Saturday, April 20, 2019


My top picks for the best Engineer Boots on the market are the Mister Freedom Road Champ Boots, Attractions Co. Horse Butt Engineer boots and the John Lofgren collection of Engineer Boots. I've owned countless brands and models--both vintage and modern--over the past twenty-eight years and none compare to these brands based on style, performance, durability and value.

For those fortunate enough to be around the Oakland, CA area this weekend with a penchant for  bad-ass boots by one of the industry's most respected brands, be sure not to miss the exclusive made-to-order event hosted by the gentlemen at Standard & Strange.

Who: Standard & Strange
What: Made-to-Order John Lofgren Boot Event
Where: 5010 Telegraph Avenue Oakland, CA 94609
When: 20 and 21 April 2019
Why: Why not?!? What great opportunity!

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Saturday, March 30, 2019


I have an overwhelming amount boots that don’t get the attention they deserve and I find myself wearing only my newest acquisitions or ones that I have an attachment to. These Horween Horsehide White’s Semi-Dress boots are just starting to show off their brown undertone, but they just aren’t the first pair of lace-up boots I reach for. Frankly, this is the first time I’ve tried them on in several months.

E-mail me at

I normally wear a size 7 and these have the perfect amount of wiggle room.

Measurements are approximate
Length: 11 3/8” (just under 11 1/2”) Heel against wall to very tip of sole
Width: 4 1/4” At widest part of sole
Looks like heel to toe is about 11"

Notice the patina (tea core) showing through.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


I can say with full confidence that John Lofgren has some of the best boots available in today’s market. Not only do they look incredible, but they are also built to withstand the harshest of wear and any level inclement weather that can be thrown at ‘em. I speak from experience having owned his boots for the better part of seven years.

Here are my three and half year old Natural CXLs that spent a good hour or so in last week’s High Desert snow. I like to call these my “sleepers,” because they look like normal boots and then the functional original VEB Leather Saf-T-Flash stud work is revealed with proper cuffs.

Hit up Speedway Sendai or John Lofgren to secure your boots today.


Any frequent visitor to Mister Freedom® at 7161 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 knows first-hand that there are some incredible pieces that can only be found at the ol' brick and mortar. During a recent to red brick building, for example, I noticed there were a handful of early-run Road Champs and was VERY tempted to secure my fourth pair. Then I found myself drawn to what appeared to be a couple of hair-on-hide campus jackets hanging on the wall.

After trying on quite a few pieces, I found myself deciding between the brown hair-on-hide and the Baloo grizzly. I'll be coming back for that grizzly!

If you find yourself anywhere near the shop, I highly recommend stopping by. Be sure to set aside at least a couple of hours.

Only three hair-on-hide jackets were made with the other going to Leon Bridges. Who'll be the lucky third person?

Leon Bridges in printed Campus Jacket, Source: Jimmy Fallon (Tonight Show)

Thursday, February 21, 2019


Just came across your blog and have really been enjoying it. I noticed that from time to time you've had "VEB belts" for sale. Do you have an online store for your belts? I really like traditional biker-style belts but they are hard to find in U.S. stores . . . specifically I'm interested in 1-3/4" or 2" black or dark brown leather garrison-type belts with square or rectangular buckles (single or double prong). I prefer shiny leather, although I do like some matte-finished belts. Just let me know when you have a chance! 


 Jay in Cincinnati, Ohio

E-mail: for custom leather work

Hi Jay,

Thanks for reaching out. I used to sell on a couple of auction sites and have plans on starting up a website. Until that happens; however, I have been mostly doing custom work and try to build my stock when I’m not busy with my full-time career.

This works well for me since custom orders allows me the opportunity to provide a more personal touch to each piece since I truly enjoy the art of leathercrafting.

I can absolutely make a belt per your specifications.

Let me know when you’re ready to talk details and we can make it happen.

Best regards,

Friday, February 15, 2019


Any advice on how to get water marks off that jacket?

Hey Miguel,

There’s no real way to avoid water marks, especially during the early stages of sun tanning—any natural leather is a water mark magnet. Luckily, there’s a simple fix. Take a damp cloth, wipe down the entire jacket and allow to air dry. This will blend everything together. 

If the marks are still present, then you’ll need the cloth to be a little more than damp.

I hope this helps.


