Saturday, July 9, 2016


Brand: Chippewa
Model: 5175
Circa: 1955 - Early 1960's based on the label, but these are cleary come frm the earlier part of this window
Color: Black
Size: 8 1/2C
Length: 10 3/4"
Width: 3 1/2"+
Soles: Composition half sole
Leather: Oil-Tanned Cowhide (Chippewa never used Horsehide for their boots)
Hardware: Nickel
Sold for: $400 Buy It Now

My buddy and regular contributor to the VEB Blog, Warren, never fails to inform me of noteworthy auctions I've missed. This one is particularly sweet because of the relatively low Buy It Now price. I'm not sure what the original start price was, but I can only imagine this final price represented an offline offer.

While these aren't super rare -- they're actually quite common, especially when you search Japanese sites -- they're always a treat to see since they represent iconic midcentury Americana. In this exact condition (never mind the detached heel), these would easily fetch $900 - $1,300 at auction in the US and would be offered for much more in the overseas market. In my opinion, a $400 - $800 price range is pretty accurate in today's age of homage boots, the likes of Mister Freedom, John Lofgren and customized Role Clubs ... but of course there are those die-hard collectors out there that NEED to have their vintage. I've had my share of vintage and super Vintage Engineer Boots over the last two decades and have come to learn that I'd much rather have a pair of new homage boots and create my own history.

In the early 2000's, there were at least five amazing pairs I owned that were quite rare (unfortunately, I never thought to take pictures of them) -- to a pair of these exact Chippewas -- and then, of course, there were the extinct Glow-in-the-Dark boots. Common to all of these is the fact I've gotten rid of each and every pair. While it's a great feeling to possess some of the coolest vintage boots, I've never felt too comfortable wearing them for concern of causing too much damage. This is why I'm a advocate for today's homage boots -- choose your favorite pair, wear them without too much concern, develop the character specific to your movements and create your own history.

That profile! Stacked Woodman heels

Bowing of the leather welt from heavy wear and exposure to the elements

Iconic square flat toe that started off round

Good on the seller to point out this flaw; however, it's a $5.00 repair that should not have been considered when pricing, especially as collectible as these are

Post-1955 Label (1955 to early 1960's)

Learn more about the "Post-1955" Chippewa label through my Vintage Engineer Boots Lexicon Part XX

8 1/2C 

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