Saturday, February 1, 2020

This just in ...

One inch wide belts for women or men’s slacks. Made in the USA using Horween leather. 

E- mail: for your custom belts

Sunday, January 19, 2020


I'm finally getting around to unboxing a lot of my gear for the VEB Studio from our big move and am running across a lot of 2019 stock of belts that I'm putting up for sale.

**All prices include US shipping. Overseas customers, will be invoiced for additional shipping charges**
Leather: Horween CXL
Color: Black
Size: 36 No. of Holes: 7
Price: $85 shipped within the US

Leather: Horween CXL
Color: Brown
Size: 32 / No. of Holes: 7
Price: $85 shipped within the US

Leather: Horween CXL
Color: Natural
Size: 30 No. of Holes: 5
Price: $85 shipped within the US

Leather: Horween CXL
Color: Navy
Size: 34 / No. of Holes: 7

Leather: Veg Tanned Cowhide
Color top to bottom: Mahogany, quite a bit of sun tanning, some sun tanning, non-sun tanned
Size top to bottom: 





No. of Holes: 5, 7, 5, 5
Price each: $50 shipped within the US

Monday, December 16, 2019


Hi John, really enjoy your blog.

I'm a about to get a pair of these but notice yours look more like waxed roughout? Did you wax them and do you have a post where you show the steps and method to do it?

I like the way they look but would be worried about doing it on a brand new pair that cost that much!



Thanks for the note! I did wax them in my own way. It’s quite simple to be honest. I do recommend wearing them out of the box as long as possible before applying any type of products.

I wore mine pretty hard and when the roughout showed enough wear (after about six months), I knew it was time to treat it.


This is the boot care kit I use on my Marine Corps Desert Boots and since I've become very familiar with the products, I decided to stick with it.

As much as I liked the denim rub off, I decided to remove as much of it as possible using the eraser provided in the kit--I wanted a clean canvas in order to achieve the best results. I used the metal side of the brush to clean any dirt and dust left by the eraser, going with the grain of the flesh.

I then used the Cleaner to clean and condition the leather. allow to dry for at least an hour (I let it dry over night).

Using my favorite leather conditioner, Pecard Antique Leather Dressing, I evenly applied a liberal amount of the product over the entire boot, not forgetting about the tongue, welt and sole edges. 

I used a heat gun to melt the dressing into the flesh, being mindful not to stay in one area for too long in order to avoid burning the leather.

I even used Pecard to wax the laces. I allowed them to dry as much as possible before replacing them onto the boots. 

The boots will lighten up over time and depending on the length of exposure to various weather conditions, they may require periodic waxing.

Check out John's footwear lineup on his Rakuten page. They offer hassle-free worldwide shipping and often ship faster than local shops in your respective country.

Check out the Lofgren family of Instagram pages ...

Sunday, October 20, 2019


Hey Dude,

I hope you're well, sorry for messaging you directly; nevertheless, I wondered if you had any suggestions for boots treatment. I've got a pair of Red Wing Engineers Boots, that due to non-use need softening and I wondered what you use to keep your boots looking so good and comfy. I'm vegetarian and would prefer something not animal based, what would you suggest?


Hey Nick, 

I'm a huge fan of Pecard leather care products. I use the Boot and Shoe Care Oil along with Antique Leather Dressing. Neither products contain animal fat, tallow, mink oil, lanolin, or neatsfoot oil.
I use Barbasol shave cream to clean my boots. It's not abrasive and safe for all leather colors and it's inexpensive -- back in the 1990s, it was perfect for a young Marine who broke dozens of layers of black boot polish every week or two -- and it just yields the best results. It provided a perfect blank canvas to reapply fresh polish for a perfect spit shine. 

My cleaning process goes as follows:

Unbuckle all straps and brush off any dirt. 

Apply a generous amount of the shave cream over the entire surface of the boot. Massage the cream into the leather using your hand followed by a soft brush -- toothbrush is perfect for the job -- to clean using a circular motion. Ensure the welt and seams are not ignored. 

Allow to air dry over night or place in front of a fan for half the time.

I squeeze / pour a decent amount of Boot and Shoe Care Oil into a small container and apply generously onto the surface, welt, creases, seams, strap using my fingers. Since it's an oil, the absorption time is minimal. I may add a second layer depending on how dry I feel the leather to be.

Allow to air dry over night or place in front of a fan for half the time.

You can essentially stop at this point and feel confident the boot are being preserved and protected from the elements, but I like to add Antique Leather Dressing.

