in its design.
Each shoe is handstitched in our Maine, U.S.A. factory from a combination of American quilt wool inspired by vintage patchwork quilts and Horween waxed flesh side leather. Waxed leather is inherently waterproof and was therefore adopted as a preferred material for US marine footwear. Yuketen incorporates this leather on several styles because waxed leather vintages more quickly than other leathers. After only a few months of wear, the shoe will appear as though it’s been worn for years. The upper is hand-punched and handsewn with awl, needle, and thread on Yuketen's proprietary last from multiple pieces of leather in order to ensure reinforcement and is cinched at the base to create an integumentary fit.
Our distinctive midsole component, constructed from composition rubber and 100% vegetable-tanned leather which has been air-dried in a 90-day process, is Goodyear-stitched together before being directly stitched to the vamp leather. Steel shank reinforcements increase fitting in the arch and heel, forming a stable bridge between the heel and ball of the owner's foot which causes weight to be distributed more evenly across the foot. This results in reduced foot fatigue and improved comfort. Our Yuketen signature tucks and full leather insoles are also made from 100% vegetable-tanned leather and will naturally accommodate the distinct shape of the wearer’s foot over time.
A Vibram Christy sole, an allusion to American work boots, is directly attached to the midsole and will ensure sustained comfort in traversing long city blocks or travelling afoot down dusty country roads.