Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘boots’

Archival Permanent – PDX

May 23rd, 2013

In Randonneuring, a perm is a permanent route you can schedule to ride at any time. On Saturday, I rode Michal Young’s scenic Alsea 200k loop with several friends from the Oregon Randonneurs. On Sunday, I dragged my friend Bruce up to Portland for what I would consider my favorite Archival shopping perm.  The loop starts somewhere around Eye Styles, migrates over to Little Tee for lunch followed by gabbing and gawking at Blake, coffee at Barista, more aspirational shopping at Lizard Lounge and than a post meal retreat to Cinema 21. Though I rarely make purchases on my perm, I  consistently catch and release the same evidential photos: Japanese eyewear, FWK Engineered Garments, heritage footwear,  denim and print ephemera from the movies.  Contact me if you wish to recreate my route.  I will provide you with a start time, a list of controls and a few informational questions to confirm that you followed the correct route.   Here is some evidence of participation from my weekend:

Theo taking a white line nap next to his lovely MAP custom 
Vanilla and Map randos outside John Boy’s Alsea Mercantile (via Theo Elliot)
  
Our rando mob (photo by Asta C.)
Bruce modeling Barton Perreira…
  …matching suede green Quoddy mocs
  
Croque Madame at Little Tee
  
Sport footwear check: Oak Street and Arche
  
  
Aspirational FWK at Blake
  
  A rare patch from the Jantzen swimwear company
Sam’s Yuketen boots 
Spot watch check: a Filson rep’s Marathon chronograph
Neil sampling frites and cidre at Irving Kitchen
Mildred Pierce at Cinema 21

Archival Field Trip – PDX

February 12th, 2013
  
Over the weekend, I made a quick trip up to Portland to shop for eyewear, catch a film and check in on a few of my favorite shops.  Here are some visual notes from the trip:
New S/S Engineered Garments at Blake
  
Brand obsession – Masunaga eyewear from Japan (via Blink)
Original Archival Flap Musette on tour 
Bike rack Ira Ryan custom porteur
Sugar Cane Brown Beach Jacket

  
  
Shopping for yet another Hario brewing device
Now Playing – Blue Velvet at Cinema 21

Archival Report – ProjectNYC

January 28th, 2013

We had a great time participating in the MADE by Project pop up show in NYC.  This week, I’ll be posting photographs from the event.  Today, I wanted to reprint snaps of three of my favorite Project exhibtors – Rising Sun Jeans, Arn Mercantile and Chippewa Boots.

 Mike Hodis, Rising Sun founder
 Mike’s custom Rising Sun boots (daily drivers)
Brendan in his day 3 layers, Archival knit cap
 
Khue in her belted, heritage ensemble
Tom modeling a new Rising Sun vest style

Me (LL) sporting an indigo plaid waistcoat patterned for women
Project visitor wearing his Rising Sun work apron

Rising Sun Jeans – as finished on the inside as the outside

As a longtime fan of the classic, Chippewa made, LL Bean Engineer boot, I was thrilled to see the relaunch of Chippewa’s new heritage inspired line of boots  Chippewa is now creating a footwear line based on original, historical models from the company archives.  Even the brand packaging and Vibram soles on the new boots are based on an original designs that had to be remanufactured for the brand relaunch.   Per usual, I submitted my request to have Chippewa size the line down so that it could be worn by women or gents with smaller feet. 
  
Neil, co-founder, Arn Mercantile

  


The Archival booth was fortuitously located across the way from Arn Mercantile,  a UK brand that blends traditional, 1920s workwear style with Japanese fabrics and expertly tailoring.  Check out the Arn website to read a terrific interview with Neil in which he discusses Arn’s brand history,  production methods, fit philosophy, etc.  

Shopping from ebay: Gokey loafers

November 30th, 2011





Here’s an unusual pair of Gokey loafers for women, available via this ebay auction. Gokey is known for their rugged, moccasin-style, handsewn boots for gents. Gokey footwear was originally designed for explorers, hunters and prospectors. Here’s a typical Gokey specimen:

I’ve always aspired to own knee-high Gokey boots. I also covet Tom’s garage sale Gokey ankle boots. But since neither style is sized for women, I’m trolling ebay for Gokeys I could actually wear. Since I live in loafers, these Gokeys might fit the bill. Best of all, they were made by the original Gokey company before they were purchased by Orvis.

