Sunday, September 17, 2017

READER MAIL - JOHN LOFGREN ENGINEER BOOTS


Hi--

I've been reading your blog for a while. I just wanted to express my appreciation to you for all your hard work. You provide so many people with useful information and valuable insight. And that's after you spend your day protecting our county! Granted, I may not know you, but I have so much respect for you.

After wearing WESCO boots since 1992, I just pulled the trigger on a pair of John Lofgren Black Horween CXL via Standard & Strange -- a vendor that I was aware of only because of you. (Thanks!) I was tempted for buy a pair of WESCO's "off-the-shelf" 7400s, but I figured it was time for a change and I was concerned about the width; I normally wear a 12E because I like a little wiggle room. Any thoughts on whether the Lofgren D width will stretch a bit to accommodate a slightly wider foot?

Thank again for everything. I'm so grateful that there are people like you out there.

All my best,
-Gary

www.vintageengineerboots.com

Hi Gary,

Thank you so much for the kind words! It's feedback from guys (and gals) like you that keep up my motivation to maintain the blog even though I find myself overwhelmed with work and projects at times. Thank you!

Standard & Strange are so unique in that they offer so many brands others here don't carry.

Congrats on the Lofgren pickup! The boots will most definitely provide more room over time -- sooner than later based on level of wear. Mine were snug out of the box but when exposed to the elements, partnered with frequent use, the soft and supple, hot-stuffed leather began to stretch. I suggest wearing thicker-than-usual boot socks (think winter socks) for a while when breaking them in before transitioning back to your normal socks -- your body heat and socks with help to stretch both the medial and lateral portions.

I hope this helps.

Best regards!
John

Saturday, September 16, 2017

MISTER FREEDOM® CAMPUS JACKET (UPDATE)


As a fan of all things leather I feel one of the best jackets to hit the market in many, many years is the Mister Freedom® Campus Jacket. This amazing piece is essentially a blank canvas in the form of the highly desired early-century Cossack style jacket. I began my systematic approach to giving it a unique personality almost immediately after purchasing it back in December 2013. I couldn't be more happy with the outcome and truly enjoy how it continues to evolve with each wear. Notice the indigo elbows and inner waist. Don't forget to visit my dedicated Campus Jacket page to see the evo.

www.vintageengineerboots.com



Keep the eyes glued an ear to the rail for the upcoming "Baloo" jacket (Campus jacket grizzlified).

Photo source: Christophe's Instragram

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

JOHN LOFGREN DONKEY PUNCHER


My favorite pair of Lace-to-Toe boots in today's market.

Brand: John Lofgren & Co.
Model: Donkey Puncher
Leather: Horween CXL
Colors: Black, Burgundy
Sole / Heel: Vibram #705

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

TAKESHI OKUYAMA BOOT REPAIR

Update:

Hi
Really like all your boots and looks. Very inspiring.
Were those your role club boots that fell apart? Did you talk to Brian at role club? I have pair ordered from role club and curious about your experience.
Thanks

Hi
I talked to Brian and he did offer to repair them. This was an isolated incident, but I just wanted to have Takeshi work on another pair of my boots. This was by no means intended to be a dig at Brian -- never my style. I own two pairs of Role Clubs and have had two other boots resoled by him -- he's a fantastic boot maker and cobbler. Your gonna love your boots and don't be surprised if you contact him for another pair the moment you receive the first order.
Cheers!
John

What was intended to be a fun family outing ended up being quite a terrible vacation memory.

While walking from the car to a restaurant in Memphis, I felt something unusual on the bottom of my Engineer Boots. Did I step on a piece of gum? A food wrapper perhaps? When I looked down I was horrified to see that the leather sole of the right boot from the front to about the forefoot area had completely separated from the mid-sole and folded under the boot.

www.vintageengineerboots.com

I hadn't put the boots through any unusual stress -- just normal, everyday casual wear, so I was baffled as to how this could even happen. The welt stitching had literally just unraveled. I was disappointed and quite honestly, I was embarrassed.


Luckily, I always bring a variety of boots with me whenever I travel. I went back to the car and pulled out the ol' trusty Road Champ boots from my luggage.

After much consideration, I decided to reach out across the world to my trusted cobbler. Takeshi has been repairing my boots now for over five years -- he's been repairing boots since 2002 -- and his high-level of craftsmanship is second to none. I am totally convinced that the Japanese are just some of the best in the biz -- Fukurokuju and Brass Tokyo have become household names for their impeccable craftsmanship and keen sense of vintage American style.


The idea of sending a pair of boots across the world to have them rebuilt may seem a bit off-putting to a lot of folks, but the whole process is quite painless, the turnaround time is impressive and the price is unbeatable.

Takeshi initially said the work would take a month, but I told him I was in no rush and from the time they left my hands to gettin' the boots back was exactly two months (27 June - 28 August). And it only cost me $180 + $50 shipping. Show me another cobbler with this level of experience and reputation and I might consider a change -- not likely.

Fukurokuju Boot Repair Shop
1-13-8 Nihonzutsumi
Taitoku, Tokyo
111-0021
Website: Fukurokuju
E-mail: scip-evo@hukurokuju.com


Prices vary depending on the level of work and details, but I'm kind of over the fancy fluff "designer" soles/heels. I'm at the point where I just want my boots to be rugged and able to withstand daily wear without falling apart. Mister Freedom® and John Lofgren, have opted for heavy-duty composition rubber soles over reproduction Cat's Paw because they're functional and made to last. Thus the reason I chose to use Vibram #705 soles/heels for this (and future) repairs.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

UNDIVIDED HEART & SOUL - JD McPHERSON


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!

www.vintageengineerboots.com

Saturday, July 29, 2017

JOHN LOFGREN M-43 SERVICE SHOES IN NATURAL HORWEEN CXL


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!

www.vintageengineerboots.com

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

READER MAIL - ATTRACTIONS CO. ENGINEER BOOTS


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.

Marshall

www.vintageengineerboots.com

Marshall, 

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

THE LATEST ON MY FUKUROKUJU BOOT REBUILD


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)
www.vintageengineerboots.com
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

MORE VEB LEATHER BELTS


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.

www.vintageengineerboots.com

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

READER MAIL - HOW TO SEND YOUR BOOTS TO FUKUROKUJU


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

www.vintageengineerboots.com
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
111-0021

* 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

FUKUROKUJU BOOT REPAIR SHOP


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
111-0021
Website: Fukurokuju
E-mail: scip-evo@hukurokuju.com

www.vintageengineerboots.com

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PAIR-A-TROOPER ENGINEER BOOTS


Brand: Pair-A-Trooper by Georgia Shoe Mfg Co.
Circa: Late 1950s / Early 1960s
Color: Black
Size: 7 1/2E
Measurements:
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!

www.vintageengineerboots.com





Sunday, June 11, 2017

VEB LEATHER BELT SALE


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.

www.vintageengineerboots.com

Thursday, June 8, 2017

BOOTS FOR UNDER $1K


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

VEB LEATHER BELT SALE


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. 

www.vintageengineerboots.com