Sometime ago on a cool crisp October day the idea of making shoes from American Bison Leather was conceived by Harrison Trask during a day of fly fishing near his home in Montana. A devoted fly fisherman, Harrison had spent the day casting toward rising trout on the Madison River. Late that day, as he stood waist deep in the river, he noticed a large herd of Buffalo grazing along the bank. A footwear executive of 30 years, Mr. Trask wondered, "Why have I never seen shoes made from Buffalo leather?"
Mr. Trask discovered that hundreds of commercial Bison ranches existed throughout the US and that ample supplies of the Bison leather were available.
He also learned that his leather had a unique quality that he had never seen before... it was soft and mellow, yet wore like iron.® Soon, the H.S. Trask brand dedicated to old fashion quality and comfort was born in Harrison's ranch home in Bozeman, Montana. Today, H.S. Trask footwear is made from America's Original Leathers® Bison, Elk, and Longhorn.
A combination of elements creates the unique comfort found in H.S. Trask footwear. Clearly, one of the important elements is leather. The Bison, Elk and Longhorn leathers we use have unique fibre characteristics and our special tanning techniques enhance these qualities. You can feel the difference the moment you put the shoes on. We also use the highest quality components in our shoes including cushion orthotics, soft midsoles, high-grade outsoles, and fully lined vamps and quarters. Whenever there is a choice between leather and plastic, we always choose leather.
American Bison were the cornerstone of sustenance for Native Americans. Bison was the leather of choice for clothing, shelter and footwear due to its unique paradoxical quality: it is soft and mellow, yet wears like iron. The relaxed weave allows for more flexibility, which means less (if any) break in time. It takes the shape of your foot rivaling a custom-made shoe. Combine this with an unmatched tensile strength and you have a soft durability that will spoil you forever.
Elk hide leather is our softest, most pliable leather. Elk features a buttery plump “hand” which quickly conforms to foot characteristics. Tanned with a natural finish and delivering old shoe comfort, right from the start.