Sunday, June 16, 2019


Brand: Keystone Shoe Co.
Colors: Black, Dark Brown, Brown
Sizes: 5 - 12 D or E
Leather: Horween
Insole: Flexible Leather Insole
Hardware: Nickle
Price: ¥ 58,000 ($535.00)


Most of today's best Engineer Boots come from Japan! Released this past March with an estimated 3-6 month build, Keystone is such a welcome addition to a market saturated with an incredibly vast selection of unimaginative heritage Engineer Boots.

Those who have followed my blog long enough know I'm a huge fan of Takeshi Okuyama's work and to know that he has dipped his feet into the new boot market with this collaboration, makes these attractive boots even more appealing.

These will undoubtedly last ten lifetimes seeing as they are coming out of the Fukurokuju camp. Add to this the mind-blowingly low price along with the striking overall profile and you have entry-level, intermediate level, and top level boots wrapped up in one amazing boot package -- you won't need another pair of  boots ... until The Top Three come out with another must-have, of course =)

I'd recommend Keystone to anyone looking to get into Engineer Boots.

Channeled and flexible insoles for ultimate comfort and durability

Sunday, June 2, 2019


I've owned and researched Vintage Engineer Boots for several decades now and can tell you that Sears Roebuck & Co. never sold boots made with horsehide leather. Some Split Cowhide (like the below Sears Wearmaster) look really attractive and sell for big bucks even without erroneous claims of "collectible" leather. Collectors obviously pay what they feel an item is worth, but I would caution against paying that premium usually associated with certain buzz words. Unless a vintage item is clearly marked "Horsehide," always assume it's made with cowhide.

I've mentioned time and time again that "Knowledge is Power" and by doing a little bit of research here, one could save a lot of money that could certainly be used towards something more valuable--I personally do research using information I've archived on this blog.

There's quite a bit of empirical data on this blog that should assist potential buyers in making an informed buying decision. I don't believe sellers purposely mislead potential buyers. Like anyone else, we do research based on past sales and try to make that correlation - if it looks like another pair of boots that sold for good money, then it may very well sell for the same thing, right? It behooves any collector to be smart on the subject - and the main reason why I've archived so many types of boots on this blog over the years - in order to ensure the right choice is being made.

Monday, May 27, 2019


Here are some VEB Leather belts I recently crafted. To purchase any of these belts or discuss a custom order belt (or other VEB Leather custom piece), hit me up at
Black Horween CXL, Size34

Brown Horween Dublin, Size 32

SOLD Black Horween CXL, Size 32

SOLD Brown Horween CXL, Size 32

Plain Natural Horween CXL, Size 30

 Plain Black Horween Dublin, Size 34


Thank you too all the brave women and men of our Armed Forces who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Okinawa, 1945

Saturday, May 11, 2019


Brand: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Model: 4171
Circa: Early 1950s (receipt dated 1951)
Color: Brown
Size: 10D
Length: 11 1/2"
Width: 4"
Soles: Composition by BF Goodrich
Heels: Leather
Leather: Unknown
Hardware: Brass
Sold For: $530 / 6 Bids

I've always been a fan of these shorty motorcycle boots and owned a couple pair -- vintage and heritage -- over the years and this is one great find in NOSIB condition with the "Pistol Chain" accessory.

It's quite unusual to find these (in any condition) at such a big size and I feel they sold for just the right amount. I'd have bid a max of six bills ... and in usual fashion, would probably never really wear them. 

"Pistol Chain" 50c pair

Monday, April 22, 2019


TK Smith recently made some adjustments to my Gretsch Roundup and I finally found time to swing by his house on our way back from Palm Springs this past weekend to pick it up.

A fun time exploring Palm Springs with Jillian was capped off with a pleasantly relaxing visit with Jill and TK, catching up on old times.

If you don’t already know, TK Smith is one of the most talented guitar players / builders and craftsmen around (he was a Disney “Imagineer” for cryin’ out loud) and equally talented Jill Smith is the brainchild behind my favorite custom jerseys: Hometown Jersey. Their home is tucked away in a beautiful wooded plot of land and is what I consider to be one of the most captivating midcentury homes in Yucca Valley.

Guitar mod by TK Smith and Horween strap made by me, VEB Leather

While touring their home is like traveling back in time, it was the beautifully restored vintage trailer right in front of their home that caught my attention. With its main and additional fold-out beds, the carefully decorated Ken-craft is perfect for that couple (or two) looking for an awesome alternative to traditional motel lodging. It’s just down the street from the slew of antique shops and restaurants in Yucca Valley, scenic hiking in Joshua Tree, delicious food and great music at Pappy & Harriet’s and up the hill from Palm Springs. It’s also surrounded by beautiful cactus and tall trees giving you that private area to enjoy quiet mornings. We live only a few miles from TK and Jill, but I’m determined to find some excuse to stay in the trailer

Reach out to Jill at to see about staying here for your next stay in town.

Gretsch 6130 Roundup

Saturday, April 20, 2019


My top picks for the best Engineer Boots on the market are the Mister Freedom Road Champ Boots, Attractions Co. Horse Butt Engineer boots and the John Lofgren collection of Engineer Boots. I've owned countless brands and models--both vintage and modern--over the past twenty-eight years and none compare to these brands based on style, performance, durability and value.

For those fortunate enough to be around the Oakland, CA area this weekend with a penchant for  bad-ass boots by one of the industry's most respected brands, be sure not to miss the exclusive made-to-order event hosted by the gentlemen at Standard & Strange.

Who: Standard & Strange
What: Made-to-Order John Lofgren Boot Event
Where: 5010 Telegraph Avenue Oakland, CA 94609
When: 20 and 21 April 2019
Why: Why not?!? What great opportunity!

You might also be interested in:

Saturday, March 30, 2019


I have an overwhelming amount boots that don’t get the attention they deserve and I find myself wearing only my newest acquisitions or ones that I have an attachment to. These Horween Horsehide White’s Semi-Dress boots are just starting to show off their brown undertone, but they just aren’t the first pair of lace-up boots I reach for. Frankly, this is the first time I’ve tried them on in several months.

E-mail me at

I normally wear a size 7 and these have the perfect amount of wiggle room.

Measurements are approximate
Length: 11 3/8” (just under 11 1/2”) Heel against wall to very tip of sole
Width: 4 1/4” At widest part of sole
Looks like heel to toe is about 11"

Notice the patina (tea core) showing through.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


I can say with full confidence that John Lofgren has some of the best boots available in today’s market. Not only do they look incredible, but they are also built to withstand the harshest of wear and any level inclement weather that can be thrown at ‘em. I speak from experience having owned his boots for the better part of seven years.

Here are my three and half year old Natural CXLs that spent a good hour or so in last week’s High Desert snow. I like to call these my “sleepers,” because they look like normal boots and then the functional original VEB Leather Saf-T-Flash stud work is revealed with proper cuffs.

Hit up Speedway Sendai or John Lofgren to secure your boots today.