Friday, January 8, 2021


Today marks another significant milestone in my professional military career. It was on this very day, 26 years ago, I was on a charter bus with a group of other Recruiting Station Los Angeles “Poolees” (Recruiting Sub-Station Pasadena for me) headed south on Interstate 5 to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego with hopes of earning the title, “Marine.”

Now after a total of 11 duty assignments, unmatched training spanning the globe and three combat deployments, I am preparing for what may well be my last duty assignment that will take me into my 30 years of maximum allowable service.

I cannot go any further in rank on my as I’ve had the honor and privilege of reaching the top of the enlisted food chain back in 2015 — although, some around me like to joke that I’m shooting for the non-existent rank of E-10 based on my competitive nature during our annual fitness tests.

Career satisfaction nowadays comes in the form of training, coaching and mentoring Marines that’ll honor our Core Values and carry on our legacy.

Thursday, December 31, 2020


These are the classic-style Engineer Boots currently on the market that captured my attention this past year. Anyone looking for a pair of amazing Engineer Boots that are built extremely well and age to perfection can rest assured they will not regret choosing either one of these models from two highly reputable names in the biz. These aren't entry-level boots. These are boots will stand the test of time and are not egregiously overpriced.

Source: Swing-Up

The Dapper’s boots have been available for some time, but I found myself liking them more and more every time they popped up on my feed.

Brand: Dapper's
Model: Lot. 1142
Circa: 1940s Style
Color: Natural
Size/Width: 7.5 - 10 / D
Leather: 3mm European Horsebutt
Hardware: Brass
Price: ¥89,000 ($862.00)

Source: Dapper's

The fact that the Keystone Engineer Boots come out of the Fukurokuju camp along with the super attractive profile and unbeatable, realistic pricing puts them at the top of my list.

Brand: Keystone Shoe Co. 
Colors: Nice Brown x Black, Black , Dark Brown, Brown 
Sizes: 5 - 12 D or E 
Leather: Horween, Roughout
Insole: Flexible 
Leather Insole 
Hardware: Nickle 
Price: ¥ 58,000 ($552.00) 

Monday, November 30, 2020


Brand: Dapper's  x  Tools Infinity
Model: Lot. 1142SP
Circa: 1940s Style
Color: Natural
Size/Width: 7 - 10 / D
Leather: 3mm European Horsebutt
Hardware: Nickel
Price: $862 +tax

These boots have my undivided attention. They're easily characterized by every buzzword any collector looks for in today's boots -- natural leather, horsebutt, flat toe, long instep strap, sleek profile, vintage profile, brass hardware and the topping on the cake is the realistic price tag of under $1k.

Anyone looking to land what I consider to be a seggsy ass boot, shouldn't hesitate to contact Tools Infinity to see if they've got any sizes available. Apparently, they did a pre-order earlier in the year and some have backed out leaving a small available stock. 

Enough said. I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.

All photos from Tools Infinity Instagram


Brand: Beck
Model: Northeaster Flying Togs 333
Circa: Early 1940s
Color: Brown
Size: Not labeled, but appears to be 38
Chest: 20.5”
Length: 25"
Sleeve: 24"
Leather: Pony-weight Horsehide
Hardware: Brass and Nickel, Talon zippers
Condition: Excellent used with slight stitching and lining issues
Sold For: $2,125.99 / 65 Bids

I originally created this blog to archive things I found interesting and over the years, folks -- to include myself -- have used it as a resource from which to compare prices on vintage clothing items. I've captured information on vintage Beck Engineer Boots several times in the past, but have never posted about their jackets.

Early versions of the Beck 333 jacket come up once or twice a year and they always seam to garner quite a bit of attention, so I thought it would be neat to finally start archiving them. An example from the past year or two even sold for over 4k if I recall correctly. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020


Brand: WestRide (Made in Japan) 
Colors: Black
Leather: Front Quarter Horsehide
Hardware: Nickle
Price: ¥ 85,000 ($812.00)
Photo source: Real Deal Japan

These have similar qualities as other vintage-style boots coming out of the Land of the Rising Sun, but I really like the lower heel on a beefy base. These are sure to look pretty great with wear.

Thursday, November 12, 2020


Brand: Keystone Shoe Co. 
Colors: Nice Brown x Black
Sizes: 5 - 12 D or E 
Leather: Horween 
Insole: Flexible 
Leather Insole 
Hardware: Nickle 
Price: ¥ 58,000 ($552.00) 
Order start date: March 29th 2020
Delivery time: Estimated March 2021


I introduced my readers to the newest name in the vintage-inspired Engineer Boot subculture last summer when Keystone Shoe Co. announced their 1950s-style boots in black, dark brown and brown Horween. What makes the brand stand out for me is the name, reputation and experience behind it -- Takeshi Okuyama of Fukurokuju. Easily the best in the business with a portfolio that would anyone's head spin. Check out the post here.

Since that post, they've released three more versions in two tone and roughout (black and tan) and as I scroll through their site I'm reminded of how aesthetically pleasing and classic they've made the profile ... and at under $600, there is nothing not to love about these beauties. The best price in vintage-inspired boots and a world-renowned name in the biz makes these easily one of the best deals.

Brand: Keystone Shoe Co.
Color Tan and Black 
Sizes: 5 - 12, D or E
Leather: Horween Roughout
Insole: Flexible 
Leather Insole 
Hardware: Nickle 
Price: ¥ 58.000 ($552.00)
Order start date: August 1st 2020
Delivery time: Estimated August 2021

Monday, August 31, 2020


I've been searching for the right pair of roofer-style boots for so many years. With not many options to choose from over a decade ago, I was very close to pulling the trigger on a pair of Thorogood Roofer Boots. I decided to hold off since they came across as too much of a bulky modern work boot -- I wanted something with a vintage vibe. They definitely didn't fit the bill.

I found a pair of vintage tall boots online for a great price, but didn't appreciate how dainty they appeared in person. The search continued.
Leave it to one of the biggest names in today's heritage footwear biz to find the perfect balance of style, heft and functionality without the bulk and unnecessary fluff. 

Get yours at

Like butter! I went with my usual John Lofgren boot and shoe size of 7 (all my Japanese-made footwear is size 7 for that matter). To give you an idea of sizing, I wear a 7 in pretty much everything out there. In 7.5 in Mister Freedom Road Champ Boots; however, I wear a 7.5.

They're super versatile with any size cuff ...

... and leg opening. 

That profile!

As I've said many times before, John Lofgren's boots are built like tanks and I like to treat them in the manner which they were designed and  built -- like work boots. I put the Monkey Boots through the grinder almost immediately and they performed wonderfully!

They cleaned up so well and will continue to look better with age. The incredibly pliable Horween CXL has already formed around my foot and have become so comfortable.

The perfect build without the fluff -- no unnecessary and excessive stitching you see on so many other boots.

Thank for yet another great boot, John and Team!!

Saturday, June 13, 2020


I originally posted about Blue Band over ten years ago (here) and am very excited to finally own my very first pair of boots sold by Montgomery Ward.

What's interesting about these boots is their origin and the fact that the label doesn't advertise the retailer. We all know that Powr House is a Montgomery Ward brand - Such is the same with boots bearing the "Blue Band" label. This is actually a level of quality within a boot or shoe.

Definitions from a 1946 Spring/Summer Montgomery Ward Catalog

They possess all the details -- vamp, buckles and stitching -- that lead me to believe they were produced by Chippewa. Typical "White Labeling?"

*White labeling is when a product or service removes their brand and logo from the end product and instead uses the branding requested by the purchaser.

Subtle Toe Tracks