Sunday, August 26, 2012


There was absolutely nothing wrong with my second pair of Mister Freedom® “Road Champ©” Engineer Boots, but as a self-proclaimed leathercrafter, I was just itching to put my own stamp on 'em.  My other pair of RC's have been transformed by Okuyama, but I didn't want to alter the shape of these - just something relatively understated.  

I recently whipped up a new black dye recipe that'll give leather a nice patina, subtly revealing the underlying brown of the organic leather color - a perfect beginning to this project.  

**These boots are expensive (and worth every cent!), so I don't recommend anyone try this at home**

Staying consistent with Christophe's original pattern inspired by 1930′s to 1950′s American engineer and work boots, I decided to stick with the former and add cut out a completely functional 1930's-style "D-Pocket."  This is more of a visual design, but can be used to carry credit cards, coins, guitar picks, etc.  The 1930's-style Bootleggers Reunion ball zipper and button is something I found out in town  and thought it would be perfect for use with this project. 

I carefully removed the organic buckles and carefully replaced them with a new set of custom Okuyama buckles I had laying around. While I was at it, I cut out a longer top strap, dyed and shaped it, punched the holes and replaced the original.

Prior to applying the any dye, I used my tried and tested method of steel wool and shaving cream to remove any original finish.  This provided a "blank canvas" and allowed for a clean black dye application.  

The boots were re-oiled using shoe oil and I refinished the sole/heel edges.

The matte color of the zipper teeth and pull match the matte buckles and look perfect together.   

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