A few years ago, my grandfather passed down his old baseball cleats from the 1950s, and I was stunned by their beauty. As a child I had played baseball every day in the summer, and had never seen anything like them – black leather, oversized tongue, nice curves, no logo - they were classy yet utilitarian.
This was the dominant style during the Golden Age of Baseball, and many legendary players wore similar cleats - icons like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Jackie Robinson.
I thought it was a shame that this style had been left behind and forgotten, so I decided to re-launch the vintage baseball cleat as a sneaker. And in homage to my grandfather, I called this first model the Melvin.
-Broc Blegen, founder
MADE IN USA
Bases seakers are made in small batches at a family-run factory in Maine that has 50 years of experience with handcrafted footwear. They work with many leading brands, even manufacturing the shoes that Team USA wore for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Most of America's shoe manufacturing industry has been devastated by cheaper production overseas. Back in the 1920s-60s, when the original cleats were made, 98% of the shoes sold in America were made here. Now, only about 1% of the shoes sold in America are actually made in America.
A sneaker that's inspired by America's pastime ought to be made in America too, right? We are fortunate to be working with a few of the last surviving shoe factories and tanneries in America, and am proud to say that Bases sneakers are Made in USA.
Horween is a world-renowned tannery that has been making beautiful and durable leather in Chicago since 1905. One of the last surviving tanneries in America, Horween is also known for supplying the leather for NFL and NBA game balls. Their Essex full-grain vegetable tanned leather is buttery soft yet durable, made by hand using a time-honored artisanal technique that uses natural tannins, making it more environmentally responsible and healthier for employees to work with. And the leather is also biodegradable, so when it is finally time to retire the sneakers, the leather will safely decompose.
Vibram makes the most trusted and durable rubber soles, since 1937.
DIRECT TO YOU
We are committed to quality craftsmanship and supporting American manufacturing, but want you to get the best value too.
Traditional retailers generally mark up their products 5–6x the cost of production. But by selling directly to you, we are able to offer a quality product for much less.
Quality materials and craftsmanship is expensive - it costs about $144 to produce each pair, and that's just for the labor and materials. Then add on the cost of prototypes, graphic designers, photographers, marketing, etc.
It may sound old-fashioned, but we just want you to feel like you've paid an honest price for a quality product.
544 Park Ave, #403
Brooklyn, NY 11205