Archival Deadstock

October 7th, 2011

It’s great to see US brands like Red Wing, Wolverine and Thorogood reissuing work boots and shoes from their archives. While the original versions were designed for hard wear, modern offerings are likened to dress shoes and sold at a premium. If you’re longing for the real deal, take a look at these ebay auctions for deadstock shoes and boots from the 1930s and 1940s.




1940s John Pilling Shoes

If you don’t see a style you like, here is a mail order portal for shopping from the past:

Archival Field Trip: NYC/Brooklyn (Pt 1)

October 30th, 2010
Bobby Short portrait at the Cafe Carlyle. Soon after we landed we headed over to the Carlyle for a dinner show featuring OFAM favorite, John Pizzarelli and his wife Jessica Molaskey. Jonathan Schwartz was in the audience. 

Tom, Sara and I breakfasted in Brooklyn with Matthew from the William Brown Project.



Pratt campus. We wanted to see to whence Tom has disappeared.
Visit with Emil and Sandy, the kind and creative gents behind Hickoree’s/The Hill-side.
Some Hill-side wears with Brooklyn view

Exemplary packing station

Sara and Tom inspecting a Stanley & Sons conveyor belt tote
Brooklyn transport


Brook Farm General Store. Our Chaz would enjoy being a shop dog.

In constant transit. Footwear report to follow.

I emailed with this nice gent about places to stay in Brooklyn. We ran into him–by chance–at the restaurant he manages, Marlow & Sons. In addition to serving food, they sell woven towels and Armor-Lux apparel.

The Brooklyn Kitchen. Tom and Sara browsed the pickling supplies. I obsessed over the MKS Design paring knife on the left.

 



We stopped by Epaulet to check out their new Thorogood farm boot and Vanson for Epaulet waxed cotton motorcycle jacket. Lots of foot traffic in the shop.


A few doors down from Epaulet, we made a quick visit to Smith + Butler. Tom checked the fit on a Pointer chore coat. Just out of the frame, a reality TV couple browsed the inventory of nautical scarves, Barbour jackets and American workwear.

An all-important, end of day pause for cured meats at Los Paisanos meat market.

NYC/Brooklyn field trip, part two, coming next week.

Archival Shocker: Heritage Footwear for Women

October 13th, 2010

Work and safety footwear from 1949
Wolverine 1000 Mile boot for women

Full disclosure:Wolverine sent me women’s shoes and boots from the Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection for review.Since I primarily shop from defunct companies or out of print catalogs, this was a happy turn of events.Even without testing, I can highly endorse the Wolverine 1000 Mile collection as a rare example of heritage footwear offered for women without compromise in design or build quality. Like the original version for gents, the Wolverine Collection for women is made in the USA and is based on the same original 1000 Mile boot pattern.Both shoe and boot styles are made from Horween Chromexcel leather (an A.C. favorite) and are constructed on a women’s last with a stitched Goodyear welt.

Catalogs in the 30s and 40s sold this style of boot for farm and heavy duty outdoor wear. Sizes were offered for both men and women. Price point was determined by quality of leather and method of construction. In 2010, the traditional work boot is a rarified, special edition style selling at a premium price point in menswear specialty shops (or in Japan). We’d love to see more of these classic, stylish, well built, American boots made available to the general public.

Some use notes and photos:


Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots for women on test
When I first received them, I immediately had Cat’s Paw protective rubber half soles affixed to the bottoms of my new shoes by a local Eugene cobbler, Baker’s. The climate here in Oregon is wet and it’s treacherous to walk tiled hallways or to bicycle w/full leather soles.

In my field testing, I’ve found that I prefer the boots since their look is more classic and they work better w/my stove pipe trouser legs. I would say that the sizing is generous. I normally wear a women’s 8.5 wide and both boots and shoes fit a little on the loose side – in the width. However, with midweight wool socks, the boots fit well and are extremely comfortable.

