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The Soul of the Shoe Business

FOR YEARS, when Branson McRae was president and CEO of McRae Industries, he proudly displayed in his office a huge color picture of Scotland’s Eilean Donan Castle. A genealogy buff, he learned that his ancestors, the McRae clan, were literally keepers of the castle, beginning in the 16th century. Maybe it’s no coincidence that the […]

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All in the Family

Leaving a lasting footprint FAMILY BUSINESSES ARE UNIQUE– yet often challenging – form of operation. Less than 30 percent of family businesses survive into the third generation of family ownership. McRae Industries, a leading manufacturer of combat boots and western footwear, defies the odds. For six decades, the company has more than survived as a […]

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Made in America

Navigating the changing currents of government contracting IN 1969, Victor Karam, a self-described “Yankee who loves the south,” transplanted from his native New England to join McRae Industries in an executive role. A cultured Bostonian of Lebanese descent, Victor had a master’s degree in journalism but ended up in an entirely different field: women’s shoes. […]

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Steps in a New Direction

Venturing into the western and work boot world AFTER NEARLY THREE DECADES OF SUCCESS in the military boot market, McRae Industries founder and CEO Branson McRae decided to “go West.” In April 1996, he purchased American West Trading Company, a designer, marketer, and distributor of western boots for people of all ages. The deal included […]

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An Inclusive Culture

Welcoming Laos refugees to the McRae workforce DURING THE VIETNAM WAR, the U.S. secretly recruited thousands of citizens in Southeast Asia, including Laos, to support the war against the Communists and North Vietnamese. In the mid-1970s, when the U.S. pulled out of these countries, many Southeast Asians fled. They led their families on perilous treks […]

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War in the Desert

Keeping out the heat BY JULY 1990, times were tough for McRae Industries. The Cold War was over, military spending was down, and Defense Department demand for combat boots had ground to a halt. To weather the financial storm, company founder and CEO Branson McRae laid off nearly half of the company’s 287-person workforce and […]

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Boots on the Ground

Crafting combat footwear for the Vietnam War >American troops in the Vietnam War needed a better combat boot. McRae Footwear answered the call, manufacturing durable jungle boots for the harshest fighting conditions. THE YEAR WAS 1967, and the Vietnam War raged on. With half a million American troops in South Vietnam, the U.S. was at […]

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Caution to the Wind

Flying on a dream Growing up in rural North Carolina, McRae Industries founder Branson McRae had big dreams for the future. He went on to become a world leader in manufacturing military footwear. Mount Gilead, NC, sits at the foot of the Uwharries, North America’s oldest mountain range. With a population of just over 1,000, […]

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Original Hot Weather Combat Boots

One of our original combat boots: the Hot Weather Combat boots in Desert Tan. The Ripple-soled boot has enjoyed popularity for many years and this is one of the original models. Ours features the upper design of the current, standard issue Hot Weather combat boot and is made in Desert Tan suede and 1000 denier […]

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Terassault Boots at the top of Machu Picchu!

Great photos and review from another satisfied McRae Footwear owner. A pair of our Terassault boots have made their way to the top of Machu Picchu! This pair of boots made their way to many of the historical Inca sites in Peru as well! “The boots served me well – I especially appreciate the gripping […]

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