I apply a fairly thin layer of Antique Leather Dressing with my fingers as I would the Boot and Shoe Care Oil and allow the leather to absorb it over night (or sometimes two). 

Use a boot brush to buff away excess dressing. 

Done. This process isn't necessary again for a long time unless the boots are put through some grueling work or exposed to the sun for a long period of time. 

I hope this helps.


Saturday, October 12, 2019


Hi there, 

Love your page and all the Mister Freedom pieces! May I ask what's your suggestion to maintain the Mister Freedom Campus Leather Jacket?

Hi Eric, 

Thank you for the kind words!

Allow the jacket to sit in the sun whenever it's not being worn. 
Refrain from introducing the jacket to any conditioning products until you reach the desired degree of sun tanning. Products will significantly increase the amount of time it will take for the jacket to develop a rich dark tone and it's not guaranteed the jacket will reach its full dark potential.

Along the way it will be a dirt/mark magnet and will develop water spotting, but wiping the area down with a lightly damp cloth will easily "erase" the marks.

Once the jacket is sun tanned to the desired level -- or shows no sign of getting any darker -- wipe down with a damp cloth, air dry and apply a liberal amount of leather conditioner. Allow the leather to absorb the conditioner for a couple of days and then wipe clean with an old cotton t-shirt or cloth.

Mister Freedom Campus Jackets

The jacket will be supple and still slightly damp from the conditioner -- this is the best time to wear the jacket and re-establish any of the arm creases. Hang to air dry for another day.

The jacket will not need any conditioner for months if not years. The occasional wiping from a damp microfiber towel is all you'll need ... or leave it as-is to develop that desired patina.

*You can check out my Campus Journey and process here


Monday, October 7, 2019


Dear sir,

First I would like to thank you for your great work. I am an avid reader and a big fan of your blog. I am faced with a decision and would like to hear your assessment. It's about a pair of Attractions lot.444 engineer boots that I want to order. I already own two pairs of John Lofgren engineer boots with which I am very happy. As I have taken it from your website, the sizes are identical, but what worries me is the shaft. Is this much narrower than the John Lofgren boots? At the beginning I had some difficulty in getting into the boots, which has improved significantly over time. I would be very grateful if you could help me on the matter.

Best regards from Germany,


Hello Stephan,

Thank you for your email! The shafts are quite similar on both the John Lofgren and Attractions Lot.444 Engineer Boots. Over time, depending of the level of wear, the soft and supple attributes of Horween's CXL leather really begin to take shape causing the shaft to slouch beautifully. The horse butt leather used on the Lot. 444 is quite stiff and will pretty much remain that way with very minimal slouch giving you that perpetual stove piped shaft.

I hope this helps.


Saturday, October 5, 2019


Good afternoon,

I hope your day is going well. I really enjoy reading your blog and had a question for you.

I recently found a pair of John Lofgren engineer boots, new with box for 600 dollars!

Although this appears like an amazing deal, I want to ensure that sizing works for me.

I am a size 10 in sneakers and own 3 pairs of red wing Pecos and am a 9.5 in those. In my iron rangers I am a size 9.

The Lofgrens I have my eyes on are a size 9.5! What would you advice/suggestions be on the sizing for lofgren engineer boots?

Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.


Hi Jake,

I wear a size 8 in athletic sneakers and a 7 across the board with converse style sneakers (regardless of brand and country of origin). I wear a 7 in RW Pecos as well as Iron Rangers ... as well as on all John Lofgren boots. Having said that, It boils down to how much wiggle room you're working with between your Pecos and Iron Rangers -- I think folks tend to prefer different levels of wiggle room between their slip-ons and lace-ups.

Based on your information -- and if the Pecos are ideally sized -- and since the shape of the toe box/taper on the Pecos are similar to that of John Lofgren's boots, I think the 9.5 will be close to what you're looking for.

I hope this helps.


Saturday, September 28, 2019


Hi John,

Hope you are doing well.

I've been checking your posts on Instagram and also viewed your blog. You have some nice boots and clothes. I wanted to ask you about roughout boots and you seem to have Lofgrens M-43 Service Shoes. I've been looking for a WWII roughout boot or boondocker for some while but there aren't many really available which actually are based on the original design.

Also I'm not sure how is the quality with repro manufacturers like ATF and WWII Impressions and they seem to be always out of stock. If I'm looking for this style boot and good quality, would you still recommend the John Lofgrens M-43 Service Shoes? Would you say they are somewhat close to the original WWII boots that were issued in the later stages of the war?

