This is a pretty big week in Bootland. The re-emergence of a very notable model back from the grave and the return of Division Road x Viberg drops. A fresh MTO from Christian Daniel, a brand we root for relentlessly. A whole load of new Aldens! Expect to find all that and more in this weeks Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the Week.
If you’re a boot archeologist from the far future, you can find all of our previous roundups 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.]
Division Road and Viberg are making boots together again. It’s a legitimately titanic return and (unlike the boat) it’s going swimmingly so far. The Shelby Sharp is inspired by Tommy Shelby of Peaky Blinders, but through a long-running series of popular collaborations that go well beyond what Viberg normally makes, it’s developed buzz of its own. Accordingly, it draws from a long tradition of shoemaking with details like the fabric pull loop and perforated cap toe inspired by historical and modern country boots. Like previous Shelby Sharp releases, there is pinking on the backstay, countercover and quarters matched to a pinked 360˚ storm welt—unusual for a 2030 release but very cohesive with the rest of the pattern. There’s French binding on the shaft and quarter panels, and the boots are built on a Ridgeway sole. Fine, fine work all.
Drawing from historical inspiration which postdates Tommy Shelby by two decades, the other pair in today’s Division Road release resurrects another popular collaboration: the Division Road x Viberg Boondocker. With commando soles and olive green Maryam horsebutt uppers, it’s a boot that builds on the Second World War pattern rather than reproducing it exactly. But the anatomical 2055 last is a nod to the original Munson (and a now rare Viberg throwback of its own), as are the chunkier and more widely spaced eyelets. According to Division Road, this release marks the beginning of a new series of Viberg releases, but we should also expect them to be more limited and less frequent than the Viberg x DR releases of the past. Based on what we’ve seen today, it’ll be a series to look forward to.
Christian Daniel Boots is a new brand melding the influences of San Fransisco, Guadalajara, and Leon, where their boots are made. They’re currently opening up pre-orders on their first production run of “Larry” lace up boots. The pattern is a brogued cap-toe service available with a 270˚ stitchdown or flat welted construction, with a strong roster of components. The upper is vegetable tanned harness from Wicket & Craig (really really good stuff), the outsoles are Vibram’s studded Eton pattern, and the laces come from Guarded Goods. The insole and midsole are both vegetable tanned leather, and the shank is steel, and they’ll ship with a Dale’s Leather Works cuff and keychain. They’re available in Russet…
…and buck brown. We’re very excited to see where Christian Daniel goes from here!
Makers Shoes has developed and expanded their line over the course of the past several seasons, all the while beginning to penetrate further into western markets (though many of their models are still available only in Japan). Two of their models are currently available at the UK’s East West Apparel, including these flat-welted Vittoria Chelsea boots in a supple teacore buckskin. The pattern is sleek, with a Vibram half sole and tight, sanded waist. The shaft on the pattern is high for a Chelsea boot as well, and in combination with the almond shaped toe it gives the boots a very modern look.
On the other hand, the Makers Bone Boots are a more traditional ankle boot pattern in heavy Sand colored “suede” (the leather is a full grain roughout) and a short leather pull tab on the one-piece backstay. The 270˚ double flatwelt is trim enough to be mistaken for single row at first glance, and the sole is leather with a thin Vibram topy and Biltrite heels. These occupy an interesting space somewhere between a chukka and boondocker, with the height of the former and backstay and eyelet configuration reminiscent of the latter. Cool boots!!
Also at East West Apparel this week is a restock of Lofgren’s combat boots in a very strong colorway. Because of the combination tanning and hot stuffing processes it undergoes, Chromexcel has a uniquely textured flesh side, and on the Combat Boots you get contrasting texture of the smooth side from the french binding on the shaft. The darker brown 360-degree storm welt and the plum laces are quite subtle but keep the boot from being monotone, and the black Vibram V-Bar sole defines a dark to light gradient which is maintained through the welt and upper and concludes with the brass eyelets and binding. It’s one author’s humble opinion, but this is a very strong makeup.
Nicks is opening up orders on another limited custom run with a nonstandard leather: Horween’s revered—and rare—Chromepak, a straight chrome tannage saturated with waxes and oils. Though the pictured boot is strongly reminiscent of the Falcon service boot pattern, they’ve opened up the customization options on this one, and though they aren’t offering their newer Munson-inspired Thurman lasts or 360˚ stitchdown construction (only the classic 270˚), just about every other aspect of the boot will be built to your specifications.
Halo Shoes is a Portland-based boutique that stocks a variety of smaller brands ranging from the fashion forward (like Officine Creative) to the traditional (Alden!). At the moment they’re stocking this Alden short wing blucher in milkshake suede. Differentiated from longwings by the fact that the brouged toe cap extends just past the quarters instead of around to the backstay, it’s a detail rich makeup with overlapping (the little wings that define Alden’s “Atom” blucher), inset quarter panels, and a 360˚ split reverse welt. They’re shipping with both tonal rope and dark brown cotton laces to match either the upper or leather sole, and they’re fully lined with a tonal glove leather.
Buffalo-based O’Connell’s has long been a favorite store store for those on the hunt for traditional menswear (their shawl cardigans are gigantic and completely dope), and it’s exactly the sort of place you’d expect to see Alden’s traditional staples like the Straight Top Balmoral. Despite the traditional oxford pattern, there’s some serious chonk here, with a double leather sole and split reverse welt. The tan alpine grain has brings both texture and sheen and bridges the gap between the double sole and formal, blind eyelets and waxed laces.
Alden Modified last specialist Moulded Shoe is one of our favorite stores of any kind, ever. These shell cordovan wingtip boots are made on said very-rare, wonderfully high-arched Modified last, with brogueing extends around not just the medallion-adorned shortwing cap toe, but also along the quarters and facings, across the shaft, and right back down to the heel. The fudged flat welt and double waterlock leather sole make no compromises on adornment but also result in a boot that doesn’t mind being a little chonky and assertive.
Moulded is also offering up a Modified last Indy. The most visible elements are the brown JS Grain upper and matching brown hardware setup, with five eyelets and four speedhooks, but there’s a deeper change too. While most Indy makeups are built on the Trubalance last, these are once again built around the Modified last, Alden’s orthopedic last with a fitted waist, high arch, and accommodating forefoot. The last is seriously worth a look if you have trouble fitting most lasts or are just looking for something closer to the true shape of your foot. From the (storm) welt down however, it’s as Indy as it gets, with nitrile cork soles and Foot Balance heels.
Truman officially has a new stock of a staple model, their cap toe service boot in 6oz Oxblood Double Shot from Seidel. Despite the flat welt and balanced 79 these sit on the chunkier end of the casual boot spectrum with a commando sole, substantial hardware, and a true cap toe.