When Patrick Woodyard, founder of Nisolo, took a development job in Trujillo, Peru, he was exposed to an experienced community of shoemakers. He was impressed, but he spied a catch: the craftsmen didn’t have the resources to export their products and grow their customer base. Seeing an opportunity, Woodyard founded Nisolo in 2011, and the handmade footwear company has since focused on ethical production practices and bringing quality shoes alongside a better standard of life for the shoe producers. The brand is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and has channeled both the classic style and new-wave creativity that the city offers.
Nisolo’s cornerstone boot, the chukka, is offered in two models: the Chavito ($148) and the Emilio ($178). They are versatile boots ready to be paired with slacks and a sport coat for meetings with clients or jeans and a tee for a more relaxed look. Both models feature built-in arch support and a five-eyelet lace-up closure. The Chavito comes in nubuck leather and has a rubber outsole that’s both versatile and durable, where the Emilio comes in a polished full-grain leather and has a leather outsole for a more refined look. The chukkas have found support from local Nashville-based musicians; singer-guitarist Brady Toops and singer Jonny P can be seen wearing the boots around the city and onstage.
For a more formal sensibility, Nisolo offers the Taylor Wingtip ($168) in both nubuck and full-grain leather. The styling is refined, reminiscent of shoes from the early 1900s, and has detailed broguing along the edges of the leather. Or, for brash utility, there’s the brand’s trench boot, the Lockwood ($248), which draws inspiration from traditional American GI boots and is lined with soft leather that conforms to the wearer’s foot over time for the perfect fit.
Good-looking handmade shoes at this price point make it hard to say no, and, paired with Nisolo’s commitment to ethical business practices, there’s a strong argument for a finely crafted product coming from a quality source. In other words, just the right jive for a Music City company with a cosmopolitan mindset.