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Archive for the ‘Boots!’ Category

What do you get when a dirty buck gets down and…well, dirty with a pair of Indy boots? This stupid-good-looking make up that recently hit the shelves at Leffot.

Price hits at $475. And yes: It’s worth it.

Holy hell, I want these.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Leffot)

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Maybe everyone has known about this and I’m just late to the game. But I didn’t know, and it was exciting as hell to me.

SO! For for anyone that isn’t aware–or just as a reminder–you can score a few really nice pairs of Tricker’s on Sierra Trading Post of all places. They’ve got three shoe styles (a shortwing, a cap toe, and a saddle) and one pair of shortwing brogue boots. Every single one of ’em is a damn fine sight.

The shortwings–complete with a Dainite sole–in Coffee. Also available in Nut Brown and Black…

Cap toes in Black Calf. Also available in Beechnut Antique Calf…

Saddles. This is the sole colorway for these puppies. Good thing it’s a good one…

And the boots. Also with a Dainite sole (like the shortwing shoe)…

Prices are marked down to $385 for the shoes and $399 for the boots, but if you use the coupon code SHOPSOCIAL1 (good until the 24th) you can knock another 30% off that. Works out to $269.50 for the shoes and $279.30 for the boots. That’s an insane deal for a pair of top-notch, handmade British shoes.

I’m getting a seriously itchy trigger finger myself, honestly. But instead of hoarding the knowledge (and footwear) for myself, I’m putting the word out.

Don’t say I never did nothin’ for you.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Sierra Trading Post)

**UPDATE/Ed’s Note**

I was seriously considering picking up a pair of these for myself, so I’ve been doing some research on sizing. Apparently most Tricker’s from the country collection run large and wide. A 9.5 would equate to a 10E or a 10.5D in US sizing. In comparison to the Alden Barrie last (which  I own, so I found this helpful) it’s a half size large. So a 9.5 in Tricker’s equates to a 10D on the Barrie. I’m guessing that the saddle and the brogues (both the shoe and the boot) would accord with this sizing, but that’s just my estimation.

On the dress collection (which I believe the cap toes would fall into), the sizing is less generous–probably a half size as opposed to a full size difference vs. US sizing. A 9.5 in Tricker’s dress would equate to a 9.5E or a 10D in US sizing, or a 9.5D on the Alden Barrie.

Again: all of this is gleaned from internet research. Can’t vouch for it personally, but I figured I’d do my best to save folks some time if they’re looking to pull the trigger on a pair. If you have any personal experience or advice, I implore you to share it in the comments.

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Portland’s Winn Perry has teamed with Alden to make a classic, versatile captoe boot with a nod to the menswear store’s Pacific Northwest locale.

Done in Vegano Tan Calf leather, they feature a heavily oiled double waterlock sole to better handle the soggy conditions so commonplace in the region. The soles are designed to prevent water from getting into the pores of the leather, which serves double duty by extending the life of the leather (moisture causes the material to degrade more rapidly) while keeping your feet dry. There’s also a full rubber heel–a deadstock component from the middle of the 20th century with a a distinguishing starburst shape on the bottom–for increased traction and durability.

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But it’s clearly not just about utility with these guys. The simple captoe design coupled with the medium-brown uppers is a sharp, refined combination. Add to that the shape of the Barrie last, which features a nicely rounded toebox that skirts the line between dress and casual pretty perfectly, and you’ve got some damn good looking boots on your hands.

Round out the whole package with some of the features and production methods that bring these boots up to Alden’s exacting standards: natural cork insoles, steel shanks in the arch for comfort and support, full leather linings, a full 360 degree reverse welt, and of course handmade construction.

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There’s only a few left at this point, in sizes 7, 9, 11.5, and 12. If you’re one of those sizes (keeping in mind that the Barrie runs one half size large), don’t sleep. Demand is clearly high.

If you’re not, don’t panic. A restock should hit in late April 2011, with the only possible shift being a different heel due to the limited availability of the starburst version. Mark your calendars.

They’ll run you $450, and as we’re all well aware, they’re available at Winn Perry.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Winn Perry)

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I was curious about these since I got a chance to see a sneak peek in store a while back. I’ve been officially fiending for them since they dropped a couple of weeks ago and abstract curiosity about a future release rapidly mutated into a very real desire to “Own! Own now!”

Thorogood‘s No. 685 boot is a plain-toed, 7-eyelet work boot that was originally sold as a “Job-Fitted Work Shoe for Farm Wear” back when it was introduced in the 1950’s. Revived by Brooklyn’s Epaulet for Fall 2010, 144 pairs were produced exclusively for the shop.

Though the boots’ true workwear lineage probably won’t be fully realized by the many folks like me who are more likely to wear these on the sidewalk than the fields, the handsome ruggedness that springs from their utilitarian origins certainly ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

Luckily, “rugged” doesn’t translate to “clunky” here. While some boots like Red Wings are just a little too substantial for my tastes–especially in the height of the toe box–the 685 has a slightly lower profile that I find much easier to work into a modern wardrobe.