Thank you in advance!

Best regards,

Hi Jukka, 

Thanks for the e-mail. I was on the lookout for WWII Boondockers since I joined the US Marines back in the mid-1990s and I periodically checked in on ATF and WWII Impressions for their footwear selection, but was always turned off by the fact they were always out of stock in my size ... and I could never figure out their sizing. I even ran across originals here and there, but was concerned about the durability. Lucky for me John Lofgren released his own version!

As far as his M-43s being close to originals -- John didn't just take an original design of a highly-desired vintage boot and create a carbon copy. That would be too boring. Like his Engineers, these bear that original Lofgren twist which is a characteristic I really love about his designs.

I’m clearly a fan of John’s work, therefore, I may sound somewhat biased. But when you come across a brand that consistently puts out incredible pieces covering a wide variety of styles within the window of early Americana fashion, this creature of habit will continue to be a loyal customer. 

Easily my favorite roughout boots in today’s market, the M-43 Service Shoes are everything one would expect to come out of the Lofgren camp — high quality, heavy-duty, expertly crafted and full of comfort.

Not only are the boots rugged, but they manage to go with almost everything in my closet from denim to cords and everything in between.

I've been a huge fan of John's work since his early days and now the heritage brand ranks among the best in the business. It only made sense to choose the roughout boots from a family of footwear that speaks to the brilliance, craftsmanship and passion behind the man and his brand.


Check out John's footwear lineup on his Rakuten page. They offer hassle-free worldwide shipping and often ship faster than local shops in your respective country.

Check out the Lofgren Instagram pages ...

Friday, September 13, 2019


Year after year, for as long as I’ve been a fan, there’s been a steady flow of original, well-thought-out rugged designs comin’ outta the red brick building at 7161 Beverly Blvd. And year after year, knowin’ damn well I don’t wear a fraction of the clothing in my closet since I’m in uniform most of my days, I have to remind myself to be very judicious with which item(s) I choose to purchase from each collection — Sometimes I stick to the plan and sometimes I splurge.

What doesn’t fall within any rule is the Campus Jacket and this new “Stallion” is a callin’ my name! The brown core or “Tea Core” means this jacket will age beautifully! You done well, Christophe. You done well.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


I put a lot of consideration into who I would trust with my next major boot repair since I haven’t had much luck with anyone Stateside. With Takeshi Okuyama of Fukurokuju/Hukurokuju as my highly respected go-to, I feel it’s time to venture out and get some first-hand experience with other OCONUS shops that have been big blips on my radar. The intent is to be able to provide some feedback and touch points to my readers considering the leap.

It turns out a contributor to one of my Blog posts from over seven years ago is a master craftsman, so I’ll be seeking his skills for this next project since there’s already an established connection.

I can’t wait to see what kind of magic he comes up with.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


Hi, I follow you on Instagram and appreciate your style. Quick question if I may: how do your attractions fit compared to your lofgrens? I have lofgren donkey punchers m-43s and engineer boots and would like to get some attractions lot 444. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Best. Scott

Hey Scott,

Nice Lofgren collection you have there! For me, Lofgren and Attractions Co. fit exactly the same. I wear a size seven across the board with all my Made-In-Japan boots — not too tight, but just enough wiggle room 👌



Sunday, June 16, 2019


Brand: Keystone Shoe Co.
Colors: Black, Dark Brown, Brown
Sizes: 5 - 12 D or E
Leather: Horween
Insole: Flexible Leather Insole
Hardware: Nickle
Price: ¥ 58,000 ($535.00)


Most of today's best Engineer Boots come from Japan! Released this past March with an estimated 3-6 month build, Keystone is such a welcome addition to a market saturated with an incredibly vast selection of unimaginative heritage Engineer Boots.

Those who have followed my blog long enough know I'm a huge fan of Takeshi Okuyama's work and to know that he has dipped his feet into the new boot market with this collaboration, makes these attractive boots even more appealing.

These will undoubtedly last ten lifetimes seeing as they are coming out of the Fukurokuju camp. Add to this the mind-blowingly low price along with the striking overall profile and you have entry-level, intermediate level, and top level boots wrapped up in one amazing boot package -- you won't need another pair of  boots ... until The Top Three come out with another must-have, of course =)

I'd recommend Keystone to anyone looking to get into Engineer Boots.

Channeled and flexible insoles for ultimate comfort and durability