Sunday, June 25, 2017


I'm super excited to be sending another pair of boots to be work on by the incomparable Takeshi Okuyama. The last pair of boots he worked on was my Wesco MP Toe Engineers back in 2013.

During our e-mail correspondence, I was informed of their new shipping address.

Fukurokuju Boot Repair Shop
1-13-8 Nihonzutsumi
Taitoku, Tokyo
Website: Fukurokuju

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Brand: Pair-A-Trooper by Georgia Shoe Mfg Co.
Circa: Late 1950s / Early 1960s
Color: Black
Size: 7 1/2E
Length: 11"
Width: 4 3/16"
Soles: Fite-Grip
Heels: B.F.Goodrich
Leather: Oil Tanned Cowhide (NOT Horsehide)
Hardware: Nickel
Sold For: $487.50 BIN
Seller: bobby-doug

The Every now and then a nice pair of Engineer Boots pops up on the auction block and this one that didn't last long before the seller accepted the sub-$500 lowball BIN offer.

These are really nice boots, but I wouldn't pay any more than $800-$1,000 for them without the metal hardware. Even then, I'm not big fan of hard toes on vintage boots like these and ones made for Penney's. While the toe taps and heel plates are somewhat easily removed, there is still a level of compromise to the structure when attempting it -- a risk I wouldn't want to take with sixty-year-old boots of which I dropped a kilo. I'd sooner purchase two pairs of these four boots for under $1K before even considering the insane $2,275 asking price by the new seller.

Thanks for the heads up on this auction, Warren!

Sunday, June 11, 2017


This is the last of my ready-made belts (for now) that I'm clearing out to make room for future VEB Leather projects.

Brown Horween CXL (1 3/4")
$90: Size 32 - Plain
$150: Size 34 - Studded "Street Rod" (Modified "Streetcar" belt with starburst)

Natural Horween CXL (1 3/4")
$150: Size 30 "Saf-T-Flash"

Hair-On-Hide (1 1/2")
$50 ea, Qty: 3 - Can be made up to size 39"

Black belt/Black buckle (1 1/4") made from 9-10 Ounce Oak-Tanned American Cowhide
- $50

E-mail me at or DM me on my Instagram if interested.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


It's no secret that one would have to reach deep into their pocket in order to own some of the best boots on the market. And if you're going to spend some hard-earned scratch on a pair of Engineer Boots, why not own what I consider to be the best out there?

Here is a short  list of my favorite Engineer Boots for under $1,000. The list may look familiar, but when someone can show me a pair of boots that look better and can stand up to the elements I'll consider adding them to the list. Until then, enjoy!

 Mister Freedom Road Champ Boots
Price: $949.95

 John Lofgren
Price: $978.00

Attractions & Co.
Price: $660-$780

Standard & Strange x Wesco
Price: $800 (pre-order $400 deposite by 21 June 17)
Ships October 2017

Honorable mention - This is outside the $1,000 threshold for this post, but what's another $60 for some sexy a$$ boots, eh?
Photo: Brass Tokyo Instagram
Clinch by Brass Tokyo
Price: $1,060

Keep an eye out for my next boot category.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


I'm  clearing out some stock of ready-made belts in limited quantity. They are $50 shipped -- US Only (2 for $90)
These belts are available up to size 40.

•Brown and black belts are 1 1/4" and made from 9-10 Ounce Oak-Tanned American Cowhide
•Hair-on-hide belts are 1 1/2"

E-mail me at if interested.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Veteran Shoe/Boot Repair extraordinaire, Takeshi Okuyama, has been rockin' some amazing custom work since 2002 and continues to be a dominant figure in the Cobbler scene. I've had two pairs of top-shelf Engineer Boots re-worked by this artist and am planning on sending him another pair.

Be prepared to spend hours cruisin' his blog complete with pricing and amazingness. Cheers!

Check out Takeshi's work at:

Fukurokuju Boot Repair Shop
2-26-2 Nihonzutsumi
Taitoku, Tokyo
My Mister Freedom® Road Champs with double leather sole, leather half sole and Cat's Paw heels by Takeshi

My Wesco Boss MP Toe with Vibram #705 Half Soles and heels, Price $250 by Takeshi

Source: Hukurokuju Red Wing 9013, Price for this repair $144

Source: Hukurokuju Red Wing 2268, Price for this repair $135

Source: Hukurokuju Red Wing 875, Price for this repair $120

Monday, May 29, 2017


Belleau, France - Corporal DeValder, trumpet player with 2nd Marine Division band, stands at attention during a Memorial Day ceremony in which U.S. Marines performed alongside the French Army at the Aisne-Marne American Memorial Cemetery in Belleau, France. The French and the Americans gathered together, as they do every year, to honor those service members from both countries who have fallen in WWI, Belleau Wood and throughout history, fighting side by side. The Marines also remembered those they lost in the Battle of Belleau Wood 99 years ago.

