Military bids could spur more US shoes

What will the ramifications of all-American footwear manufacturing be here in Massachusetts?

Tony Post has a good idea what the answer would be.

Post, former chief executive of Vibram USA, launched Newton-based Topo Athletic in late 2012 to sell a newly designed “minimalist shoe” aimed at better mimicking barefoot running. He said he had no choice at the time but to go with a foreign contractor to make his Topo brand shoes.


He is rooting for New Balance or Saucony to succeed, even though they are two big rivals.

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“Maybe this could be a catalyst for more US manufacturing,” Post said of the New Balance-Saucony competition to sell all-American running shoes. “It’s exciting to think that there’s a chance, anyway, that there will be more of that in the US.”

Domestic production has a number of advantages for companies like Topo, Post said: more control over the manufacturing process; better cash flow, with less money tied up in advance orders; and faster response times to consumer trends.

“You could be much more nimble,” Post said. “I love the idea of not having to order five or six months in advance, which is typically what we have to do when we buy products overseas.”

Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.