First off, thanks for the blog! I've been following it for a few years and it has been an invaluable source of information and inspiration.
I've been thinking about what I want to add to my collection and I've narrowed it down to basically the creme of the creme; Lofgrens (I was considering Road Champs and Buco's but very narrowly decided against them). I'm trying to scale back to 1 or maybe 2 engies a year, so my question is considering the versatility and patina between the black and brown if you could only live with one colorway which would you choose? I'm leaning towards brown right now but you said that there were nice brown undertones coming up from your black pair which is making me rethink it. Do you have any closer up pictures of the black pair? Is it kinda like how old black Chippewas develop that kind of reddish-brown undertones (do you know of any modern brands that replicate that?). Anyway thanks for your time and keep posting the awesome leather gear you craft. It's top notch!
P.S. I was also briefly looking over the horsehide engies Phigvel offers but cant seem to find much information or aged pictures of them. Besides a resole, what are your thoughts on them?
Thanks for the e-mail. You won't be disappointed with the Lofgrens, for sure. The brown undertones on my black pair just get better and better with each and every day of wear. I can definitely take some closeup photos for you. I'll try and get 'em today sometime. I recommend the black pair ... but then again, I can say that since I own every color Mr. Lofgren made available - Each color develops a certain patina sure to make any owner very happy.
Review of the blue Badalassi pair coming soon
There are companies out there that make distressed boots, but they look forced and are not worth a second look.
I've seen a photo of heavily distressed Phigvel's and they look okay. You're right on with the resole, but other than that, I have a pair of Horsehide Toys McCoy Beck Engineers that are similar in profile, which prevents me from wanting them.
P.S. You mentioned the Mister Freedom® Road Champs. For a more 1930's / 1940's look, these are the only pair to consider.
There's speculation that I flattened the toes, but this is one of two pairs I own and are purposely a half size larger in order for me to maintain the flattened toe box - nothing forced.