Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Hi John,

Have you seen the 100th anniversary Horsehide Wesco boots? The Jobmaster and the Boss ... What do you think?

Is it worth the money they cost? Do you know if they are available on line outside Japan?

Thank you very much!

Best regards from Spain,

Photo: Wesco Japan

Hi M, 

I've been following these boots since the recent pre-order announcement and while you can't go wrong with a pair of Wesco Engineers, these boots seem to serve more as a celebratory offering of the company's centennial rather than a tribute to some early design. Having said that, I would be hard pressed to dish out ¥230,000 (or $2,200) for something I could have custom-built by Wesco for a third of this price. 

Sure, they wouldn't be made with Horsehide leather, but having owned my share of Horsehide boots I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. 

Photo: Wesco Japan

So far Japan is, and probably will be the only country offering them with a pre-order end date of 21 November 2016 and delivery date of October 2017.

Now, re-release the Horsehide Narrow Wesco Engineer Boots from 2010 that honors the company's period from the 1930's through 1950's with a few tweaks like brass hardware and #705 half-soles then they have my attention. 

Photo: Wesco Japan

Monday, October 24, 2016



I really enjoy your blog and appreciate all of the helpful information you give. It was your blog that really got me to start loving engineer boots in the first place and now they're pretty much all that I wear.

I have a pair of Lofgren Engineers in Natural CXL that I love, but unfortunately got a mild cut on them recently, much more than a simple scuff. I have sense conditioned the boots (I was doing this with all of my boots anyway) and was wondering if there is anything else you would recommend doing to repair or at least mask this scratch. I can add a picture if that would help.

Also, I highly recommend checking out Clinch boots if you can. I have a pair and absolutely love them to the point that I have ordered a second pair. They are handwelted like Brian's boots are... though I am sure I am not the first person to tell you this.

Thanks and have a great day!



Hi Jake,

Thanks for the e-mail and kind words. It appears you're experiencing the same problem CJ asked about earlier this year. Here is was my response to the cut on his Buco boots back in January.

Hi CJ, 

Bummer about the cut. Not to worry, though, there is an easy fix for it. 

Back when we still wore leather combat boots (aka "Cadillac's") it was difficult to maintain our spit shines while working around equipment and a lot of the time we ended up with deep gouges and scrapes on our boots by the end of the day. Rather than risk being "corrected" by anyone of higher rank for not being squared away, we quickly learned how to repair these uniform discrepancies. 

Here's what you'll need:

GLUE- Back then (over twenty years ago), Crazy Glue was my bonding liquid of choice, but after working with leather for so many years I learned that Elmer's (yes, school glue) works wonders as a leather bonding agent. There's also glue marketed specifically for leather work. 

 - Because yours is a straight forward cut and not a gouge with a flap, I'd personally use Crazy Glue. 

POINTY OBJECT (fine point) - A sewing needle or bamboo skewer point to carefully apply the glue.

SANDPAPER (fine grit) - 1200 grit should do the job

LEATHER DYE (black) 



- To avoid accidentally applying too much glue on the leather, you'll want to squeeze some onto a piece of paper or cardboard. 

- Using the needle or skewer, dab the tip and carefully apply it along length of the cut. Don't worry about overfilling the cut - you just don't want glue to drip anywhere outside of it. If this occurs, use a damp paper towel to wipe it right off. 

- Once the glue is completely dry, use the sandpaper to even out the glue. Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel and let dry. 

- At this point, use a Q-Tip to carefully apply leather dye along the length of the cut, allow to dry. You can polish the boots to even everything out, or leave it as-is if you already have a nice patina.

This is a procedure I've done many times over the years, so I know it works. 

Hope this helps.



Victory Through Logistics

I spent five years with the 1st Marine Logistics Group (2004-2009) and deployed with them twice during this time to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, totaling almost two years. Watching this short clip just brought back some fond memories during my time with the Logistics Combat Element.

One of my collateral duties while in garrison was that of the Historical Program Manager and this video helped to paint the picture of the sacrifices that formed the 1st MLG's Honors and Lineage.

Semper Fi!


Sunday, October 23, 2016


Now that we've received some much-needed cool weather here in New Orleans, I can start pulling out the ol' leather jackets. Although the Mister Freedom® Campus Jacket is unlined, it was still much too nasty here in NOLA to wear during the oppressively hot and disgustingly humid season -- June through November. I look forward to adding more character to this amazingly versatile jacket.

Check out how I laid the foundation to get the jacket to its present form here


Saturday, October 22, 2016



Was hoping for a bit of advice.

Just picked up a pair of RRL engineers. So far I love em. Of course it's only been 2 days but they really have fit nicely from the jump. Got a great deal on them too, brand new.

