Tuesday, March 22, 2011


After going back and forth with the decision to purchase the Mister Freedom "Road Champs" (RC's) for the past year and a half, I've finally decided to add them to my arsenal of Engineer Boots. 

As anticipated, Jillian and I visited the Mister Freedom shop just two days following my return from operations in Afghanistan. I'm glad we didn't wait too long - that shop is a must visit for any vintage clothing enthusiast.

The shop is nested in an unsuspecting red building with a humble sign that is the only indication that you are at the right place. Once you walk through the threshold; however, you are sucked into the treasure trove of amazing vintage early Americana workwear, vintage motorcyclewear and, of course, the amazingly high-quality collection of awesomeness that is Christophe Loiron's world.  In my opinion, the displays are strategically laid out in a manner that leaves one questioning, "where do I start?"  Me?  I just bounced around in awe and made multiple loops while taking it all in.   

I've read that the RC's run a bit small and so it was recommended that one should go a half size down. This is true in my case and I'm glad it was, because size 8 was not in stock. There were three size 7 1/2's and a super helpful Jordan offered me to check out all three since they are all hand-made and the leather color may slightly differ from one boot to another. All three boots were impeccable, so choosing the one to purchase was as easy as eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

I was informed that the current stock of RC's were the 2nd run with slight changes from the original batch.  I never asked what was updated as I was sold at first sight and touch...whether they were the 1st or 2nd run.  Based off photos from the original Mister Freedom post and my boots, I would say the difference is perhaps the color. 

The leather on the entire boot is a thick cowhide that just feels like a high-quality leather.  Dark brown in color, there is hint of a lighter brown undertone that slowly begins to appear more and more as the vegetable tanning begins to wear away.  Just after a few days of continuous wear, it is clear that the soft toe box built around the custom, period-correct last is beginning to collapse into the desirable flat toe shape.

The thickness of the double leather soles and heels complement the boots just right with original Cat's Paw heels completing the package.

In my opinion, these boots are worth every single penny.  When you wear them, you just know you are wearing a high quality, well thought out, custom-made pair of Engineer Boots.  They are relatively light and contrary to all the previous discussions of the instep strap placement, I would not change one single thing on these boots.  One motivation for finally picking them up is missing out on such a collectors item when/if  Christophe decides to discontinue production.

I hate to say it, but all my other Engineer Boots have taken the back seat to these and will probably do so for quite a long time.

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)

I tuned out this item a long time ago when I was told that the one-size-fits-all cap was rather on the large side.  Well, I was super excited to find out that two of the three Greaser caps in the shop fit like a size 7.  The third cap was as advertised and fit like a 7 1/2 (give or take a tiny bit).  The cap is made of brown genuine front quarter horsehide and is perfectly distressed.  The larger cap was black and in unissued condition.  This cap looks much better in my opinion and is more than likely the be-all-end-all cap for me.  Pick one up before they are all gone.


  1. Great great pick up on the Road Champs, i love the detailing and shape of them.
    The sole looks stunning, just the perfect color and thickness of the leather sole combined with a perfect height and shape heel.
    You just made me consider getting these someday, though i guess sizing won't be an easy job for me since i am not able to visit the store and try them on in person.

  2. Love them both...let's see some pics with you wearing them!

  3. Yea let's see some snaps of you wearing them!

    So glad you're 100% happy with the "Champs". As someone who's been practically livin' in a pair for six months I could agree more with your write up (except I still maintain the 11's run true to size).

    We'll be calling in at M.F next week for a nose round.

  4. Thanks All, they really are an amazing pair of boots. I'll have Jillian snap a photo soon - I'm sure she can snap a candid photo since I've been wearing them nonstop.

    Deluxestyling, perhaps you can provide measurements like I did on the post. I think it will be helpful for those interested in purchasing, but not able to try them on.


  5. Sure John here they are...

    Size: 11
    Heel to toe (with heel against wall): 12 3/8"
    Width (at the widest points of the ball area): 4 3/8"

  6. They look great! Can't wait to see them after a month or so.

  7. Nice buy cat! Good to see you back on U.S soil. How long are you on leave?

  8. Vic! Didn't see your comment until today. Hope all is well.