Feit’s handmade Mid Hiker: A one-man operation from start to finish

 

They say you shouldn’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. It’s an old expression, and though you might not be able to deduce much about the personal life of the master craftsman behind Feit’s Hand Sewn Mid Hiker ($550), it takes a matter seconds to understand his commitment to precision, durability, and comfort. After all, he constructs the shoe from start to finish.

Founded by brothers Tull and Josh Price, Australian-based Feit is a company working to create phenomenal footwear with minimal environmental footprint. The company’s leather is vegetable-dyed and directly sourced from Italian tanneries, and infused with other vegetable matter such as tree bark, leaves, fruits, and other ingredients during the tannin process. The handmade Mid Hiker sports Feit’s classic Goodyear construction — a process involving the upper shoe being stretched over the last and then stitched to a leather strip known as a welt — and touts a comfortable Buffalo leather foot bed and a flexible Vibram Gumlite outsole.

The shoes even utilize a super thick, 3.6-mm vegetable leather, typically reserved for seat belts, thus combining techniques new and old for the utmost stability. The sole is stitched to the welt instead of being glue, and afterward, left up to 10 days in a room where a light dousing of steam tightens the shoe and ensures a superior shape. The shoes are non irritant and breath comfortably when finished, and feature biodegradable leather that only becomes richer and more soft to the touch as it ages. Plus, they remain neutral during hot and cold days and never smell — meaning they’re just as suitable for your romp along the trail in spring as they are about town in the fall.