Six decades ago, our founder Sherman Smith watched towering men surf log rafts of old-growth timbers down our Northwest rivers. Anyone with eyes could see falling off would be bad. Real bad.
Fueled by stories of harrowing slips and falls, Sherman set to work carving soles and straps from old tires. He then stapled the pieces together into a lace-up overshoe. Sharp carbide studs completed the prototypes, giving the loggers indispensable traction on slick wood. To this day, Sherman’s ingenious invention stands as a massive innovation that saved an untold number of lives.
At the same time, a small group of steelhead fishermen were pioneering the snot-slick boulders of the North Umpqua. They took note of the loggers’ new studded footwear. Among these steelheaders was Frank Moore, an Umpqua river guide and owner of the then-Steamboat Inn. With typical Oregonian insight and problem-solving, legends like Frank adapted Smith’s overshoes to navigate the endless maze of the river’s ledges. Moore’s Steamboat Inn became our first dealer in 1959 and the Korkers legacy was set in the North Umpqua’s dangerously slick stone.
Sixty years later, ingenuity and problem-solving remain our team’s guiding principles. Within our product line you’ll find innovations like the OmniTrax® Interchangeable Sole System, Boa® Lacing System, and quick-drying hydrophobic materials. No other company brings you adaptable traction footwear this comfortable, well-made or diverse. And you have our word, moving forward, we’re gonna keep standing tall on what we do best, so you can stand tall doing yours.