Santalum is most definitely part of the Indonesian bootmaker (relative) old guard—the brand been deftly hand-making pairs since 2010, with some of its best work done in collaboration with US-based leather goods brand Pigeon Tree.

Back in 2017, as Pigeon Tree’s Isaac Paul tells it, “I stumbled on Santalum on Instagram and saw that they made a natural veg-tan boot. I approached them and asked if they would be interested in letting me dye a pair as a test, and if it went well, a possible collaboration.”

As it turned out, Santalum was already familiar with Pigeon Tree’s work, and they were interested in making an indigo-dyed boot of their own. With that first pair of service boots, the Pigeon Tree/Santalum collab series was off to the races, and arguably each release has been even better than the one before it.

Last year, for Santalum’s fifth collaboration boot with Pigeon Tree, they put together a pair of service boots made in SB Foot Black Klondike, a leather that should make Red Wing fans’ ears perk up. Black Klondike is a teacore leather that has been featured on a variety of Red Wing boots in the past (mostly in their non-US releases), including rarities like the Beckman Flatbox and the Huntsman. Collab #5 was a big hit for Santalum and Pigeon Tree, so much so that they ran a second pre-order for the boots. (Isaac is currently wearing a pair of these in the Patina Thunderdome.)

pigeon tree santalum collab 5.5 black klondike roughout

This American-Indonesian duo is already back with a sequel, of sorts. Collab 5.5 is a service boot once again made in Black Klondike—but with the leather flipped to the reverse side. Most of the upper is roughout, while the tongue is left grain side out to hint at what lies beneath (and to get some beautiful teacore patina going). The finely napped roughout leather, in tandem with the Dr. Sole raw cord half-soles and some (Pigeon Tree-branded) rivets, definitely lends Collab 5.5 a boondocker vibe.

pigeon tree santalum collab 5.5 black klondike roughout

These boots are built on Santalum’s No. 5 last with a leather toe puff, leaving the toes unstructured. While the original vision for this makeup was in a plain toe with all eyelets, customers have the option to add in speed hooks and/or cap toes, if they wish. They’re made with a 360 veldtschoen construction, featuring a combination of cream- and olive-colored threads.

pigeon tree santalum collab 5.5 black klondike roughout

The pre-order train for Collab 5.5 is leaving the station on February 6th. Each pair retails for $475 ($20 more if your feet exceed 29cm in length!).

Pre-order Santalum/Pigeon Tree Collab 5.5
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