I’ve been wearing both the boots and the shoes in rotation. After sporting loafers and camp mocs for so many months, I had forgotten how much support and structure a traditional work boot provides. Steel shanks, solid arch support and leather heel counters have virtually disappeared from modern footwear. Though the Wolverine boots were originally designed for heavy outdoor use, they break in and become comfortable for urban applications like office work or even shopping.

My main critique of the boots is the choice of an antiqued brass finish for the hardware (eyelets and speed laces). Wolverine may have chosen antique brass as a way to signal that the boot design is vintage–something from the past. I’d prefer a normal (shiny) brass finish that would show my own history of wear and aging.

Solid brass hardware. I’d prefer a non “antiqued” finish.Star rivets. Stitching detail. Gusseted tongue.

The Addie wingtips are sleek, modern, classic without being gratuitously feminized. I love the contrast stitching along the welt. For my own purposes, I’d prefer the oxford in dark brown. I challenge you to show me one other US company producing a classic, US made, low top oxford for women in top quality materials. These used to be standard issue.

Leather stacked sole (great for keeping your foot on a pedal)
Leather sole (pre-Cat’s Paw installation)

Handstitching on sole of shoe. I do wish the stitching were recessed into a channel to prevent wear.

Example of recessed stitching on a pair of Tim Little brogues

Favorite detail: hard rubber sole. You never see these on modern shoes for women.
For interested parties, Wolverine 1000 Mile boots and shoes for women are currently available at Leffot (http://www.leffot.com/) in NYC. Leffot will do phone orders and ship anywhere in the world. We’d love to see these shoes and boots become available in brick and mortar stores on the West Coast.

A now a word from our sponsors:

Archival Review: Thorogood Boots

August 11th, 2010

We’ve been working with Weinbrenner, the parent company of Thorogood, to digitize some of their company archives. There’s some tremendous material in there. We’d love to have the power to just point at a few boot examples and have them re-issued (we’re working on it). Click to enlarge these great scans.




Of course, the Japanese are already on it.


Apparently the Roofer boot (above, still available) is very popular over there, and here’s a vintage boot in a recent issue of GO OUT STYLE.

Until we can have pristine reproductions of historical Thorogood boots, we’ll have to make do with their present-day offerings (which include some work boots and shoes which can be sized for women). Unfortunately, most of Thorogood’s line is… very technical, using more ballistic nylon and SWAT aesthetics than full grain leather and low-profile soles. Weinbrenner manufactured shoes and boots for CC Filson so we’re confident in their capacity to execute more archival styles. I’m pleased to report that their 6″ Moc Toe is completely worthy of its heritage. My pair have excelled in every way.

They’re made in Weinbrenner’s factory in Merrill, Wisconsin, from American-tanned leather. The worksmanship is tidy, although the star rivets holding the speed lacing studs on have sharp ends (but that’s only noticeable when you pull the double tongue apart).


They came with decent stock insoles, although I swapped them out for my favorite Filson cork insoles. They broke in within a month and are now very comfortable. I like the Vibram wedge soles better than other wedge soles, they seem to have better traction on wet surfaces. I’m not wild about the blingy MADE IN USA tag on the outside of the boot, but that’s easy to solve with 30 seconds and a knife.

Available in an endless variety of widths and sizes, down to 6 and up to 14. All this is to say – they’re basically Red Wing killers, and for $130, they’re pretty much half the price. Get some for this fall and winter.

Archival Mountaineers

March 16th, 2010


This spring mountaineering season: Pull on your knickers, grab your rucksack, lace up your tallest boots, help your pals with their bowlines-on-a-bight, and head for the hills. Here in Oregon, I’ll limit archivally-equipped outings to big, basic mountains – South Sister would be ideal, but the bold could go for Three-Fingered Jack, named after an infamously disfigured 19th century bandit. Archival Clothing is not responsible for the failure of wooden ice axes or hempen ropes.