SAS Shoes – History and Heritage

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The Story of San Antonio Shoemakers

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The story of the San Antonio Shoemakers™(SAS) family begins with its founders, Terry Armstrong and Lew Hayden. The two first met in Pittsfield, Maine, but their passion for making quality footwear led them to San Antonio, Texas. After working for a local shoe company, Terry and Lew struck out on their own.

Terry and Lew had a vision of how genuine leather shoes should be made. With determination, and the support of their families, the two pooled their resources to start their first factory in a corner of an unused aircraft hangar on the South Side of San Antonio. In 1976, San Antonio Shoemakers was born.

Growth on the Horizon

They started small, with just 13 shoemakers and no marketing beyond word of mouth. The SAS reputation grew and became a name people could trust for comfortable, quality footwear. In 1985, SAS opened a factory in Del Rio, Texas, keeping their business in Texas while allowing for expansion.

Now, SAS’s line features everything from walking and athletic shoes to pumps, flats, sandals, and even a new boot for women. The men’s line has expanded to include walking and athletic wear to dress shoes like the Ambassador and Diplomat to a new casual shoe, the Move On, featuring S Motion Technology™.

Carried in 200+ SAS stores and in retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Korea, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Chile, Israel and England —the San Antonio Shoemakers brand is a humble American success story, and continues to be a family-owned enterprise driven by an obsession with fit and quality.

Dedication to Quality

Today, we continue to handcraft our shoes from only the softest, highest quality leather. Just one pair of shoes may go through up to 100 different steps. There are 14 primary operations that take place in our factories like leather selection, die-making, cutting, lasting and more. Within those operations, approximately 80 different skilled pairs of hands are carefully constructing and inspecting each shoe to make sure the SAS shoes you choose are the best made pair of footwear in your closet.

At SAS, our priorities have always been the comfort and quality of our shoes. As our company has grown over the years, so have the tastes of our customers. When we decided to create our first pump, we found a small multi-generational family-owned company with a heritage and love of crafting fine leather shoes similar to SAS. Working hand in hand, we believe we developed a unique approach that embraces the best of Italian design and SAS comfort. Within our line of dress shoes, any particular style or color may be manufactured in the U.S., or Italy, or both locations.

Keeping the Dream Alive

SAS remains a family-owned company, and that family extends itself to every SAS employee. From our skilled shoemakers to our CEO, every employee of SAS works together to create the most comfortable shoes in the world. At SAS, we hold our product to only the highest standards and respect the workers who make that product possible. San Antonio Shoemakers has built the company around appreciating and respecting our workers.

The strength of that relationship is what allows us to hold our product to such high standards. Every employee at SAS takes personal pride in creating the most comfortable shoes in the world. This is why many of our team have been with SAS for upwards of 10, 20, even 30 years. In fact, 42% of SAS’s workforce has been on the job for over fifteen years. It’s this dedication that allows us to have such a high standard of service for our customers. Our customer’s comfort comes first, and together we make that comfort possible.

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Like Father, Like Son

Father’s Day is a great time to explore the role of fashion in father–son relationships. It is often timeless yet modern looks that bring the generations together, as well as the courage to experiment. Together with our guest author and style expert Dominik H. Müller, we are taking a look at the fashion parallels between fathers and sons and offering a few styling tips for men of all ages.

One of the most important people in a man’s life is his father. He is a role model, adviser and sometimes a rival. Ideally (and usually when the son reaches adulthood), he is also a friend. Fathers undoubtedly influence their sons’ sense of style to varying degrees, whether consciously or subconsciously. Fashion can be a shared interest in father–son relationships, provided that they also share similar tastes.

„My dad is not just a dad, but also a good friend. Just as I can talk openly with him about other things in my life, he is open-minded when it comes to fashion sense,” says Müller, describing the relationship with his father and their shared interest in fashion.

Mature consumers have changed over the years. They now take a greater interest in fashion, and the clothes chosen by style-conscious men of 60 or thereabouts are not necessarily any different to those of younger generations. At the same time, many young men value a classic style that is both contemporary and ageless. As a result, many items work well at any age: understated sandals, clean-cut sneakers, plain Bermuda shorts, casual shirts, checked patterns … In fact, there is a long list of things that both father and son can wear.

What’s more, men of different generations are exposed to the same trends, as they come and go – and come back again in modified form. This makes it possible for both fathers and sons to fall in love with similar clothes and pair them with a stylish classic, such as boat shoes. Fashion sense is also becoming more daring, with young and “old” alike opting for flamboyant colors and combinations.

“My dad often wears color-coordinated outfits, such as socks or shoes that match the color of his shirt.”

That explains fashionista Müller, revealing one of his dad’s key fashion rules. How about combining the Minot sneaker in blue/brown with red socks, beige chinos and a blue shirt? Looks good! Bright socks also work well with sandals.

“Be bold and daring when it comes to styling!”

The young style expert advises all men to “be bold and daring when it comes to styling!” Knee-length socks – like the ones your granddad used to wear – are all the rage in 2017 and can be teamed with shorts and a shirt, or a polo shirt and sandals, by men of all ages. Müller loves to create the look with a brightly colored Arizona. The two-strap sandal forms a color contrast with the knee-length socks, but harmonizes with the outfit as a whole.

Travel in Comfort and Style

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You may be tying up those last few details for your summer vacation and making your packing lists too. Maybe you plan to go somewhere exotic where sun and sand take you far away from your cold desk at work. Or maybe you want to find yourself lost in history- overseas, or across the country. Regardless, one thing you definitely need is a comfy pair of shoes, like our Duo sandals. This classic sandal has supported many feet on trips all over the globe.

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