Wednesday, May 11, 2011


There's no doubt that Wesco Japan's "Narrow" model for $1,600.00 captures a lot of what folks are looking for in vintage 1950's-inspired Engineer Boots; however, the astronomical price is a deal breaker for many. So how does one obtain the look without breaking the bank? Easy. Order the "Boss" model with Patrol Toe's (PT).

This is common knowledge for some, but here is a breakdown on the differences and how to have your very own custom-made pair for literally half the price.

Narrow (L) with and PT Boss (R). Both made with black fire leather.  The Narrow's are 11" in height and PT's can be made starting off at 9".  Lower?  I'm sure that's possible, too.

The Narrow's have a slightly lower toe and black welt stitching. Black stitching can be custom ordered on the PT's. I'm a fan of white stitching, myself.

The Narrow's are made with #700 double mid-soles. This is an available US option as well as the #705 Vibram half sole. Another thing that isn't advertised is the option to have plain leather soles. I contacted Wesco some years ago to find out if I could have Boss' made with a single mid-sole with leather soles (basically double mid-sole without rubber caps/half-sole) and the representative said it was possible.

In order to achieve the Narrow's heel profile, order the "Highliner" boot heel-style.

The Narrow's are triple stitched throughout. I'm not sure if this is an available US option, but is a non-issue in my opinion.

Roller buckles are no longer offered in the US, but a complete set of brass or nickel buckles can be ordered through Okuyama for $20.00. They arrive at your doorstep in less than a week. You can send Wesco your own buckles during the build.

Another smart and economical option is to visit the Wesco "factory seconds" page for amazing deals. Some boots are even defect-free, but are offered here because they are just overstocked. Wesco QA/QC is so high that most defects that are listed as seconds are negligible.

I've seen PT Boss' offered for just over $400...and don't forget the 10% promotional discount on seconds that pop up, sometimes twice a month - ther'e one going on now until 30 April. Here's the second part to this...take this great deal on seconds and send them to Okuyama for his artful resole and buckle swap. Voila!! Now you have something even better than the stock Narrow's for under eight bills. Having custom-made PT Boss' will set you back for about the same price. Your choice.



  1. I love my Narrows but if I could tweak anything on them I'd lengthen that instep strap a couple of inches. If I was putting a custom build together that'd be on the list.

  2. I would kill to get my hands on a pair of buckles from Okuyama but are they simple to order?

  3. How can i order a pair of buckles?