Monday, March 28, 2011

WESCO BOSS REVIEW

Many of you may know that a big part of my blog is to provide information on Vintage Engineer Boots (and current production boots) for the purpose of simply referencing or assisting one in making an informed boot-purchasing decision.  I continually find myself comparing prices of Vintage Engineer Boots I've cataloged with ones being offered at auction. 

"Jimmer_5" from TFL posted a very informative review of his new Wesco Boss Engineer Boots and has allowed me to share this information here on my blog.

Here it is word-for-word:

"I just got them yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to really wear them yet, but they are a great fit and feel pretty comfortable. They came with a removable insole which adds a little cushion. The leather is very thick and heavy. It will definitely take some breaking in, especially the uppers. The standard brown color is darker than I expected it to be - they look darker in real life than the in the pics. The double midsole adds some weight, but they are still lighter than my White's Smoke Jumpers. They also do not have the high arch support of White's or Nick's boots. I ordered the standard 11" height, but the tops actually measure 12.5" from the top of the heel to the top of the shaft - not a bad thing, just interesting. It was the first thing I noticed when I out them on. The buckles are nice, thick cast pieces, not cheap stamped metal.

I opted for the Vibram 705 half sole, and I love the way it looks. It is actually a dark brown color, so it goes great with the brown uppers. I have been comparing the sole to a standard Vibram lug sole, and the 705 sole and heel appear to be a slightly lighter material - not as light as a crepe sole, but not as dense as the standard black #100 lug sole either. I hope these hold up and don't wear out quickly. I very well could be wrong about them being less dense.

One thing I don't care for is that Wesco doesn't use any kind of dye or sealant when you ask for "natural" colored welts. The finish is just the raw, sanded leather. My concern is that they will get dirty really fast, and the color is a bit too bright "white". However, I called White's boots and found out what they use on their "natural" welts - it's a very light tan sole dye, and I have a bottle of it arriving early next week. I think once I apply this, the welts will stay looking good a lot longer, and have a nice coloration to them.

I ended up going with the standard 9165 last instead of the 9109 "Bump Toe" last. Truthfully, when I drove up to Wesco, I looked at boots with both of the lasts side by side, and I couldn't see a difference. Perhaps if makes more of a difference in the smaller sizes? I am a 13, so the toes are already pretty big. The pair I tried on to check the fit used the 9165 last, and they fit so well I decided to change my order and use that last - no sense messing around when you find something that works.

Anyhow, I am pleased with my new boots. They are definitely pricey, but I knew exactly what I wanted, and nobody makes it. After years of searching, I think I have finally got my perfect pair of Engineer Boots."

Purchased through Big Black Boots
Price:  $467 (including shipping)
Color/Leather: Brown 7oz oil tanned leather
Sole: Vibram 705 "retro" half sole
Double leather Midsole
Undyed "buff" welts and heels
Hardware: Nickel Silver
Height:  Standard 11" height
Size 13D
Last: 9165 (standard)





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