John Lofrgren makes exactingly fantastic boots in Sendai, Japan, but as faithful interpretations of some of history’s most classic styles, rarely are they something you might term “wild.” Today, that all changes.
Meet John Lofgren’s white shadow shell cordovan Combat Boots, designed in collaboration with Standard & Strange, and available through January 20th exclusively for Stitchdown Premium subscribers (learn more about SDP and how to join through here). And because you are very special and deserve it, they’ll also be packaged with a complementary care kit (Saphir Renovateur and a boot brush) and a pair of John Lofgren’s new boot socks. The number of these unique boots made will be very limited, so this is with a doubt the best way to ensure your pair.
The boots are Lofgren’s iconic Combat Boots, an updated re-imagining of a timeless military cap-toe boot. But the deeply unique white shadow shell cordovan from Japan’s noted Shinki tannery leather is—fairly obviously—what these things are all about.
I’ve personally never seen anything quite like it. But I’ll let Neil from Standard & Strange tell you a bit about it, and how the collaboration came about:
“I visited Shinki tannery this summer and had a meeting with Nitta, the owner. Nitta showed me a new, unreleased shell cordovan they were experimenting with: natural shell cordovan with a thick white wax layer. The wax isn’t very durable, and will wear off from creasing/rolling and general wear. It blew my mind. I had always wanted white shell cordovan, but the dyeing process makes that just about impossible.”
“So the leather starts out white in direct sunlight. Eventually all the wax will wear off—there is no way to keep it on that I know of—and will wear into natural shell cordovan, which will darken into a nice caramel brown over the long term.”
You can see the aging process already starting to take shape in the above photos—just from the lasting process and getting knocked around a bit in transit.
And here you can see them with two days of wear.
Incredibly cool stuff. I’ll keep posting photos as Neil gets more and more wear on his pair—be sure to check back here and follow along on the @stitchdown Instagram.
The boots are lined with a rich horsehide, and the rest of the specs are exactly as you’d expect from Lofgren. Four nickel eyelets and three speed hooks, Vibram 705 sole+700 heel, typically exquisite Goodyear welt construction.
The boots are retailing for $1375, with a $750 deposit to lock up your pre-order spot, and delivery will be in May/June. And once again, only Stitchdown Premium members have access to the exclusive initial two-week pre-order window, and will see their boots delivered with a complementary care kit (Saphir Renovateur and a boot brush) and a pair of John Lofgren’s new boot socks.