Mr. Bass traveled by horse and wagon. Sometimes he took his boots with him and delivered them on the spot. Sometimes he took orders and made up the boots for later delivery. But he always had plenty of time to talk to the men who wore his boots. He came to know their needs and felt that a satisfactory boot must be built with the particular needs of the wearer in mind.
Meeting shoppers face to face inspired him. Learning in the field, the farmers who'd worn his shoes gathered 'round when he came asking for their thoughts. "The shoes were great when snowdrifts are knee-high" they told him, "But in summer they're too tall and heavy." Bass rushed back to his workshop. The result? A shorter, lighter weight shoe with two buckles called the "National Plow Shoe." Lumbermen and Boatsmen then told Bass they need a heftier, hardier sole. He headed to the bench again, and another shoe model appeared. Bass loved it when his buyers were nitpicky - that gave the company direction and ensured the highest quality.