New thing: because knowing about every boot and shoe in the world is my job, not yours, every week I’m going to be putting together a roundup of new releases I’ve got my eye on, plus just some stuff I like and think is very worthy of your consideration, even if it isn’t necessarily hot off the line. Get after it.

Unmarked Chelsea Toro

Unmarked Chelsea Toro in Khaki Roughout: $240

I included their smoothout version in my recent Best Boots Under $300 story, but this khaki Horween roughout Chelsea Toro with a natural storm welt from Unmarked—which it’s not a stretch to say is the most impressive Mexican bootmaker I’ve come across—is only $240 right now.


THE 19 BEST BOOTS UNDER $300


Joseph Cheaney Caingorm II

Joseph Cheaney Caingorm II Derby: $505

Joseph Cheaney has been making top-quality shoes in Northampton, England since 1896—yet they only have a speck of US presence. Luckily Brooklyn Tailors, the very fine custom and ready-to-wear menswear shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn loves what they do and picked them up. I’m really into these heavily grained derbies with the v-notch stitching that the Edward Green Galways have claimed but certainly don’t own, and the commando sole—these are perfect foul weather beaters that will look better the more you work them. 

White's Boots x Division Road Logger 350 Boot

White’s Boots x Division Road Logger 350 in Natural CXL: $625

Speaking of footwear that looks better the more you work it—these White’s Logger 350 big boys that Division Road just dropped are ready to patina like mad with their natural Chromexcel upper. Love the contoured logger heel as well. They’ve also got it in black CXL

Viberg x Division Road Service Boot in Noir Vitello Calf

Viberg x Division Road Service Boot in Noir Vitello Calf: $745

Another new release from Division Road, the noir vitello leather on these Viberg service boots is a leather that ages incredibly interestingly. I had a pair of service boots in a grey-ish 1071 vitello that I had to give up because they just didn’t fit, but the guy I sold them to sends me pictures every once in a while and the depth of color it takes on is a sight to behold. And the Ridgeway sole, which Viberg is beginning to use a bit more, is a a fantastic, versatile touch. 1035 last on these. 


MORE: WHERE VIBERG IS TAKING THINGS IN 2020

BRETT VIBERG ON VIBERG’S FUTURE AND SO MUCH MORE


Grant Stone Ottawa Grain

Grant Stone Ottawa in Cognac Pebble Grain: $365

Grant Stone makes some of the most impressively constructed shoes and boots for the price that you’ll find absolutely anywhere, and the split-toe Ottawa is my personal favorite model. These grain-iacs just released, and they are as well considered as the rest of Grant Stone’s line. 

Grant Stone Country Derby in Cognac Pebble Grain

Grant Stone Country Derby in Cognac Pebble Grain: $340

Grant Stone also used that same pebble grain leather on a brand new silhouette: their country derby. The brass eyelets put this one over the top—very glad they went with them for some character instead of going with blind eyelets or something quieter.

 


INTERVIEW: GRANT STONE’S WYATT GILMORE ON QUALITY, CHINA, AND THE WHOLE ALDEN THING


Rider Boot Co. Fritz in Waxy Kudu: $400Rider Boot Co. Fritz in Waxy Kudu: $400

It’s no stretch to say that Rider’s Chelsea boot pattern is one of the most perfect out there. It’s not overly formal, but it’s also definitely dress-up-able while also capable of being as casual as you need it to be. And it looks great in this heavily scarred kudu leather. (Side note: Ron is a very gifted storytelling—read the one here about that time he punched his manager because Ron cared about the customers so, so much. 

Oak Street Bootmakers Trench Boot in Rowdy Tobacco

Oak Street Bootmakers Trench Boot in Rowdy Tobacco: $462

Oak Street has been making its Trench Boot for a long time now, but they went more rugged than they normally do with this excellently named rowdy tobacco leather from Seidel and an Isthide commando sole. This one’s limited edition, so if you’re into it, think about hurrying.


STITCHDOWN SHOE AND BOOT REVIEWS

Viberg 145 Oxford in Wheat Roughout

Viberg 145 Oxford in Wheat Roughout: $630

I’ve been working on a big historical Viberg story for the last month-plus, and have been swimming in research of what the brand was doing in Japan back around 2007-2012 or so. Their recently dropped Japan Collection may edit out some of the boldness that pervaded the products at that time (contrasting leathers, especially), but it also corrals the spirit of that era so effectively—especially this 145 oxford in wheat roughout on a tan Vibram 2021 sole. 

Alden x The Stronghold Six-Eyelet Chukka in Scotch Grain

Alden x The Stronghold Six-Eyelet Chukka in Scotch Grain: $645

Two things I love: Scotch grain leather and Alden six-eyelet chukkas. This iteration from LA’s The Stronghold on the Barrie last with the old-school Indy-style Neo-Cork outsole is a great and unique rendition if I’ve ever seen one.