Halloween is right around the corner! Which has absolutely nothing to do with this release roundup, but man you better get your costume together. Very important.
Read on to find a new Viberg release at Division Road, Meermin’s new workboot (and last!), some Alden classics, and more in the latest: Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the Week.
Previous Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the Week can be found 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’s third collaboration since rebooting their Viberg partnership highlights two interesting leathers from the great tanneries of the American Midwest. The first is Horween’s Cypress tannage, which is vegetable tanned and treated with the same oil and wax blend as Horween’s shell cordovan, before being aniline dyed and waxed. Used here in English Tan, the leather is paired with eight brass speed hooks and the ever reliable double-row stitchdown construction and Ridgeway sole. 2030 last.
The second tannery in play is Gallun, once on of the largest tanneries in the U.S., and under the direction of Ed Gallun back from the dead and tanning like hell. Division Road uses their Caper Viking Calf, a tight-grained calfskin with a lustrous finish, on soft Lactae Havea outsoles. This is a nine-eyelet pattern with a brouged cap-toe, and of course, double row stitchdown construction.
The “Joe” of Joe’s PH premier build is Joe Gonyo, the Russell COO who developed this configuration, a riff on the Safari PH, for his own personal boots. The upper is Cognac Shrunken Bison from Milwaukee’s Law Tanning Co., with tan cotton quarters from Scotland. Army studs, a pull tab, and a padded collar are added to the regular Safari PH, and its Gumlite sole replaced with a studded Vibram 360 and 1/4″ heel lift. The construction is Russell’s hand-sewn single vamp and molded sole combination (learn all about Russell’s construction—and history—here). All in all it’s the toughest hot-weather boot Russell currently offers.
For their collaboration with Huckberry, Spokane’s own White’s Boots has placed their Cykle engineer pattern on a Vibram Christy wedge sole, a style once popular with motorcycle riders but now quite uncommon compared to heeled engineer. Huckberry’s makeup brings a unique colorway: smooth dark brown distress with a rough-out counter. The upper is attached to the midsole with White’s double-row machine stitchdown construction on the low-arch, round toed Northwest last.
Nick’s is doing a limited run of orders in a new shade of their 1964 leather, developed for their workboots by Seidel. The deep cholocate-y brown “Mahagony” can be built out into pretty much any work boot you can imagine through their customization options, which include the new Munson-inspired Thurman last. Nicks is currently quoting a leadtime of 18-35 weeks.
Polemic inbound: Western bootmaking is its own niche with its own techniques and history, but the increasing influence of western style on welted footwear in the last few years—especially through Japanese brands—has produced some exciting developments in the space. This boot is one of them. Setting aside how crazy it is that you don’t need a permit to walk around with this much Shinki on your feet, the Duke takes Lofgren’s construction, with a steel shank, 270˚ storm welt, and lots of veg-tan, and places it on the western style it fits best: a serious but no-nonsense Roper with a Vibram western sole. On a good last (and the 170 is a good last) it just works.
If you’re looking at Indys now that the heat has dyed down, Lost & Found just rolled out a damned appealing-looking saddle tan calfskin model on the sleeked-up Barrie last with a handstitched moc toe. The upper and hardware configuration (four speed-hooks and five eyelets) are paired with a split reverse welt and commando half sole. Many sizes down to one pair!
Speaking of Alden, one could not exactly call a Color 8 Longwing new, but Alden Madison just restocked one of the great shoes of all time in an inordinate array of sizes (6 through 14 and B through EEE!). The details in Alden’s pattern are absolutely decadent, from brougeing to pinking to fudging to the medallion. This model is outfitted with a split reverse welt and a double oak leather sole.
In a gambit to challenge the idea that you can have too much of a good thing, Oak Street Bootmakers is doubling down on Natural Toscanello Horsebutt, releasing a limited edition penny moc on a nitrile-cork camp sole. The loafers are hand stitched, and now bide their time gleefully awaiting the day I sell Ben on running a Stitchdown Cozydome.
Meermin has launched its new last and build for their Negon work boot, which features a wider and flatter toe box, a fully gusseted tongue, and veg-tan heel counters, midsoles, and insoles. If you’ve had problems fitting Meermin in the past, this is the one that can potentially change that. While the brouged cap-toe patten looks like it’ll be more at home in casual use than on the job site, the construction tweaks and commando soles should make for a more rugged boot than Meermin’s dressier offerings, while preserving details like the fudging on the 360˚ split welt. They’re available in a variety of leathers, including this Caper Green Kudu…
…and Oak Saddle Tan Calf from France’s Du Puy tannery.
Easymoc just released a brand new chukka pattern for their collaboration with long-running, highly influential Boston shop Bodega, and it’s an aggressive little thing. A short but angular shaft in black Chromexcel and olive duck canvas abut the three nickel eyelets arrayed quite vertically. The uppers sit on contrasting white Montagna soles from Vibram, and they ship with two lacing choices, black or brown rawhide.
Sons of Henrey just released their fall-winter collection, which included some notable re-releases, like their Utah Calf split toe, as well as some totally new models, like the Byron. These blacked-out boots, combine smooth calf vamps below the swooptie (technical term), with textured black Utah calf above. The rest of the pattern is simple but well executed. Three lines of stitching grant to formal appearance of a cap toe, on a fudged 270˚ flat welt and a double leather sole which tapers down to single-leather under the waist.