Monday, March 30, 2015


I've reached such huge personal and professional milestone with my promotion to Master Gunnery Sergeant and wanted to capture it with much more than just a point-and-shoot or iPhone camera, so we called on our friend and talented photographer, Steph Fowler. I'm not keen on having my photo taken (I'm getting there, though), but she has the ability to snap some of me that I'm proud to share.

For more on Steph's work, check out her blog and Instagram


A figure with curves always offers a lot of interesting angles.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Due out in July, these are by far the best looking suede Engineer Boots on the market today. At just around $600 shipped, these are a must have for a collectors wardrobe.

Sizes 6 - 11D

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Hi John,

I've had a bunch of fun reading your blog and following you on Instagram for the past few years. Good stuff - keep it coming!

I'm writing because you clearly have experience across a wide variety of brands and I'm curious about the break in of leather that different folks (Chippewa, Mr. Freedom, Attractions, Red Wing, etc.) use for their offerings.

Quick history. About 1.5 years ago, I decided to buy a pair of engineers. Based on what I could afford and after doing some reading, I settled on the Chippewa 27899's in black with contrasting soles. For a while I was happy, until I decided I liked a deflated toe profile better. Rather than sell the Chipps, I sent them off to Brian the Bootmaker and BOY did he do a nice job. He replaced the original Chippewa instep strap, pulled out the steel toe, replaced the soles with leather, relasted the toes.

All was well.

Now, after about 6 months of wear, and with the hope of developing some great broken in leather patina, I've started to notice that even wearing my Chipps "like they owe me cash," they seem not to be developing the kind of patina I've noticed in some of your photos. Is it the leather than Chippewa uses? Any idea what the deal is?

Thanks for your time and thoughts, and have a nice weekend!

Andrew in NYC
Chippewa 27899

Thank for your e-mail!

For the 27899’s, Chippewa uses a leather they call “Black Odessa” that is drum dyed. During this process, the hide is placed into a drum barrel where it is tumbled and left to absorb the dye … all the way through the leather. Those hoping to find boots to develop a vintage-style patina where the tanned leather, under natural wear over several years, becomes visible through the surface dye will be hard-pressed to find them in today's Chippewa's. To achieve this look on modern-day homage boots, one must find a pair that have had the color applied (painted or sprayed) onto the surface. Some brands to consider when looking for type of patina are Mister Freedom®, Attractions Co., Ltd.. and pretty much any model made with Horween Chromexcel leather. A simple identifier of boots that'll look better with age is the brown edges of the vamp, heel counter and straps ... and of course the inside shaft.

Mister Freedom® "Road Champ" and Attractions Co., Ltd. Horse Butt

Most times, when price is put in the forefront of deciding which boots to purchase, it's best to exercise patience and land the pair that will provide you with the most purchase pleasure. With the combined cost of the 27899's and cobbler modifications, you were on point with the Red Wing 9268's not too far from the Attractions boots and only about two weeks from the RC's.

Attractions Co., Ltd. Horse Butt brown hue through the applied black paint

Red Wing 9268 (Photo - Junky)


Two very talented musicians. Two rockin' videos.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Here's another great closet find. It's a pair of work boots, circa 1940's.

They wear like a 7 1/2.
Approximate measurements:
Length (from heel against wall to front tip): 11 1/8"
Width: Just under 4"
Excellent Used Condition with original leather laces
No returns

**For sizing reference, I wear these with thick boot socks and they fit well. My sizing reference is as follows:

Beck: 7 Buco: 7 Lofgren Engineers: 7 Lofgern Donkey Puncher: 7 Mister Freedom: 7 1/2 Whites SD: 7.5 Chuck Taylor: 7 Red Wing Engineer: 7 Red Wing 875: 7 

Monday, March 23, 2015


Here I am with the lovely and beautiful Piper Dog Bryan (#PiperDogBryan)


When will the madness end? Just when I thought Attractions couldn't do any better with their footwear selection, they come out with something pretty desirable.

Reserve yours by e-mailing Wataru at:



Sunday, March 22, 2015


Here's a custom VEB Leather  creation as part of the upcoming Fred Harvey Era-style line. This particular belt is a size 32 and sits at just under 2" wide.

Available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


After 2 years and 7 months, I'm still on the fence with whether or not I should shine them back to new.


Horween belts will soon be available with optional custom studding!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Hi there. I'm a long time follower of your blog; great stuff! I was wondering if I could pick your brain if I may on the subject of a pair of 2268s I have. The problem is the right boot hurts my big toe after a while of wearing them which I think is caused by the steel toe cap - the left is fine. Can the toe caps be removed say if you where to get them resoled by Okuyama, for example, as I am going to Tokyo early next year or is it too much hassle? Any advice is much appreciated. Keep up the good work


Takeshi Okuyama:
 Telephone: 03-3871-8262
Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

Hi Andrew, 

Thanks for the e-mail! A good cobbler can pretty much do anything; a great cobbler like Okuyama can do everything. Having the protective material removed is quite common, especially for those hoping for a classic deflated toe box look. The above photos are great examples of 2268's with their steel toes removed. A search of his blog will reveal plenty more examples of this procedure on various other makes. I recommend contacting him via e-mail first to ensure you're all set when you get to Japan.

Hope this helps.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I will be making just a few of these in between custom orders, so those interested in a lightweight minimalist wallet can click on the below photo to order.