Austin and Howard Foote are no stranger to the outdoor industry. The brothers grew up ski racing in Vermont and then progressed to the big mountain comp scene while studying at CU Boulder. The duo has recently set out to solve a problem faced by the modern outdoorsman - we love our work pants (Carhartt, Walls, Dickies, etc) they are extremely comfortable, durable, and they get better with age, but they look laughably out of place when paired with anything other than a baggy t shirt or jacket. Enter Patrol USA: a mountain lifestyle brand that aims to bridge the gap between technical, stylish sporting gear, and the rugged, cumbersome, and unfashionable construction wear that currently dominates the legs of outdoorsmen across the world. I recently sat down with Austin to dicuss the genesis of the brand and what makes these pants so awesome. Enjoy!
GH: What inspired you to start Patrol? You guys are solving a problem that a lot of younger outdoorsmen are running into in the apparel department.
AF: I was really looking for a career change. I wanted to do something that would get me on the road and into the places I enjoy being. Starting a mountain lifestyle brand was a natural fit. As far as a jumping off point, making this type of pant had been barstool conversation between my brother and I for awhile. I was always wearing double knee work pants growing up. Loved the feel of the heavy weight canvas pant, their rugged look, and they lasted forever.
When I got to college it was tough to make a those same pants look good. I still wore them, but with their boxy, baggy cut, they looked pretty terrible in any sort of day to day environment. I was skateboarding, and biking to class, doing a lot of hiking, etc, so they were the best option. The idea to go out and make pants didn't hit me until I grew tired of the cubicle life and started exploring options on getting into something I love. It took about a year to get everything in place, but we've hit it full bore, and think we've hit a home run with the overall fit and finish.
GH: What makes the pants so unique?
AF: There are no shortage of canvas pants out there, but there are none that check each of the boxes we have: durability, mobility, and quality of the cut. Our aim was a pant tailored for the "skier's ass", but we arrived at a cut that really does fit almost every shape, and will make it look good too.
GH: What has been the biggest learning process so far with Patrol? Any advice for the readers out there who are considering starting their own company?
AF: Aside from the obvious hoops such as financing, balancing other jobs, etc; Learning to be patient as designs and products come together is the one thing that sticks out. Our production times have been excruciatingly slow. We hit the market about 3 months later than we hoped. My advice for those looking to get into a passion play such as this, is DO IT! You'll kick yourself later if you don't.
So there you have it - if you're looking for a new, durable and fashionable pair of pants Patrol USA
has got you covered. I can say first hand that these are already my favorite pants and I'm sure you'll love them to.