Friday, May 26, 2017


Happy Birthday to Mister Freedom himself. Where would we be without his amazing contributions to the world of rugged wear? Thank you, Sir. I'm honored to call you a friend.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


I enjoy spending good money on great clothing as much as the next guy or gal and traditionally stick to established and respected name brands. While I don't really consider myself a fashion kinda guy -- I just wear things that catch my eye -- readers of my blog and followers of my Instagram have found my posts and style interesting enough to hit me up about the very things I wear.

Some of the common questions I receive are, "I'm looking for a pair of boots that look like (insert brand here), but have a budget of less than $500. Can you help?" or "Are there clothing brands out there that offer the same workwear or Americana style for someone on a budget?"

It's no secret that a lot of established companies charge a good penny for their goods, but there are alternatives out there.

As a frequent visitor to Target for our household needs, Jillian likes to report on the workwear-inspired offerings she runs across in the men's clothing department and over the years they've ranged from selvedge denim to chambray workshirts with chinstraps. Here's an example of their latest offering -- a chambray workwear coat and cotton vest, both of which can be had for about $75 -- the Chambray shirt, also from Target, was about $25 from several years back.

For me, these will never replace the amazing pieces from some of my favorite brands like Mister Freedom® and their ethical manufacturing standards, but for some folks out there they definitely capture that vintage vibe at a manageable price.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Love the blog and Instagram, I would really like an opinion about a possible first purchase between Wesco 7400 and Vibergs engineer boots. I read your blog which featured both and i would like your opinion on which ones would be a better purchase? Any feedback would be appreciated.

(Photo: VibergViberg Horween CXL, $750 - This leather will develop a highly-desired patina as the black color wears away over time. 

(Photo: Standard & Strange)Wesco 7400 Black Tie Domain, $609 - Due to the dying process, don't expect a brown undertone. 

Pecos-Style Western Last, Traditional Nickel Roller Buckles

Traditional, Vintage "Narrow" Profile, Modern Copper Buckles

Cat's Paw Rubber

Full Composition Vibram

While each boot has its own style -- Wesco has the more traditional early American vibe while the stock Viberg, in my opinion, is offered in a more modern western Pecos style -- they are both nice boots definitely worth buying. 

As a fan of a more classic narrow style with flat toes, Wesco is the model I would personally choose. However, I think Viberg offers custom orders and with their vast number lasts one could build an amazing pair of Engineers. Of course, this means an increased cost. 

The Wesco 7400 model is perfect out of the box and at almost $150 less, while I think the stock Viberg leaves much to be desired. 

I hope this helps and good luck!


Friday, April 28, 2017


Great news for boot lovers!

"Here is your chance to get a pair of Road Champs. The boots will be available on later today(28 April 2017)

Get ready for the Road Champ mania if you wear either a 7, 8, 9, 9.5, 10.5 or 11.5. Remember to size down .5 from your usual sneaker size - it works for most."
Photo Source: MF Store Instagram

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


This day in April 18, 1906 at 5:12 am - The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake ripped and ravaged the city; setting the Levi's building on fire. All company records were lost, and the meaning of its most iconic image was burried in flames.



Thursday, April 13, 2017


Brand: Unknown
Circa: 1930's
Color: Black
Size: 10 1/2
Length: 12"
Width: 4 1/1"
Leather: Advertised as "Horsehide"but more than likely Cowhide
Sole: Leather
Hardware: Brass
Condition: "Still wearable"
Sold For: $313.99 / 21 bids

There haven't been too many nice Vintage Engineer Boots up lately, but this one caught my eye.   I am a big fan of 1930's and 1940's Engineer Boots and this pair has all the characteristics with the custom cigarette pocket.  No brand on these, but the way the vamp and heel pad are sewn together reminds me of Knapp.  Not sure why this one sold for so little (that's a great thing) when compared to all the blatantly obvious 1970's crappy boots being passed off as 1950's that sell for over $600.  


Monday, April 10, 2017


The coveted "Julian-Made" Double RL Engineers is a model I wish I never got rid of. This particular boot was sent to me for repair with the Road Champs belonging to Erik of Bull & Bush Brewery. If you find your size available at auction online, I recommend snagging it up. I would personally drop anywhere betweeen $400-$600 for a pair depending on condition.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Ever look at the knife or card pocket on a pair of vintage Red Wings and think about all the possible uses of the empty space on the inside of your Engineer Boot shaft? I thought about this very thing and in 2012 I went ahead and cut out a completely functional 1930's-style "D-Pocket." This is more of a visual design, but can be used to carry credit cards, coins, guitar picks, etc.

Since then, I crafted another D-Pocket for a pair of custom Engineers and more recently was asked by a friend if I could do the same for his brand new, never used Mister Freedom® Road Champ Engineer Boots.

Custom VEB Leather belts I made for Bull & Bush Brewery back in 2014

I you have a pair of boots in need of a functional pocket, feel free to hit me up at Straight rectangle flap pocket, D-Pocket, slot … if you can think it up, I can make it happen.