Hello dearest readers, welcome back! I have made my escape after spending two weeks deep underground, sustaining myself on bioluminescent mushrooms, following an attempt to spellunk in engineer boots with too high an instep. Hopefully you were too distracted by our Boot Camp mega-event to notice.
In any case, I’ve returned and brought with me a Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the Week Double Feature, featuring our very own collaboration with Russell Moccasin, new ready to wear boots from Unsung House, a triple header from Division Road, and so much more!
All of our previous roundups 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.]
Stitchdown x Russell Moccasin Fishing Oxford in Mahogany Pebble Ski Bullhide: $650 (Pre-Order Closes Friday 10/20)
Today is the last (!) day to get your hands on a collaboration between the wonderful folks at Russell Moccasin and, well…us. A funky shoe as well executed as Russell’s Fishing Oxford is a rare thing to behold and after a literal half decade of staying up way too late looking at vintage models, catalogs, and Japanese-market exclusives, we’re excited to be offering a two versions of the classic pattern on a hand-sewn, single-vamp + moulded sole true-moccasin construction. They’re available on Vibram Gumlite in a waxy, gutsy Seidel Pebble Ski bullhide (the leather of choice for Russel’s snake-proof boots!)…
Stitchdown x Russell Moccasin Fishing Oxford in Tan Laramie Suede: $650 (Pre-Order Closes Friday 10/20)
…and in a durable, easy to care for Laramie Suede with a Lactae Hevea Rallye natural rubber wedge outsole. Russell comfort levels are off the charts in just about any leather. But this combo with its flexible upper delivers on that promise tenfold. We’ve got a very detailed breakdown of the materials, construction, and design choices on the Stitchdown Shop if you’re hungry for more.
It’s safe to say that Nashville’s Unsung House, run by brothers Grant and Isaac Gustafson, is doing some of the most creative cobbling in the game. Last year they made an appearance on the Shoecast to talk about—among other things—the development of Unsung’s in-house custom-made boot line. Now, key pieces of that lineup are available ready to wear.
The Slog Boot is a 6″, WWI-inspired pattern on an oak-bark tanned outsole with a thin Vibram half-sole and Dr. Sole heels. Like their made-to-measure custom boots, these are hand-welted, and the uppers are a wonderful Maryam Toscanello Horsebutt overdyed with a homemade walnut dye. If you’re not in the Nashville area, you’ll need to reach out with your measurements in order to secure a pair. If you are, it’s worth stopping by in person and keeping an eye out for any future Maker’s Markets.
Get in touch with Unsung about ordering through here.
The other ready to wear model available from Unsung is a Horween Natural Dublin engineer, with uppers clocking in at an impressively thick 8-9 oz. (that’s 3.2-3.6mm). It’s not every day you see someone give the Pacific Northwest makers a run for their money on upper weight. The spec-sheet is heavyweight too, with pit-tanned oak bark midsoles handwelted on Dr. Sole’s Raw Cord half soles. Unlike the Slog Boot, these are only available in full sizes (from 8-12) at the moment, so if you’re an in-between size you might have to wait or go custom.
Get in touch with Unsung about ordering through here.
Two weeks off means a triple header of Division Road releases. Kicking off the trifecta is today’s hot-off-the-press White’s Boots collaboration. Cinnamon waxed flesh uppers tanned by Horween will do what waxed flash does—patina fantastically with minimal upkeep. The Vibram 2060 soles are the uncompromising choice of chonk enthusiasts, and the construction is White’s handsewn rolled welt. This pair is built on the lower arched Northwest last.
The other half of this weeks release comes in the form of a 7″ Semi-Dress boot built on White’s classic 55 last. The rolled-welt remains, but this time it sits atop a half sole/heel, and the overall profile of the boot is trimmed down significantly thanks to the single-row hand-sewn stitchdown construction. Like the uppers, the pull tab is made of brown waxed flesh, and boy do the 10 eyelets worth of brass hardware pop in all the right ways.
