Viberg just unleashed 18 new shoes/boots in its Drop Two, the Canadian shoemaker’s second major release of a young 2019 (see/buy them all right here).
Spanning seven styles, there’s a ton to take in. Of course, there are service boots—including in a beautiful grayish Color 1071 calf, and a wildly/wonderfully textured oiled natural horsebutt—and some excellent Chelsea boots.
But this release seems to be about breaking new ground. Which is definitely being smashed with a pickaxe, for Viberg at least, by three sneakers: two strongly Vans-reminiscent models, and a much chunkier number that Viberg says is the only sneaker completely made in Canada.
Let’s break everything down, shoe by shoe.
The Service Boots
Let’s just get these out of the way. While much of Drop 2 is previously uncharted territory for Viberg, these three represent what built the brand into the cult they are today: an unimpeachably classic silhouette, done in leathers that it’s hard to imagine anyone else sourcing.
My lord this is a beautiful boot. That natural texture of the leather—from Japan’s lauded Shinki tannery—is exquisite and almost makes them look like an exotic. Built on the 42977 last.
When I was in late middle school and early high school, I was all about nubuck indoor soccer shoes from brands like Lanzera and Lotto—in which I occasionally even used to play indoor soccer. My gut tells me the nubuck on these grey ghosts in the 2030 last are going to have a little better longevity than those did, and I’ll be interested to see pictures of how they patina. For now, they’re perfect if you want to coordinate with your Weimaraner.
While it might slip under the radar with so many Check-Me-Out shoes in this collection, these may actually be my favorite. Between the color and the brogued toe-cap, this boot could probably dress up pretty well if needed. Or you could make it your life’s mission to demolish them, and probably fail. 2030 last.
The Chelsea Boots
Viberg returns to its damn handsome but not overly showy Chelsea boot with three new leathers. We’ve already talked about the Fango and Colour 1071 nubuck calf leathers on the below boots in the Service Boot section, and the above is the Tan Waxed Deer, arguably the most rugged of the bunch. If you love Viberg quality but are looking for their sleeker, narrower 2050 last—and despise laces—these are your ticket.
The Used White Horsehide Crew
I’m hoping to hear from Viberg with a fuller breakdown on this leather, but it’s certainly not like anything I’ve seen too much of, from anyone. Big question: isn’t all horsehide used? Typically yes: by the horse. But I’m wondering if this Italian leather had a different application before finding its way to these boots. I’ll update when I hear back.
While many Vibergs are designed with constant wear in mind, I’d say these aren’t exactly a daily shoe for most people. Although few people wearing Vibergs only have one pair of shoes! (Wink emoji.) But if you’re staring down one of those awful/wonderful summers where you have like 14 weddings to attend—especially if you’re not going to see the same people at them all—well, I think you just found your shoes. 1035 last.
These, let’s just say, are not for me. But hey, they might be for you! I just personally don’t think zippers and boots should spend a lot of time together. 2050 last.
The Deck Shoes
I gotta say: I’m really into these. I spent a lot of my younger days in Vans (and actually keep a pair at the Stitchdown office in case I’ve got the wrong shoes on when it starts raining out of nowhere…), which these are obviously heavily inspired by.
The unique Hyperlapse leather is bonded with Dyneema, aka “the world’s strongest fiber™”—15 times stronger than steel. Which is quite strong! It will be fascinating to see how these age. 40218 last.
Same specs as above; I personally just really feel that grey/white color scheme over these.
The Slip Ons
Viberg has done these before—I particularly dig the Smoke Kudu version—but never before in the crazy-strong Hyperlapse leather, straight from the future. Jeff Spicoli likely couldn’t afford these, but incredibly talented and successful author Sean Penn certainly could. Also on the 40218 Last
Yes, I saved the biggest departure for last.
I stared at these for quite some time trying to pin down what they looked like. Especially in the grey Hyperlapse leather—my personal favorite—and especially from above, there’s an obvious New Balance feel to them. When you take the massive Vibram Sphike RGS Sole into account (which at certain points in the design is half the shoe’s profile) you can’t help but feel the Balenciaga influence. Or even a bit of an Air Max 90, especially with those ridges. They’re built on the 1003 last.
The Olive is a distant No. 2 on my list, and the rest are a touch too fashiony for me, but I could see why some people might want exactly what I don’t.
It’s pretty safe to say that the Sneaker is the boldest step of the drop for a shoemaker that traditionally couldn’t have been farther away from this type of footwear. But with the same Viberg construction standards in place (with the obvious exception of the cementing, but that’s just sneakers being sneakers), most notably with the removable leather and foam footbed and leather lining, there’s a lot to be curious about. And while there are certainly many great sneakers available for less than $510, there are also plenty of horrific offerings for much, much more out there.
So there you have it—18 shoes and boots, and a whole lot of New. But as Viberg continues to expand past its greatest hits (in interesting new leathers, of course), there’s definitely something here for a wider ranger of shoe-wearer than what Viberg has offered in the past. It’s going to be very intriguing to see what happens next.
All images courtesy Viberg