Tuesday, August 8, 2017


It was February 1st back in 2015. I had Christophe Loiron and Jillian in the car with me and we were driving south on Interstate 5 headed to the USS Peleliu aboard Naval Base San Diego for my promotion. "Let The Good Times Role," JD McPherson's second full length album was playing -- a limited full run on NPR before its actual release on February 10th -- and that moment couldn't have been any more perfect.

On October 6, 2017, JD and the boys will release their third album and from the sounds of things this is gonna be amazing!


Saturday, July 29, 2017


While several companies currently offer WWII-style roughout boots, I was particularly interested in the M-43 Service Shoes recently made available by the incomparable John Lofgren. With first-hand knowledge and experience with how insanely rugged his boots are, the decision was a no-brainer.

I've been a huge fan of John's work since the early 2000's when it was known as Honky Tonk Clothing Co. and now this heritage brand ranks amongst the best in the business. It only made sense to choose the roughout boots from a family of footwear that speaks to the brilliance, craftsmanship and passion behind the man and his brand.

Brand: John Lofgren & Co.
Model: M-43 Service Shoes
Sizes: 6 - 12 (whole sizes), 6 1/2 - 11 1/2 (half sizes),12 -- all in D width
Soles: Vibram #700 Full Composition
Heels: Vibram #700
Leather: Roughout Natural Horween Chromexcel Cowhide (2.0-2.3 mm thick)
Price: ¥80,784 ($730)
Website: www.Speedway-Shop.com
E-mail: info@speedway-shop.com

Needless to say there will definitely be a comprehensive review of these incredible boots in the very near future after I log in some miles. Until then, this is going to be an amazing ride!


They pair well with his 14oz selvedge denim military chinos.

The quality of these boots are on par with the high-level of craftsmanship found not only in his footwear but also his clothing. 

The fine details added to even the box is was a boot geek like me loves to see

Amazing profile with the standard Goodyear Storm Welt

I've been in the market for WWII roughouts / boondockers for about twenty years -- ATF and WWII Impressions were okay, but nothing really jumped out at me until these were released. I'm glad I exercised patience over the years, 'cause these are absolutely stunning boots!

Unstructured soft toes guarantees an ever-evolving profile desired by collectors.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Good Morning!

I've been lurking on your site and Instagram for quite awhile now and was wondering if I could ask a question that will undoubtedly lead to a not so quick answer. I own several pairs of nice boots (White's, Red Wing, Oak Street...) and have been interested in getting some engineers. I like the feature you did recently about sub $1000 options and I like the price point, heel shape, and the patina potential of the attractions vs. the other options in this price point. I saw you posted on Denimbro a couple times about your attractions and your opinions on them, but was wondering, now, a couple of years later what your thoughts are on them? Thanks so much. Love what you're doing, and thank you for your service.




Hello. Thanks for the e-mail and the kind words! 

Bottom line up front, these boots are worth every ¥en! Engineer Boots of this caliber that possess the characteristics you describe can not be purchased anywhere else. I mentioned my experience with stiff soles on a review from back in 2015, but it was definitely no reason to let these go. I did, however, experience a momentary lapse of reason and almost sold them only because they sat in my closet unworn for a long period of time while I was breaking in other boots. The decision not to let them go was smart decision -- I absolutely love these boots!

While I still find the soles are still a little stiff, I would absolutely purchase another pair if lost. I know they've slightly modified the last on the current models, but I'm not sure if this mitigated any of the stiff feeling. Either way, I HIGHLY recommend these to anyone looking to purchase one of the nicest Engineers available today. 

Ordering from Attractons Co. couldn't be any easier. Atsushi-san is the dedicated rep for overseas purchases and can be contacted info@attractions2006.com

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I received an update from Mr. Okuyama and here's we agreed on the best options:

  • Vibram #705 Half-Sole
  • Double Mid-Sole Dyed Black
  • Single Stitch Goodyear Welt
  • One Month turnaround -- I said I wasn't in a rush to get the boots back and he surprised me by saying his no-rush time would be only a month
  • Price: ¥19,440 ($174 + Shipping) -- Prices vary on the level of custom options.
  • Final Total will be approximately $300 +/- (including shipping both ways)
I had these Mister Freedom® Road Champ Boots re-soled by Mr. Okuyama approximately six years ago and the double leather mid-soles and leather half-soles show no sign of lettin' up. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I came across some more belts ready to be sized to your needs along with a couple of carry overs from my last sale. Since I'm continuing to clear out some stock to make room for current and future VEB Leather projects, I'm offering them at unbeatable prices. Unsold belts will be stored away until I rediscover them again.

Left to Right:

  • Black Belt x Antique Brass Buckle / 1 3/4" wide / 9-10 Ounce Oak-Tanned American Cowhide / Unsized; Can be sized up to 48" - $65 Shipped
  • Black Belt x Black Buckle / 1 1/4" wide / 9-10 Ounce Oak-Tanned American Cowhide / Unsized; Can be sized up to 44" - $50 Shipped
  • Black Belt x Nickel Buckle / 1 3/4" wide / 9-10 Ounce Oak-Tanned American Cowhide / Unsized; Can be sized up to 38" - $65 Shipped
  • Hair-On-Hide x Brass Hardware / 1 1/2" wide / Unsized; Can be sized up to 40" - $65 Shipped
  • Saf-T-Flash. Natural Horween CXL x Antique Brass Buckle / 1 3/4" wide / Size 30 - $130 shipped
  • Brown x Brass Buckle / 1 3/4" wide / 9-10 Ounce Oak-Tanned American Cowhide / Unsized;  Can be sized up to 48" - $65 Shipped
  • Brown x Nickel Buckle / 1 3/4" wide / 9-10 Ounce Oak-Tanned American Cowhide / Unsized; Can be sized up to 48" - $65 Shipped

*Shipped to US Addresses only

*Please know your size - Belt size is not your waist size. Add at least 2 inches to your waist measurement to determine belt size. 

*No Returns

E-mail me at villanuevado@gmail.com or DM me on my Instagram if interested.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Contemplating sending him some boots. I just can't figure out the website!
Maybe blog on how you do?

Source: www.Hukurokuju.com

Step 1. Search the Hukurokuju Blog (ten years of builds!) and choose the resole style you like. Save the photo(s). I'm having my boots built with the above specifics.

Step 2. E-mail Takeshi Okuyama at scip-evo@hukurokuju.com with the type of boots/shoes you have along with the saved photo(s) from step 1.

Step 3. You should receive an e-mail from them within a few days with some questions regarding your build and asking you to send the boots.

Step 4. Send your boots to (don't forget to purchase insurance):

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

* I just sent mine today using USPS and the shipping was $77.85. I'm sure there are better, less expensive options out there like ... DHL?

Step 5. Send a courtesy e-mail letting them know you've sent the boots.

Step 6. You may receive an e-mail from them confirming receipt of the boots. Now that the boots can be inspected, they may have further questions about the build. At this point, they may give you a roundabout time frame for when you'll get 'em back -- usually a minimum of two months.

Simple as that!

Sunday, June 25, 2017


I'm super excited to be sending another pair of boots to be worked 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
E-mail: scip-evo@hukurokuju.com


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 villanuevado@gmail.com 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 villanuevado@gmail.com 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:
E-mail: scip-evo@hukurokuju.com

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.