Division Road recently relaunched their partnership with Viberg in style, and they’re back with their second DR x Viberg drop since the relaunch. We quite like this blacked out 2030 Chelsea Boot. Most Viberg Chelseas are built on the 2050 an almond-toed high instep last designed especially for laceless boots. The 2030 maintains a sleeker profile and a fit closer to Viberg’s classic service boots, though even on the same last you shouldn’t expect it to fit exactly like a laced boot. The upper is wholecut from Shinki Latigo, this time in black, and a blacked out 360-degree storm welt for more subtle detail. a Ridgeway sole and a black fabric pull-loop complete the noir aesthetic.
Division Road has also partnered with Crockett & Jones to create the actual embodiment of the season of fall. The Ross Boot combines a lugged Vibram Carrarmato outsole (for undaunted muddy tromping), a 360-degree split welt (for keeping one’s dry during fall showers), and dark brown waxed suede uppers (for like, looking good). Camel suede collars match the orange/brown stain of the welt, and an extra set of laces in a very close tan shade is provided. They’re also available…
…in a murdered-out color scheme which replaces the brown suede upper with a matte black waxed roughout, paired with a black suede collar and black edge finishing.
Standard & Strange just received a restock of two Rolling Dub Trio models, the Griffin 8.5 and the Forester II. The Griffin is a high-shafted boot that’s patterned somewhere between a logger and a packer, built on a sleeked up variant of RDT’s J-Munson last. Five brass eyelets and five speed hooks anchor the horesbutt quarters, which are hand treated with an oil finish before clicking and upper assembly. A 360-degree flat welt then attaches the proprietary soles and heels to the upper and veg-tanned guts. Really cool boots.
The Forester II is an all out pattern in both function and adornment. It uses a heavy suede from the Nakamura Sennosuke Shoten Tannery in Asakusa, Japan, on a treaded Vibram hybrid wedge. The true cap toe is pinked and brouged, and the welt is Norwegian stitched around the vamp. A kiltie and RDT badge adorn the end of the facings, and a rolled collar plays double (formal & functional) duty. Lot going on with this one! But all worn in it promises to come together quite nicely indeed.
Paraboot might be best known for their staple Michael Tyrolean shoe, and they’re one of the makers that’s willing to push their collaborations the furthest. Enter the Clusaz: a collab with Japan’s Engineered Garments. Like all things EG, they’re a little bit heritage and a little bit avant-garde. They’re built on a proprietary wedge sole and a familiar notched split welt, all of which is edge-dyed black to match a black suede upper. The pretense of normalcy stops there, with staggered rows of D-rings and a single pair of hooks supporting an elasticated cinch closure.
East West Apparel is (as they do) currently carrying stock from two extremely interesting Japanese makers, Addict and Skoob. Of particular note are Addict’s aggressively curvaceous Western Zip Boots. The pliable horsehide upper is finished with a brass zipper and with logo, serial number, and “made in Japan” script stamped in gold foil. A blacked out 360˚ flat welt and Vibram Western full sole keep the attention on the last, a wide but shallow D-width last with an upturned toe that increases toe volume.
Skoob’s boondocker inspired M43 pattern is no slouch on toe-spring either, adding a pronounced dose of and high instep to the historical pattern, which is 270-degree flat-welted on an Armortred cord sole and heel. The sand roughout uppers and triple upper stitching are all constructed to spec, but the unstructured toe is even flatter than most examples of the style. In addition to Sand Roughout, they’re available in…
…and brown horsebutt.
Oak Street Bootmakers is delving back into the lustrous world of horsehide with their latest limited edition cap-toe field boot in Maryam Toscanello. The model, which has a true cap toe with freehand brouging, is also notable in that it’s the first recent OSB release on a Ridgeway sole.
Leave it to Leffot to continue turning out nailed-it Alden releases week after week. This week’s is a plain toe boot in the soft shine of Horween Arabica Lux. The Barrie dress last and proprietary wedge sole are bridged by a split reverse welt, while nine brass eyelets and bound quarters add detail to the upper. They might not be as recognizable as an Indy boot, but they’re classic Alden through and through.