Best foot forward

Posted on Mar 1, 2017 :: Made in the New North
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

FOUR GENERATIONS AND MORE THAN 100 YEARS IN business gives whole new meaning to the phrase tight-knit family for Sheboygan’s Wigwam Mills.

Herbert Chesebro started the sock company with two other men in 1905, and it’s remained a family-owned business ever since. Today, Robert Chesebro serves as chairman of the board and his son and daughter work for the 150-employee company.

The company has established itself as a maker of American-made performance wool and merino wool socks for hiking, snow sports and running.

Wigwam socks are the favorite, go-to pair for many customers, says Luke Otten, the company’s marketing communications manager. The guaranteed-for-life product is also built to last. “I’ve heard many times that people still have socks they bought five or 10 years ago.”

Throughout its 112 years, the company has never stopped innovating. It holds two patents: one, called Ultimax, is designed to wick away moisture, and another, INgenius, combines a liner sock and outer sock knit together into one garment for outdoor sports.

Otten says Wigwam is updating its styles, starting with its hiking line, and would like to apply its INgenius innovation to running socks.