Sunday, February 3, 2019


... and 2017 and 2016 ...

The fact is that the online market for Vintage Engineer Boots over the recent years has been vapid and incredibly uninteresting. The market has been saturated with the same boots over and over with buzzword descriptions promising their "horsehide" boots date back to the "1930s" and are "rare" as hens teeth.

These boots were sold by honest brokers, vintage-haberdashers, slinging true vintage without luring doublespeak. They let the photos speak for themselves and state only facts to describe their items. This is my kind of retailer!

Brand: Unmarked
Color: Brown
Size: 9 1/2
Length (heel to toe): 11 7/8"
Width: 4"
Height: 12 3/4"
Leather: Cowhide
Sole/Heel: Leather
Hardware: Brass
Condition: Deadstock
Sold For: $610 / 26 Bids

These circa 1940s boots weren't my size, but I was highly tempted to place a winning bid just to have them in my collection. I resisted at the last moment since I'm really making an effort to buy things I will actually use. I can say that my bid would have been much more than the ending price, so congrats to the winner!

Stay tuned for my upcoming post for my favorites of 2018 (better late than never -- the life of a super busy Servicemember)

Sunday, December 23, 2018


The Steadfast Chukka Boot by Mr. John Lofgren in burgundy calfskin is the perfect answer to my ongoing endeavor towards adding some variety into my boot collection.

Having worn these boots a handful of times the past week since taking possession, I’ve come to learn to not let its dressy appearance fool me into thinking they can’t handle the heavy treatment I put my other Lofgren boots through. As with any of John’s boots, these chukkas are solid and versatile and can be worn dressed up or look killer with the most worn-in jeans.

I own another pair of work boots made with burgundy French Calf that have aged beautifully, so I know these are going to look incredible with age!

Brand: John Lofgren

Model: Steadfast

Type: Chukka

Origin: Japan

Sizes: 6D - 12D

Colors: Burgundy, Black

Price: $670 / ¥75,384

Where to buy: Speedway Sendai

Sunday, December 9, 2018


The Original Saf-T-Flash Engineer Boot Stud Work by VEB Leather 

John Lofgren Natural Horween CXL Engineer Boots

Sunday, November 25, 2018


This doesn’t often, folks! The Mister Freedom® 20% discount sale goes from Friday, 23 November and continues through Monday, 26 November. Check out the details here.

Monday, November 12, 2018


Ciao sono Davide dall'Italia e scrivo per dirti che possiedo da qualche mese un paio di Wesco 7400 engeneer stock boots, scrivo perché sono fantasti dopo un breve adattamento al piede perché sono stivali con pianta stretta spece in punta ora sono perfetti e bellissimi li consiglio a tutti coloro che vogliono uno stivale super straordinario. Prossimo obbiettivo Mister Freedom.


Translation: Hello, I'm Davide from Italy and I'm writing to tell you that I have a couple of Wesco 7400 engeneer stock boots for a few months. I write because they are fantastic after a brief adaptation to the foot because they are boots with narrow plant spece at the tip are perfect and beautiful I recommend them to all those who want a super extraordinary boot. Next goal Mister Freedom.  


Thank you for the e-mail and I think the readers will be happy to hear your feedback on these attractive boots. Good luck on the Mister Freedom Road Champ Boots!


Saturday, November 10, 2018

HAPPY 243RD BIRTHDAY, MARINES!! (1775 - 2018)

2018 also marks the centennial of woman in the Marine Corps when Opha Mae Johnson became the first female to enlist in the Marine Corps.

Bea Arthur

Thursday, November 1, 2018


The issue I face with having too many boots in  my collection is not having enough time to dedicate towards wearing and breaking them in. I've had these boots since 2014 yet they look as if I picked them up this year.

Now that I live in the desert surrounded by terrain that will assist in the breaking-in-period through normal wear, I'm confident they'll develop the beautiful character John Lofgren boots are well-known for.

Brand: John Lofgren
Model: Donkey Puncher
Leather: Burgundy Horween CXL

Where to buy:
Speedway Sendai
Standard & Strange

Colors: Black CXL, Burgundy CXL, Natural CXL

Impression: Killer profile! My favorite of lace-to-boots on the market, hands down, and from an incredibly reputable name in the biz. Their built like tanks just the same as every other boot that comes out of the Lofgren camp.