Helm Boots: Designed In Texas, Made In Maine

In the continuing quest to find the perfect pair of boots, we've come across Helm Boots, a small, Texas-based footwear company. Founded a few years ago by a musician/coffee-roaster/house-builder/importer/teacher/hardware clerk who also happened to be obsessed with rugged shoes, Helm strikes a chord with us for its utilitarian roots. These boots are made to be worn. Hard.

Designed in Austin, Texas, and manufactured in Maine (that's the USA, people), Helm is a smaller, less faceless alternative to some of the bigger brands. "We've operated out of East Austin as long as we've been around," says Helm's brand manager Hillary Bilheimer. "We incorporate a lot of the neighborhood into our brand." 

It's pretty cool that Helm goes way above and beyond the typical "Made in the USA" routine, but it's not just Helm that we're excited about—it's the boots. Check 'em out.

Muller Teak Blutcher Boot - $410
Helm makes various versions of the Blutcher and this is one of our favorites. The soft, pliable, and matte leather is from the SB Foot Tannery in Red Wing, MN (yes, the same location as the boot company) and sits over a water-loc leather sole. The Blutcher has clean lines, a capped toe, and a simple look that can be dressed up or down.

Dash Chestnut Sneaker Boot - $299
The Dash is a little bizarre, sporting some heavy Euro vibes, especially in the toe. But we really dig the suede inserts, soft-looking profile, and white sole. Like anything, everything depends on how you wear it.

Lotzer Teak Dress Boot - $389
Though we're not sure how dressy a boot with a white sole is, we love that big honking piece of Vibram. The wedge boot is an American class, and we like Helm's take, with its white contrast stitching. If there's any of these boots that will look particularly good worn in, we think it might be this pair.

Phillips Copper Chukka Boot - $355
Though they always seem a little less rugged than other kinds of boots—fewer eyelets make them a little looser—desert boots will always be the go-to casual boot. Made with distressed full-grain, this Chukka is named after an Austin barber who "after speaking with him for only five minutes, is also like your best friend."

Sam Original Dress Boot - $399
Sure it's dressy, but Helm's Sam boot keeps it two-tone funky with denim inserts. Yeah, that's right, the fabric of the people.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. Since it's summer, he's wearing sandals. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.