Thanks for making your way back to Stichdown.com: where the news breaks and your boots never do. This week we’ve got some brand new tannages and construction techniques, in addition to an Ostmo x Iron Boots drop and a whole new line from Nicks. You’ll find all of it (and more) in this weeks Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the week.
Previous Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the Week are available 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.]
It’s not everyday you see a collaboration between two bootmakers, much less two workshops in the echelon of quality that Iron Boots and Ostmo inhabit. This week they’re opening up orders on their fifth collaboration model, manufactured by Kai’s five-man team at the Iron Boots workshop in Guangzhou using the Type I pattern and Moe last designed by Lars of Ostmo (listen to our interview with one of the most deeply interesting people in the bootmaking game).
Iron Boot’s construction, which uses a leather shank and wool filler in place of cork, is less rigid than most boots, without breaking down over time. The uppers are a washed crust horsehide from Maryam which is overdyed black before being stitched down by hand to a rubber Dr. Sole outsole. If you’re curious about these but not sure how to size, our very own Stitchdown Shoecast co-host Tichoblanco is offering sizing consultations by appointment.
Nicks unveiled a new range of hike/hunt boots which brings together three new options developed over the last several years: padded collars, 360˚ sole stitching, and Vibram Sierra soles. All in all it makes for a boot that’s lighter than Nicks’ standard options, while still offering bulletproof construction and a variety of 7-8 oz. leather options. It’s worth noting that because of the unit sole the hike/hunt range is only available on Nicks’ low arched lasts (the Ridgeline is on the classic HNW).
The new Gamebreaker model takes things a step further, combining the all of the build details and components mentioned above with Nicks new ThurmanNW last, which was developed earlier this year as one of three Munson inspired wide toe lasts. Unlike the rest of the line, the Gamebreaker is a lace-to-toe pattern, so if you missed out on the ND3 and are looking for a similar silhouette, they’re worth a look. You can check out the rest of the series here.
Dropping today is a new in-stock model of what might just be the chonkiest chukka of all time. The Sporting Clays Chukka combines a handsewn, single-vamp moccasin with a molded sole (that “bumper” layer of the pattern above the outsole) with Vibram’s 2060, the 2021’s smaller cousin (if only just). A three eyelet, fully lined upper in roughout from Horween completes ready-for-a-beating vibe.
Learn a ton more about Russell and their wholly unique moccasin construction in our chat with CEO Luke Kolbie.
If you just can’t get enough vamps, the Big Cambo beats out the Clays Chukka with three: a double vamp and a molded sole. Its introduction to the Premier Build build line marks the first time the Elk Hunting pattern has been available for over a year. They’re optimized for hard, off-trail use right down the the Sierra wedge, padded collar, and burly WeatherTuff Leather.
Chicago’s Oak Street Bootmakers just unveiled a new custom tannage developed in partnership with Milwaukee tannery Seidel: Bark Veg Retan. Available in a carbon grey color way on this week’s trio, it’s a combination tannage with a very fine nap on the flesh side. All three boots are 360-degree flat welted on Dr. Sole corded outsoles, with hand lasted uppers and hand burnished toes and heels. This build is available as a high shafted Trench Boot…
…a dressier Lakeshore boot…
…and a low Trench Oxford.
The sort of footwear covered on this site tends to exist in its (our!) own niche world, insulated from the march of time—and, though we have our fair share of passing fascinations, far from the ceaseless churn of mainstream fashion. Still, there are portals between worlds, portals that allow you to find Aldens on the shelves of retailers like J. Crew. This fall, there’s an especially cool brown suede Longwing. In addition to the standard brogueing and binding that adorns all of Alden’s Longwings, there’s a 360˚ split reverse welt and a thick crepe sole which make for a pretty substantial casual shoe.
Zahner’s is also carrying a few notable Alden makeups at the moment, including the “Roth Boot 2.0”, a Barrie lasted plain toe boot in grained clay nubuck, a nu (sorry) leather that’s far more textured than most nubucks. A 360-degreee split reverse welt and commando outsole are both through-lines to the original Roth.
FEIT is inarguably an innovator in industry, experimenting regularly with both style and construction. Their latest series is built around a combination sole developed in collaboration with Vibram. The line, dubbed the WLR line, feature rubber outsoles with cork midsoles and heel cushions, wide bamboo shanks, and natural rubber mudguards around the vamp—not usually our thing, but these have just a ton to love about them. The 360˚ handsewn flat welt is covered at the toe by the outsole for some additional protection.
Listen to our inteview: FEIT’s Tull Price on the Promise and Limits of Sustainable Footwear