Viberg makes a lot of different boots. Some of which are so different, they’re shoes! But over the course of a year, the sheer variety in output from the Victoria, BC-based maker is honestly astounding, in terms of styles, and leathers, and configurations—which makes it tough, but also very necessary, to pick some favorites as 2019 runs away from us all. So that’s what I did.
Important to note: these picks are 100% mine, and reflect, somewhat obviously, my personal tastes, however deranged or aberrant they may be. But hey, that’s the whole beauty of caring about shoes way too much, right? We are drawn to what draws us, and grabs hold, and doesn’t allow itself to be shaken out of our minds, for anything. This year, these 11 Vibergs drew the hell out of me.
Oh and definitely me know what you liked (and what you think I missed) in the comments or on Instagram @stitchdown.
I still love the big ol’ throwback look of Viberg’s 110 last. And Miloh made basically perfect use of it with these smoke kudu boondockers complete with the rivets and corded soles.
Withered Fig only creates basically perfect Viberg makeups, and while I’m personally slightly partial to their mushroom chamois 145s, those are technically a re-run of a 2018 shoe (even though the coloration is pretty different on this year’s shoes). The leather sole and Cat’s Paw heel combo is a winner even if it limits usability somewhat, and the Horween crust horsebutt is fuuuuunkkkkkyyyy. Of course, they got Richard’s preferred 1035 last. A few sizes remain…
Yes, I’m a sucker for Viberg 145 oxfords. And kudu leather, for that matter—although I like it when it’s a little quieter, like these. Kudu isn’t just about the battle scars; it’s also about the suppleness of the leather itself, and these deliver a bit on the first and plenty on the second. 1035 last. Still some pairs left!
Different is good. These are different. These are good. A far less purely beautiful pattern than Viberg’s iconic-for-a-damn-good-reason Service Boot, these brutally handsome Ammunition Boots feel even more connected to their utilitarian military roots—not least because of the modified Munson last Viberg used for the project with the Canadian leather jacket specialist. Love the Ridgeway sole, too.
Viberg by Division Road Shelby Service Boot in Mocha Shell Cordovan
Few boots have driven the level of pure obsession for me as this one. Everything from Division Road’s Peaky Blinders-inspired Shelby series has been pure art, but this one is Michelangelo’s David turned into a boot. The shell color is astounding, the sawtooth pinking is purposefully aggressive without totally stealing the show, and the blind eyelets keep everything much cleaner than Cillian Murphy’s life in the show (or really, anything he’s in).
Viberg by Division Road Shelby Boot in Shinki Natural Color #4 Oiled Horsebutt
Another Shelby, another winner. This grain=insane. Still pinked to hell, and the natural leather outsole really completes the look.
Is this Horween shell really bronze? I have no idea. Maybe rusty brown? Maybe…ok I definitely still have no idea. I guess it does look kind of old. But damned if it isn’t completely, infallibly, powerfully captivating. You could argue that eyelets all the way up on these would’ve made a slightly more perfect boot, but as someone who wears probably an average of 2.6 pairs of shoes per day, I will rarely quibble with hooks.
Another deeply unique shell cordovan shade, Viberg ran a preorder on a Scout boot and these 110-last 245 oxfords in aquamarine Horween shell, which combine with a black Vibram 2021 outsole to make things very, beautifully dark, save for the pops provided by the nickel eyelets and un-dyed shell edges. This one might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely for me.
As my Engineer Curiosity continues to rage, these continue to call. I like that the 8-inch height lessens the all-consuming leg-sheath-ness a bit, the Cat’s Paw soles are always a great touch, and of course, the horsebutt is beautiful. And they’ve still got pairs.
These unstructured toe ‘dockers aren’t crazy, they’re just perfect. Love the contrast stitching, the eyelets all the way up, and the handsomely dignified Horween Taurus roughout, which I imagine will start popping up on boots all over the place. Sizes remain.
I swear this is not a troll! I love these shoes. Do I wish they were a little cheaper? Yes, yes I do. But I love them. And there you have it.