HELM believes your shoes not only say a lot about you, but that they build an inherent confidence in how you carry yourself. Your feet keep you stable, steady, and secure——always moving forward——always taking you to what is next.
Founded in 2009 in Austin, Texas, HELM is dedicated to classic style with a versatile, modern perspective. Starting with a mission to take aspects of favorite boots, sneakers, and dress shoes and meld them together to create an alternative perspective and to challenge what is expected of American-made boots and shoes.
HELM casual & work boots and shoes are produced and sourced in U.S. facilities, making them 100% made in the USA. By doing so, HELM aims to lead the re-emergence of U.S. production facilities and the communities that they support.
Why do we design?
We design because we need to.
From the literature that we read, to the music we listen to, to every aspect of the business at HELM - it’s all art to us. We design because we feel the desire to create something to compliment our lives and make other lives better.
If you are an artist, you see art in everything.
We see art in footwear, boots and shoes. For us, confidence is based on footwear. Your feet keep you stable, steady, and secure --- always moving forward---always taking you to what is next. We want to instill this confidence with a bit of art and style.
Our Approach & Challenge
JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT PEOPLE WEAR, WE’RE FASCINATED BY WHY THEY WEAR THEM, SOMETHING THAT WE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN WE DESIGN:
We take select aspects of our favorite boots, sneakers and dress shoes and meld them to create what we want---what we would wear---and hope that others would too. Can we truly re-interpret the classic timeless boot? Can we really challenge the Europeans in design and the Italians in fabrication? Can we honestly provide an alternative to what’s expected by American boots and shoes? We don’t stop working until the answer to those questions is, “Yes.”
Why we produce in the U.S.
TO HELP TRANSITION FROM THE SURVIVAL OF U.S. PRODUCTION TO THE REVIVAL OF U.S. PRODUCTION.
Being an entrepreneur is not only about building and creating, it’s about helping grow, maintain and sustain the manufacturing infrastructure. Rekindling the flame of U.S. production that once burned bright. Just as we cultivate young designers, we have to make sure we’re cultivating the people, processes, and communities that make it all possible, for the sake of our own people, livelihood and economy. American designers and American design is strong.
Helm Launches in 2009
HELM WAS FOUNDED IN 2009 WITH A MISSION TO BLEND ASPECTS OF OUR FAVORITES.
Whether they were classic boots, work boots, or hiking boots, we blended those with details from shoes and sneakers in order to challenge what was expected out of the traditional boot. Designed in Austin and developed and produced in Istanbul, Turkey, you’re still able to see elements from those initial models represented today.
Helm: 2010 - 2012
HELM EXPANDED OUR DESIGN IDENTITY IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS.
From 2010 thru Spring 2012, we continued to produce everything out of Istanbul and pushed the creative elements of the boots with color, zippers, straps, and a variety of soles, setting the groundwork for what would become iconic elements of the HELM brand.
THE BIGGEST TRANSITION FOR THE COMPANY HAPPENED IN FALL 2012, WHEN WE DECIDED TO BRING PRODUCTION BACK TO THE U.S.
We started production in Maine and have since expanded to include Arkansas. This allowed a shift in design direction towards US handcrafting and American influenced lasts while utilizing everything we learned in Istanbul. With this knowledge, we are challenging the boundaries and limitations of American factories. Today, we’ve begun discussions with additional factories in NYC and LA so that we can continue to push the expectations for American footwear with more custom lasts, patterns, leather colors, and material combinations.