Thursday, September 3, 2015


I'm curious to know how many other Marines out there rock the functional Stanley Tee in uniform.

Monday, August 31, 2015


W Frank Emmanuel Petersen Jr. was a United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General. He was the first African-American Marine Corps aviator and the first African-American Marine Corps general.

March 2, 1932 – August 25, 2015

Petersen retired from the Marine Corps in 1988 after 38 years of service. At the time of his retirement he was by date of aviator designation the senior ranking aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps and the United States Navy with respective titles of 'Silver Hawk' and 'Gray Eagle'. His date of designation as an aviator also precedes all other aviators in the U.S. Air Force and Army.

In 2010, President Obama appointed Petersen to the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


9 July 1933 - 30 August 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015


There was once a time I posted "Boots Worth Buying" on here that featured used boots for sale at auction. I had no affiliation with any sellers - just providing assistance to those on the hunt. I scrapped this feature due to dismal offerings.

Here's a size 8 RRL, "Julian-Made" pair on Grailed worth considering. The seller is asking $495, but you can make offers. If I didn't have custom boots (or two!) on the way, I'd offer $350 and be very happy. 

Check out my review of a personal pair, "New Studded RRL Engineer Boots."

*The seller describes them as Murdock, however this is the first iteration of the good Engineers by RRL that weren't given a name. The successors of the "Julian-Made" Boots were called Murdock. 

Monday, August 24, 2015


After about 8 1/2 months of wear and one cleaning/conditioning, my Attractions Horsehide Engineer Boots are showing moderate signsof wear. I wear them pretty hard, but the stiff leather will require a lot more than just daily walkabouts. 

The toes have deflated nicely and the brown undertone is a sight to see as the black surface dye begins to rub off. They have unfortunately slowly taken the back seat and I will have to make a conscious effort to place these in my rotation especially when my new boots or two come in.



Monday, August 17, 2015


Calling for fire, ca. Late 1960's (Vietnam). It's tradition in the Marine Corps to have "Deployment" tee's and sweaters made. This is one sweater I'd love to come across. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Ann Marie Blyth
August 16, 1928

Friday, August 14, 2015


Hi John,

If possible I would love to pick your brain about the Road Champ and the Attractions engineers. Would you say sizing is the same between the two boots? In terms of quality, would you say the Attraction is inferior to the Road Champ? I am trying to justify the extra money for the Road Champs. How did you order the Attractions boots? I tried to purchase them through the website and I can't check out. Did you email them directly? I love the design of both boots so it comes down to the minute details. Thank you so much for your time.


Hi Joseph,

Thank you for the e-mail! First off, if there are two brands of boots to be on the fence with it's these two -- good choice! The size 7 1/2 Road Champs are almost identical fit on me as the size 7 Attractions. In terms of quality, it's really a personal preference. The RC's were ready to go outta the denim bag (thanks to the select veg-tanned cowhide) with little to no break-in time and the leather molded to my feet and quickly became my go-to boots. They are super comfortable even without insoles.

The Attractions (also worn without insoles), on the other hand -- I'm talking the Horse Butt version, and the Steerhide version appear to be the same -- are made with stiff leather that are relatively more difficult to break-in regardless of how hard they are worn ... and I really like to beat up my boots. I've had mine for almost eight months now and they've developed some nice creases and patina, but will require much longer before they get anywhere close to becoming something I go to for comfort.

Mister Freedom
Size: 7 1/2 
Heel to toe (with heel against wall): 11 1/4" 
Width (at the widest points of the ball area): 4 1/8" 
Height: 12" 
Heel Height: 1 5/8" (highest), 7/8" (lowest)

After some cleaning and conditioning

Size: 7 (Measurements to follow - I left them at work)

My only criticism with the Attractions boots are their lack of fluid foot movement due to the rigid soles. Every pair of boots out of the box naturally have stiff soles and ultimately loosen up and form to ones movement. I have yet to achieve this with these boots. I haven't been able to crack the code on it, but those who have ever worn Creepers know how stiff and unaccommodating they can be to the natural movement of the foot while walking. The Attractions boots, although made with your typical leather soles and composition half-soles, feel the exact same way. Perhaps it's the leather makeup, but after almost a year of wear I can't seem to walk in them without concerning myself with how somewhat awkward they feel to walk in -- heel ... toe, heel ... toe -- with no fluid walking motion anywhere in between. Leather can be shaped when exposed to water and I haven't had the opportunity to get caught up in a torrential downpour, but until then I won't force it.

