When Eric Kinney took over as president of Spokane, Washington legend White’s Boots in 2019, the 170-year-old maker didn’t even have a website. Just four short years later, Eric—a former White’s bootmaker for 26 years who made upwards of 50,000 pairs himself—and the White’s team have positioned the brand as one of the preeminent and beloved high-quality lifestyle bootmakers anywhere in the world.
In a rangy Shoecast episode, Ben and Ticho chat with Eric about the unceremonious reveal of the initial lifestyle-table-setting White’s MP boot Eric developed; how he views the differences between White’s Goodyear welt, stitchdown, and handwelt lines; if we can expect to see fully custom offerings from White’s into the future; how Japanese conglomerate ABC Mart’s ownership of White’s has changed things for the previously family-owned company (somehow, not a ton at all!); and how the brand is contending with an ongoing bootmaker shortage.
Perhaps the quote from the episode that sums up Eric, and White’s as a brand, best: “To be truthful, the [best] part about being in charge is being the one who can make White’s…stay White’s. What happens when I leave? I don’t know. I do know that if I’m still there, it’s not going to change.”
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