We couldn’t be more excited to announce the first-ever Stitchdown-ified boots from Canadian supermaker Viberg, made in collaboration with Standard & Strange. Two true titans of bootmaking and retail, and they let Stitchdown sneak in there too. I’m jazzed.
And so we humbly present the Midnight Gasfire: an unstructured toe 2040-last boondocker in Horween Petrol reverse chamois with a Dr. Sole raw cord full sole.
I’ve always wanted a boondocker, that most archetypal of military boots that was U.S. Navy standard issue for basic training in WWII and for decades after. Their rugged beauty stems from how their simplicity (an archetypal service boot pattern) and touch of flair (the white quad quarter/triple counter stitching) combined well over half a decade ago to fill a military need.
And yet here I have sat, boondocker-less. All that changes now.
The Leather: Horween Petrol Reverse Chamois
Boondockers were traditionally made with a light roughout leather—natural CXL is the classic. But we felt it right to cut things loose a bit on the leather (while keeping everything else largely true to the icon), and after much debate, decided to go with Horween Petrol reverse chamois.
Shades of Horween reverse chamois can vary—and I really feel like we lucked into a winner here. While the “standard” Petrol chamois is more forcefully blue, this one is much darker, almost black in low light, with the deep blue hues making themselves more and more quietly known the sunnier things get.
Chamois in general deserves its accolades as a do-everything rugged leather that’s still darned beautiful, and it rewards heavy wear about as well as anything out there. Especially when flipped to its reverse side, the “fat-liquored” leather has a truly unique feel to it, and is unafraid of basically any elements. It’s also legitimately self-healing—even nice big scratches will generally disappear just by…walking. And the nap only gets better with wear. Wonderful stuff.
The Sole: Dr. Sole Raw Cord Full Sole
It’s kind of amazing just how emphatically Taiwanese outsole specialist (And repair shop! And wonderful Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome sponsor!) Dr. Sole has made its imprint on the boot world over the last few years. Their raw cord sole—treated to be oil resistant and jammed full of infinity pulverized hemp cords (the little flecks you see) for added traction—is something of their signature model, and is extremely similar in looks and functionality to the original Navy-issue boondockers.
Just be aware: these things are for real. They’re pretty darn heavyweight, and require a bit work to get some flex going. The flip of that is they’re one of the most wear-impervious outsoles on the market. And damn do they look so damn perfect for this boot.
The Last: 2040
We chose the 2040 last for a few reasons. For one, it’s just a wonderful round toe Munson-based last: straightforward in shape, with a nice snug heel and waist and an amply wide forefoot that fits a wide range of feet. But it also looks absolutely fantastic when the unstructured toe begins to collapse.
In terms of sizing, S&S recommends a full size down from Brannock. But in my experience, if you’re even a bit over a Brannock mark—or want to ensure you can wear nice thick socks—going only .5 down is the way to play it safe. All Midnight Gasfire boots are in Viberg’s “standard” E width.
The Hardware: Seven Nickel Eyelets
Well, 28 total I suppose. But you get the idea. Love how they pop right along with the white upper stitching.
How to Order Them
We’ll spare you any further reading here: just head to StandardAndStrange.com before they’re all gone.