We’re approaching the dark heart of winter, and with plentiful spring releases still a few months away, we’ve got an eight-boot roundup here for you this week, but it’s a strong one. You’ll find a restock of a very very tall Japanese engineer boot, two new Viberg collaborations, a trio of murdered-out Vibergs, a camo Russell collab, and more in the latest: Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the Week.
Catch up on other weeks releases here.
[Ed Note: while we never choose anything specifically because of them, some of these recommendations contain affiliate links—the price is the same for you, but Stitchdown gets a small commission if you make a purchase. It’s essential to keeping the site alive, so we really, really appreciate it.]
The big boys are back in stock at Standard & Strange. The inspiration for Black Sign’s Aviators predates the biker aesthetic a lot of engineers lean on, in favor of something older (plenty more context here). Standard & Strange offers up “pilot” or “equestrian”, and we’d figure they wouldn’t look out of place in either context (unless you’re flying a plane built after 1945, but hey, do your thing).
The look is partially achieved by a block heel that’s lower than most engineers, partially from the wonderfully simply pattern, and partially by as much teacore horsebutt as you’re likely to find in one place outside of a tannery. It’s not let down in the details either, with a 270˚ flat welt and Biltrite half-sole maintaining your look and leaving your focus on the silhouette and custom cast iron hardware.
Lost & Found leans into the fashion and streetwear side of things more than most of the retailers we cover on the site, but that same focus on design and aesthetic curation is present in the stock they carry from heritage makers (a treasure trove).
Their recent Viberg Side Zip collaboration is still ultimately a combination of a leather, pattern, and sole combination from Viberg’s standard range of options, but the combination of the heavily textured washed kangaroo, minimalist side zip pattern, and 360˚ flat welt nail the distressed, retro-futurist vibe that’s been a popular subset of streetwear for the past few years.
The other model Viberg and Lost & Found have cooked up is a completely blacked out service boot (the product page calls it the Darth Vader boot) in black (duh) Chromexcel on Viberg’s rounder-toed, generally pretty accomodating 1035 last. That chunkier last is paired up with a set of seven (eyelets), the chunkiest of the standard hardware setups currently run by Viberg, attached to a (black) Dainite sole using, (black) 270˚ double row stitchdown. You get the idea.
Available directly from Viberg themselves this week is another blacked-out Service Boot in something of a different vein. This one is the almond toed 2030 last, with nine blind eyelets and a brouged cap-toe, though the both of those details are muted slightly by the textured waxy commander uppers. The soles are black (“smoke”) natural rubber Lactae Hevea, and for those of you who are counting, these are blacked out in one additional spot where the previous pair weren’t, inside the heel. All together now: ‘I solemnly swear not to talk about any more black boots till next week’.
Wisconsin icon Russell’s molded sole (that second “vamp” layer that sneaks up from the bottom) equipped PH Boot is one of our favorites from them, and it looks fabulous in their new Weathered Oak Timberjack from SB Foot and a Vibram 360 sole.
A new Zephyr model has been added to Russell’s Premier Build catalogue: this one in full grain cognac bison from Law Tanning in Milwaukee. Like other Zephyr models, there’s a buckle above the instep and a zipper that runs from the top of the shaft to the top of the (oak bark tanned) heel counter. The construction is Russell’s double vamp with an interior second vamp layer that wraps all the way up the foot for better waterproofing, beneath which is a midsole and a Vibram Gumlite outsole.
Oak Street’s two newest limited release models are Field and Lakeshore boots in two different shades of the Tochigi Tannery’s Hashimoto tannage. The Field Boot, a brouged cap toe model with swooping counter panels and a 5-eyelet/3-speedhook hardware setup uses the dark brown No. 3 shade alongside Ridgeway outsoles and 360˚ flat welt…
…while the Lakeshore Boot (also a BCT version) uses the lighter No. 2, a tan shade that in this case appears to have been milled, above the same welt and sole. Both boots include a small certificate from Tochigi printed on heavily textured paper, a nice touch that will be particularly interesting if you can read Japanese.