Showing twenty six days of light wear

You'll be happy with either one of these brands in the looks department, but you may find yourself somewhat disappointed if it's comfort you seek. After the initial purchase of the Attractions Horsehide model, I was on the list pick up the Steerhide version, but never got anything back . This was a blessing in disguise as I shortly discovered the comfort glitch. I couldn't be any happier to know I'm on the list for the new black version of the RC's -- I'm happy to pay the extra two to three bills.

The choice is yours.

You can contact Wataru-San at or Jordan, Cristian or Tom at 

Thanks again and I hope this helps you along with your decision.


Thursday, August 13, 2015


I received a lot of inquiries regarding sizing of the Stanley T-Shirt, so here it is In size small.

One wear (I forgot to measure when new) - Chest: 18, Shoulders: 17, Length (Top to bottom down back): 24

Hot wash/High dryer - Chest: 17, Shoulders: 16, Length (Top to bottom down back): 23 1/2

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Brand: Chippewa

Circa: Late 1950's

Color: Black

Size: 10 1/2 - 11


Length: 11 1/2"

Leather: Oil Tanned COWHIDE

Hardware: Nickel

Sold For: $607.77 / 21 Bids

With its "post-1955" tag and subpar condition, I'm left completely baffled as to why these late 1950's Chips sold for just over $600. I've seen NOS Chips sell for under a bill -- these are fifty bucks All Day.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Dear John,

I have been following your blog and Instagram for sometime. I never thought that I would write to you but since I see that you reply and help people I took time to ask for your help.

I have been lurking for a pair of engineer boots and my first pair was a red wing and then a john lofgren.

I do wear them regularly, on work on my motorcycle summer winter, I just wear them.  I have been trying to source a pair of Mister Freedom RC's either new or used, but I have been very unlucky.

Any assistance you can provide will be much appreciated. Where to look for a used pair? Do you have any knowledge anyone selling a pair size 8-8.5 U.S.

I am on a waiting list but Christian from Mister Freedom (polite and seems professional) said that the brown RC's are unknown when they will be back in stock and the black's will take about 4 months and I might get a pair if someone does not go on with his order.

So, any help is much appreciated.

With kind regards from Athens Greece,


Thank you so much for deciding on sending me the e-mail! I highly encourage my readers to send in their questions and concerns regarding Engineer Boots ( I'm always happy to lend my opinion, impart my knowledge and help out the community of like-minded collectors.

The photo shown above is an excerpt from my blog dated March 22, 2011 showing one of the main reasons for closing the deal when I did. Since then, I've said the same thing a ton of times and have received double that in complaints from readers who didn't heed my advice and wish they'd picked up the boots when they were readily available. It's basic supply and demand and in this case we are fortunate that production hasn't been discontinued AND the price hasn't increased (I hope I didn't open a can o' worms with that last part).

If you desire instant'ish Road Champ gratification, you can sometimes count on various sites like eBay, Super Future and Style Forum, but buyer beware. Of the aforementioned sites, eBay offers the best buyer security coverage. 

You already have two nice pairs of Engineers that should hold you over for a good amount. Knowing what I know, I would put on my patience and wait to for Cristian (or Jordan ... Or Tom) to call out my number. You'll be happy you waited and absolutely won't regret it.

Thanks again for the email, Nikos.


---Break, Break---

To my other readers, if you have or know of someone who has a pair of 8 or 8.5 feel free to contact me.


Woman Marines, circa 1946.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


The best thing for me about the Mister Freedom®  Skivvy and Stanley  T-shirt's are their functionality. I can wear these shirts every single day of the week while in uniform, which make these more than just a plain tee. I picked up the last two size smalls and plan on picking up more when they are back in stock. 


Webb Pierce
8 August 1921 - 24 February 1991