August 21st, 2009
Archive for August, 2009
Reynolds is one of those rare, out-of-the-past companies still producing traditional leather cycling shoes in Northampton, England (home of Crockett and Jones). Reynolds sells only one shoe model called Innovations. Though Reynolds describe Innovations as a “new model” it still looks like something from the pages of a 1930s catalog (like this shoe , for instance). Per catalog copy, Innovations features “full grain leather, a double sole, redesigned side pedal patch, full leather padded tongue and raised and padded top line to give ankle support.”
I would have ordered my own pair of Reynolds years ago if not for enigmatic-to-me UK shoe sizing charts.
A cautionary tale: the shoes pictured in this post were ordered by a gent who mis-calculated his own UK/Reynolds shoe size. If you’d like your own pair of Reynolds touring shoes, wear a men’s size 11.5 and wish to bypass UK shipping hassles, visit this flickr user for further info.
And here’s another style of cycling shoe, the “Ball Bearing,” awaiting resurrection from the archives (“a sample piece of leather will be mailed upon application”):
Friend Rick G. sent me this link to Butler Bags, a US company manufacturing traditional style bedrolls and bags in marine grade waxed cotton. Per catalog copy: “sleeping bags are made for the serious, rugged outdoorsman who recognizes quality and know the value of comfort and convenience.” All product descriptions should read this way.
Wishing I had a Butler bedroll for my trip back to my old summer camp, Camp Robbinswold, in two weeks. Instead, I’ll be packing a mouldering down bag purchased from Eddie Bauer in the vintage days when EB was still a venerable, Northwest outfitter (w/a brick and mortar, Spokane, Washington storefront).
Let me know if you know of anyone who has actually tested out one of the Butler bags in a real world, outdoor location. I searched the Butler dealer list and found a retail outlet, Salem Tent and Awning, worthy of its own future archival fieldtrip.
Heavy duty brass zipper
Sewn in end ropes
Marine canvas carrying case
Red Wing Heritage boots @ Portland Filson Flagship Store
Filson leather and twill boots (Roberts Supply)
Recent Filson Offerings
Red Wing Heritage Boots @ Portland Filson Flagship Store
I’ve been requesting that Filson offer footwear for women since the line was introduced in the 1990s. Though Filson customer service folks acknowledge the demand, they’ve yet to offer any styles in sizes small enough to fit women (same lament for Red Wing’s heritage line).
Each time I hear a rumor that Filson will be changing footwear vendors, I hold out hope that the new shoes and boots will come in a broader range of sizes and feature models for women (2010?). Optimistically, I imagine that Filson might even consider partnering with a company like Red Wing given the presence of the Red Wing heritage boots in the Portland Filson flagship store (a stylistic mesh that works really well). Alas, it appears like the recently revised Filson footwear line features the same staple styles in the same fixed sizes. I’m also sorry to see that Filson dropped the the boots w/twill finish fabric panels. I really loved how the twill fabric tied the boots back to the original line of Filson luggage (something I imagine would be revised in a future brand remix project). I’m also sorry to see the Filson Upland Loafer disappear. This style came closest to matching my dream outdoor shoe: the Abercrombie and Fitch “camp slipper” highlighted in an April 09 blog post by Little Log Cabin:
Upland Loafer (discontinued)
Russell Camp Slipper (courtesy Little Log Cabin)
Addendum: Nice Filson footwear remains for folks in the golden size range (I’d be bankrupt if I could actually size into Filson shoes…or some of those new Outfitter jackets). Here are some hypothetical footwear vendors with whom I could see Filson partnering:
Gokey footwear catalog courtesy Little Log Cabin
Searching for historical images of women in uniform, I found these terrific photographs from the National Library of Scotland’s Digital Archive. Many of the original photographs document a less expected, more routinized view of war. My favorite set show dogs (non-trad breeds) and pigeons being trained as messengers. I was also taken by the more candid views of troops in relaxed or sporting, non-combat situations. Visit the collection to curate your own image set.
Tom Baxter, Explorer
Filson Bush Jacket for women (sans belt)
After several catch and release episodes, I finally ordered and removed the tags from a Filson Safari jacket for women. I’ve been a longtime admirer of the safari jacket. I’m a fan of its timeless design, warm weather wearability and cotton poplin fabric (the waxed cotton of August). If I could update the safari jacket styling, I might shorten the cut, remove the epaulets and delete the belt. For now, however, I’m wearing the belt buckled behind my back just to soften the Karen Blixen look by a few clicks. Wear test report to follow.