There was a time when my summer footwear was essentially signed to a one-season contract. I would buy a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths or made-in-China boat shoes, wear them to death starting in May and toss them when the weather changed.
The average shoe, however, takes an alarmingly long time to break down in a landfill, so I changed my ways—partly to shrink my (literal) environmental footprint, but mostly because I discovered the Rancourt Ranger Mocs shown here. Rancourt shoes have been made by hand in Lewiston, Maine, for more than 50 years. The Chromexcel leather—from Chicago’s legendary Horween tannery—will withstand years of heavy use, or you can opt for Horween shell cordovan, which generally outlasts its owners.
Either way, the shoes take on the shape of your foot in a matter of miles. It’s like getting bespoke footwear crafted on a wooden last with your exact dimensions, except you don’t need to pay a four-figure price and you can wear the end result to the beach. I’ve worn my Rancourts with a khaki suit to laid-back summer weddings; I’ve worn them with a bathing suit and nothing else. And when the grippy rubber soles finally erode, Rancourt will replace them for a small fee—which saves space in a landfill and saves you a trip to the shoe store come spring. rancourtandcompany.com.