munro footwear
Development Fashion Manufacturing

Munro Shoes: Inside an American Footwear Factory

Last-Report X Amara Nicole of  Specialty Shoe Lover

Shoe blogger, Amara Nicole took a trip to Clarksville, Arkansas to witness American Footwear manufacturing with, Munro Shoes. Amara’s blog, Specialty Shoe Lover, focuses on forgotten shoe sizes. The content speaks to an under-served market for specialty shoe sizes. I think you might find her blog quite interesting.

Why did we collaborate?

Amara’s perspective is from a person who not only loves shoes, but wants to know more about who made her shoes and how shoes are made. She is taking the time to learn and understand our industry and recognizes the role she plays as a consumer. This progressive action will shape the future of the footwear industry – connecting the maker with the wearer. Take a peek at her blog and IG feed, where this feature was originally posted.  A big THANK YOU to, Amara Nicole for allowing me to re-post this feature!

Amara Nicole and Munro & Co., Inc.’s CFO takes you into the Munro footwear factory in Arkansas.

(This post may contain an affiliate link, redirecting readers to the featured shoe brand.)

specialtyshoelover.com

Hi Everyone! If you can’t already tell, I’m a bit of a shoe fanatic. Not only am I obsessed with the latest footwear trends and technology advancements, I’ve also grown more curious as to how shoes are made. And let me tell you, what I’ve found is a lot of hard work goes into so many of our shoes from design to shelf. If you’re anything like me, interested in the footwear industry (design, production, technology, etc.), then you definitely know how secretive this industry can be.

Manufacturing practices and proprietary development tools are near sacred. It’s like a secret sorority that few are dubbed into. Well today, I’m helping you break down industry walls to show you a little more of this footwear world through the lens of an actual footwear factory.

During this past Labor Day holiday, I decided to drive on over to Munro & Co.’s footwear manufacturing facility located in Clarksville, Arkansas. What I found in this tiny American town is the home to hundreds of footwear lasts (a designer’s dream), an incredibly talented team of loyal footwear craftsmen (and women), and lots of shoes. This would be an absolute dream for the hard-to-fit people out there like myself.

Btw, you can learn more about my shoe history here. What stood out to me the most was the remarkable history of how one American family from New England has maintained their private label brand, which has become one of the last great American women’s footwear manufacturers in the very heart of the South.

Munro’s American Footwear History

While shoe lovers typically associate footwear manufacturing families with those in Italy, China, or Brazil, Munro’s footwear factory embodies the very essence of the American family story that we as dreamers continue to strive toward. The founder of the Munro brand, Don Munro, came to Arkansas from the North East to establish his place in the U.S. footwear manufacturing scene during the late 1950s.

Today, 3 of his 9 children have fully committed to the continuation of his Southern footwear empire. His son, Bruce, currently serves as the CEO, while his daughters Mollie and Christine manage the  Production and Sales/Marketing respectively. This family business has survived the very worst of retail’s past horrors—the American move to overseas manufacturing, the Internet boom, and the current fast fashion trend through its own niche of specialty lengths and widths.

With function and comfort at the forefront of their designs, Munro stands a part from the rest as they offer 14 various lengths with 5 different widths for women. Honestly, I could’ve gone to shoe heaven that day when I saw the row of lasts in my own size, 11 AAAA Narrow.

Amara Nicole

With thousands of pairs made each year, Munro’s team of about 150 continues to provide quality footwear for hard-to-fit women, all while supporting an entire community in the town of Clarksville, AR.

Video Credit: Specialtyshoelover.com

Amara is wearing the Beth Slide Sandal by Munro shoes.

Beth Slide Sandal

Does your brand offer specialty sizes? Connect with Amara at: specialtyshoelover@gmail.com

Amara Nicole

Founder and Blogger of SpecialtyShoeLover.com. Follow her ShoeGram on IG @specialtyshoelover

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