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:
Posts Tagged ‘boots’
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.
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.
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.
Pratt campus. We wanted to see to whence Tom has disappeared.
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.
NYC/Brooklyn field trip, part two, coming next week.
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:
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.
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.
A now a word from our sponsors:
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.
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.
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.