Here's the thing: I just noticed that the inside stitching on the shaft, in the back, opened up a bit. I've attached a pic to show you. Is this something I need to be concerned with now, something to fix ASAP? I don't believe I can return or exchange as they are an eBay purchase and I've worn them for a couple days.

If they need immediate attention do you have any Brooklyn recommendations on a boot guy or is this something that a reasonably talented shoe repair place can handle?

Really appreciate your assistance.



Hi Elly!

Congrats on the boots! Do not lose sleep over those stitches. They'll be fine. They merely serve to close the shaft during construction while the backstay (strip of leather running up the outside back of the shaft) locks/supports it in place while also serving as a decorative aspect of the boots -- notice the double row of stitching flanking each side of the seam.

You can lose that seam and still not have worry about structure. For piece of mind, I recommend using a q-tip to apply glue (Elmer's school glue ... even crazy glue, which is a messier option) to the portion over the thread ends in order to prevent further unraveling -- a nice even coat. The glue will dry clear.


Saturday, October 15, 2016


Jillian surprised Wexler (and me, for that matter) with a plaid-lined denim Mister Freedom® vest. It looks like another piece is in the works as well =)


Monday, October 10, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Hi John!

So I took your advice and emailed Cristian at Mister Freedom to ask about Trooper Boots availability. I was excited to learn they had my size (9D) in brown! I purchased them and received them right away, amazing boots for sure, they are very comfortable too! I really like the construction and the materials, and of course the last. 

Regarding the NOS fabric they use, do you recommend using Otter Wax on it, or do you think I should leave it as it is? How do you think they will age better? Hope you have a great weekend! Any other process or care that you recommend?

Take care,


Thanks for the e-mail and congrats on the Troopers. These aren't your everyday, entry-level lace-up boots. These are fans of the brand ... fans of style ... fans of something not many people have. I'm forever telling my readers to either call or visit the shop if that "grail" MFSC item can't be found online.

If you plan on really wearing your Troopers like they owe you money through some severe inclement weather, then I say wax 'em (pick up a heat gun at your local hobby shop for a proper job). Heavily broken in leather will only be complemented by the waxed canvas. 

On the other hand there's no real need for wax if you're just rocking them as average daily wear. You can always wax them later when/if deemed necessary, but there's no reversing the process if you decide to jump the gun.

Lastly, there's no need to condition new leather as this process is taken care of at the factory. It's not until prolonged exposure to the elements and heavy wear that the leather will require some attention. Occasional wiping with a damp cloth and a boot brush is all that's really needed. 

Hope this helps.


Friday, September 30, 2016


One of the dominant influences of my youth that helped to shape my obsession with denim and boots, James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 - September 30, 1955), passed away 61 years ago today.

Casa de Petro, The gas station at the corner of Beverly Glen and Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, where James Dean filled up the tank of his new 550 Porsche Spyder for the last time and then drove into immortality.

With his Mechanic Rolf W├╝therich that same day before heading out to the races in Salinas, California.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


My buddy Warren wrote to let me know how well my cleaning process worked for his Boots.

Stay tuned for full set of photos of these rare Vintage Engineer Boots.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016



First I want to star of by saying your Vintage Engineer Boot page is wonderful and full a great info. I know you get asked a ton of questions about cost and which boot to buy. I spend hours looking at the post. So much good info. I decided to go with some custom Wesco Boss. At the moment they fit into my budget. One day some Role Clubs. I was hoping I can show you my boot build and see what you think? Thank you.


My Wesco Boss MP Toe on the left


Thank you kindly for the e-mail. I find myself referencing information posted on here over the years quite often. If only I wasn't so busy, I'd archive more information. 

Congrats on your custom Wesco build!! Please do send photos and build specifics. More often than not, my blog readers have used this information for their own builds.

Thanks again and talk with ya soon!


**These amazing Wesco  boots - already perfectly broken in - were a gift from Michael as a gesture for the helpful information I provide on this blog as well as my service to the country. I'm not the type of person to let such an amazing deed go unrecognized, but to show what an upstanding dude he is, Michael didn't immediately accept my offer for a custom wallet. Of course the offer stands, indefinitely, and is not limited to a custom wallet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


The Mister Freedom® Trooper Boots are back in stock in BOTH colors! Hit up the shop to secure yours before they are gone. 

(323) 653-2014 /  sales@misterfreedom.com

 Photo: Mister Freedom® (Instagram)

 Photo: Mister Freedom® (Blog)

 Photo: Mister Freedom® (Blog)

 Photo: Mister Freedom® (Website)