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These would look great paired with jeans, a heavyweight chino, or gray tweed trousers. That’s just what jumps to mind for me. Rock other options as you see fit. I might be careful not to go too formal or lightweight on the bottom half, though. These may be a highly wearable and versatile work boot, but they’re a work boot all the same, and that calls for some degree of heft on the complimentary pieces. (Of course I’m not opposed to evidence to the contrary…)

In terms of materials and construction, these boots far outshine what one might expect from their $245 pricetag. The leather is a rich brown full-grain horsehide from Horween. It’s vegetable tanned and has not been buffed or corrected. Translation? There may be some nicks and scratches on the leather, and that sort of thing will be unique to each pair. Like all quality horeshide products, you can trust that the leather will take on a fantastic patina as it ages, becoming further personalized with wear.

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The outsoles are cork-filled neoprene, with a brick red color that takes on a pleasing heathered effect due to the combination of materials. They also feature an industrial rubber heel for an extra dose of durability. The insoles are built with a clear mind for comfort: a layer of gel provides the first line of padded defense, and a Poron urethane strip under that wicks away moisture from the foot while providing another round of padding. It’s all put together in Wisconsin with a Goodyear welted construction. Pretty damn impressive.

Just in case you aren’t sold yet, consider the fact that horsehide is naturally very water resistant. The welt adds to this resistance by keeping water from creeping in along the midsole. Add a little mink oil for more protection and you’ve got yourself a solid foul weather boot. It won’t be Bean Boot-grade waterproof, but it’ll be pretty good if you find yourself caught out on a nasty day.

Oh, and there’s also the simple truth that these look damn good. That’s kind of important, too.

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Click on over to Epaulet’s online shop to pick up your pair and check out some sizing advice (spoiler alert: they’re pretty much true to size). If you’re in NY, hit the actual shop and you can try ’em on for yourself. Aside from the permanent Brooklyn storefront at 231 Smith Street, you can check out the pop up collaboration with Reed Space at 151 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side during the month of October.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Epaulet)

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Another round of shots from my footwear stash for you. I’ve had my Clarks beeswax desert boots for a bit more than two years at this point and they’re still holding strong. Worn just about everywhere, in every type of weather you can imagine, they’re one of my favorite go-to options.

I took some shots and posted them up a while back, but now that I have a better camera and the shoes have a bit more wear on ’em I figured why not give it another go.

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These are sure to continue as a staple of my wardrobe throughout the upcoming season and hopefully for many more to come. I’d highly recommend these to pretty much anyone, so if you’re in the market for a desert boot and on the fence, ponder no more. Grab a pair of these guys and rest assured that you’ll be happy you did.

—Jonathan

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Oak Street Bootmakers is a brand new company that’s made a very strong showing right out of the gate with its Fall 2010 collection. Many thanks to James from Secret Forts and to Ryan Plett for bringing them to my attention.

The shoes are all designed in Chicago by native George Vlagos, who learned the trade by apprenticing as a cobbler his father’s shop. The production is done by hand in Maine by craftsmen with 20+ years of experience.

Components are top shelf as well. All the leather is Horween Chromexcel, which is extremely durable but still pliable and comfortable (the result of an intense–and exclusive–series of treatments during tanning). The rubber sole options are done by Vibram. And all of the shoes and boots feature replaceable soles. This makes for a much longer lifespan, as you can simply resole and keep on truckin’ with your well-worn, well-loved uppers.

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The shapes for the debut are all classics: there’s a boat shoe, a trail oxford (which strikes me as quite similar to your basic blucher moc, but no complaints), and two versions of a penny loafer for sale online now. Soon to be seen: a chukka, a work boot, and a hunt boot.

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing that hunt boot, myself, but that’s not to say there isn’t a solid selection available already. There is. In fact I could sincerely see myself buying up the whole lot in an alternate universe where money is no object and nothing ever sells out.

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But alas, I won’t be buying the entire collection. Not just because I don’t have the funds, but because some the innaguaral offerings are already gone. Most prices hover around the low to mid $200s, which is very reasonable considering the materials and methods employed in their creation. So it’s not really shocking that folks are scooping ’em up quick.

At the time of this writing, both of the penny loafer options and the navy trail oxfords have sold out. Tragic, but at least the photographs remain.

The rest of the line is heading the same way, and fast. If you’re looking to score a pair for yourself and avoid further tragedy, get on it now.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Oak Street Bootmakers)

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These Alden for Epaulet black suede chukkas are the latest in a solid line of special makeups that the New England shoemakers have done for one of my favorite Brooklyn shops.

The black suede upper is something you don’t see every day on Alden models, and it’s complimented quite nicely by the tobacco laces and midsole. To keep you nice and comfortable as the weather turns and the mercury starts dropping, they’re fully lined in glove leather.

The “flex-welt” outsole is a double-leather sole that’s been heavily oiled for–you got it–flexibility right out of the box. Prevents that irksome break-in period and scores the shoes one more point for comfort.

They’re done on Alden’s Barrie last, which has a nicely rounded toe box that’s just right for this particular model. Anything less substantial might start to skew a little too delicate. But luckily, the shape does a nice job of balancing the minimal shape with some necessary heft.

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They’ll run you $450 and as the name suggests, you can only get ’em at Epaulet.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Epaulet)

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