Dave Frane recently visited the Keen factory in Portland, Ore, and brought back a fascinating story and slideshow chronicling the work of an American "toolmaker." Originally known for making sports sandals, the 10-year-old company recently expanded into work boots. Their Industrial Line includes boots with puncture-resistant soles, metatarsal guards, slip-resistant tread, and steel, composite, or aluminum toes.

Why? Dave says it all here: "Like most folks who have worked in the trades,I'm interested in how things are made, especially tools. And when you get down to it, the better work boots and workwear are tools."    Read more.

Be sure to click on the link at the beginning of the story for a look at some of the interesting finds at JLC-Live NW, a sneak preview to the coming show in Providence.