While Oak Street Bootmakers is perhaps best recognized for made-in-USA bestsellers like their Trench and Field Boots, their handsewn boots and shoes are nothing to sniff at. And the Camp Boot was in OSB’s lineup pretty much from the beginning when the brand launched in 2010. 

The Camp Boot yanks its inspiration from classic Maine handsewn styles—guide boots and hunting boots in particular—and according to OSB VP of Marketing & Merchandising Mike Wilkie, “of all our footwear, the Camp Boot is the one that is probably used the most for its actual purpose.”

He referred to anglers, outdoorsmen—really, anyone who needed a comfortable pair of boots that could keep their feet reasonably dry in the field (or the forest, or the creek, or the beach, or…well you get it). When the Camp Boot went out of stock for a while, Mike said, “I’d say four out of five emails and messages we had from people asking about its return were either anglers or photographers—or both, in at least two cases.”

oak street bootmakers camp boot natural chromexcel

Well, great news for all you photog-anglers out there: the Camp Boot is back—and, perhaps, better than ever. Following the example of last year’s Sport Moc releases, Oak Street has outfitted the Camp Boot with some Cortina lug soles from Italian solemaker SVIG. The soles, while surprisingly lightweight, offer excellent traction and durability from their rubber-cork compound. The Cortina soles replace the original Camp Boot’s Vibram Christy wedges, and for most intents and purposes are likely the better choice—not only in terms of performance, but in being true to the guide boot style Oak Street has tried to recreate.

oak street bootmakers cortina sole

The intention had always been to use lug soles on the Camp Boot from the beginning, but there were two major reasons Oak Street didn’t when they introduced the boot. “In 2010, there wasn’t a good option since we didn’t know Cortina existed, with no US rep,” Mike said. “Vibram’s lug options, as well as Itshide Commando, were all far too heavy for this application. Vibram makes the Gum-lite, but that’s not very durable. So Cortina is really the only sole that allows us to maintain the heritage look without any functional compromise.”

oak street bootmakers camp boot natural chromexcel

“The other reason was that in 2010, Vibram Christy was like the sole,” Mike added. “Everyone wanted it on everything, including us. So between the lack of better options and the style-of-the-age, Christy made sense at the time.”

For the Camp Boot’s reintroduction, Oak Street has crafted it in two of their favorite Horween Chromexcel colors: Natural and Brown. The Brown CXL variant sports an extra mudguard layer on the vamp along with some polished brass eyelets, while the Natty CXL version is made without the mudguard and swaps in some antique brass hardware. 

oak street camp boot brown chromexcel

Mike told us that when they were trying out some different patterns for the new Camp Boot, the folks at Oak Street “just loved how classic and clean it looked in Natural, where the white stitching of the mud guard just really stands out in the Brown. Also, actual sportsmen typically opt for brown and the mud guard may help put them at ease about water-resistance. That said, the tolerances for these are super tight now and for all practical purposes, the Natural is just as water-resistant.”

Oak Street’s Camp Boots retail for $368, and are available now.

Buy The Oak Street Camp Boot
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