I got one of the very nicest presents in the mail a couple weeks ago. The Aurora Shoe Co. had contacted me awhile back because they wanted to give me a free(!) pair of shoes, no strings attached (i.e. no review post necessary). They find their best advertising is by word of mouth, and who am I to pass up free shoes? I wasn't planning on mentioning them on the blog until I actually got them and wore them. But these are no ordinary shoes! And their company is so in line with what I want to support and foster. First, I had to send them in a tracing of my feet! Yes, each shoe is custom made to your foot. Can you imagine? They are such a dream to wear because my feet, like the rest of my body, are quite narrow and long. So I either get shoes that fit length-wise or width-wise, rarely both. But these are just right. I've seriously been wearing them almost every day.
The company is family-run out of upstate New York. My shoes came back with my little foot tracing cutouts inside the shoe with a hand-written note from the owner on them. The whole experience was just so hands-on, so personal, so real. I wish that all our transactions could be like this. You can watch a great little video of how they're made here.
Everything is done by hand, carefully, thoughtfully, by people who love their work. Isn't that how it should be? You can read more about the behind the scenes stuff and get to know some of the people that make Aurora Shoes on their blog.
I absolutely believe in paying more for something that's a quality product, made by people here in the US, supporting their families and contributing to our economy. I'd rather have one pair of shoes that I know have been lovingly and ethically crafted, than fifteen pair with less than straightforward production practices. Definitely check out their company; if you're looking for a pair of shoes that will take through the next decade and beyond (in complete comfort!), and a company you can be proud to support, this is it!