As habitual seekers of good products — and good stories — we can only imagine the elation and intrigue Hood Rubber president Kevin Gordon felt when he discovered the brand for the first time while leafing through newspaper clippings in the Watertown, MA public library. A century before his re-discovery of the brand, its original founders Frederic and Arthur Hood stood toe-to-toe with industrial titans like Bell and Edison as the largest manufacturer of rubber footwear in the world — which they produced and shipped in that very same Massachusetts town. A modest operation when it opened in 1896, by 1919 Hood Rubber Company’s sophisticated, indoor/outdoor vulcanized footwear boasted features far ahead of their time, along with progressive employment ideals that made them the first US employer with their own hospital and dental clinic. Hood expanded into other categories like premium auto tires, shod our troops in rubberized shoes and boots during WWII, and eventually succumbed to its own success in 1969, after it was purchased by rubber giant BF Goodrich and fell victim to the shifting priorities of American consumer.
The new Hood Rubber Company — Kevin Gordon’s Hood Rubber Company — takes its inspiration and aesthetic from the legacy written so long ago while stylishly updating it for the modern age. Their creations are not only handsome as hell, they’re highly functional in all conditions thanks to their unique rubberized leather outers and lining. You’d be hard-pressed to find a waterproof boot, no less a shoe, that looks quite as nice as their Wayland hiker or Concord duck boot does with a pair of jeans. Newly appointed with international details like Italian wool collars, waxed laces, and tread-packed Vibram soles, Hood’s new crop of boots earn their reputation with every step.