And we’re back! So are shoes and boots—great releases are starting to pick up again, and this story is here to do its noble duty of putting them all together in one place.
This week we’ve got two lineups of Horween waxed flesh Wescos we’ve been excited about for a while, some typically clean and highly wearable Vibergs from Division Road, Alden straight tip boots with a throwback heel from Ealdwine, Wickett & Craig veg-tan Nick’s Boots that are going to age like mad, plus Yuketens, Trumans, and a new player in the $200-ish service boot space.
Get in there.
[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.]
A Viberg make-up from the mind of SOP manager Bobby Milwaukee (Real name! We think!), got chopped down to a modest 8 inches and added pull-tabs for your tab-pulling convenience. The black nubuck and black 2021 outsole make for a murdered-out pairing, while the white outsole stitching and brushed brass buckle add a nicely handled hit of contrast.
Matt Gray’s Ealdwine does it again with a prim and proper classic boot: the Ealdwine Phoenix Straight Tip Boot looks elegant in its tan vegano calfskin and double waterlock leather sole. A 360-degree pre-stitch reverse welt casuals things out juuuuust a touch, but the real, um, star here is the Alden-nerd-favorite throwback starburst heel and arrow-tip No. 15 backstay.
Roughout derby=fantastic summer shoe. Division Road’s new 2030-last Vibergs feature aniline-dyed reverse kudu from Charles F. Stead and a low profile thanks to a white Christy wedge sole. Goodyear storm welt on these.
For these sister derbies DR went with a waxed matte Stead kudu and Viberg’s 1035 last, and they also sport a storm welt. Simple, casual, excellent.
Nothing ages quite like veg-tan leather, and Wickett & Craig make some of the best. The English Bridle is all but guaranteed to patina like mad—just be prepared for it to not exactly be buttery soft out of the box. It looks killer on this 6-inch Falcon with moderate arch, a block heel, Vibram v-bar sole, and of course, Nick’s stitchdown construction.
Scappoose’s finest grabbed a ton of Horween waxed flesh in four colors—black, brown, burgundy, and navy—and will make you a Warren with a cap or plain toe (structured or unstructured—your choice) along with brass eyes and hooks and a Vibram 700/705 sole/heel setup. Wesco is selling them direct and through retailers like Standard & Strange and Baker’s. August delivery, pre-orders close May 17th.
Wesco’s applying the same range of Horween from the Warrens to these killer narrow-shafted stitchdown engineers. MP1339 last, brass roller buckles, hard or soft toe.
Truman’s letting you run wild(ish) on an easy-to-build MTO with their lot of Tasman coyote roughout: C-55 or C-79 last, plain or cap toe (unstructured or not), hardware, tongue color, outsole—the works. Stitchdown construction’s $100 extra.
Same deal as above, just with a splendid black horserump from Italy’s Maryam tannery.
A waxed, shrunken-fiber leather from Charles F. Stead gives the Commander Cap Toe Boot plenty of patina potential right out of the box. A structured toe, commando sole, and heavy-duty storm welt lend the boot a martial silhouette. The end product is definitely Truman in burlymode.
Some Yuketens are straight insane (in the best possible way), but others are juuuuust the right dose of original. These ranger moc-style boys take Yuketen’s obsessive moccasin construction (read more about how Yuki and crew do things here) and a rich olive Horween roughout get subtly Yuked up with a kiltie and some ridged fringe around the ankle. Killer shoe with a ton of range.
Another in the Meermin’s new Ultraflex line, this unlined Goodyear welt number gets an appealing calf suede (there are three other colors too), is built on Meermin’s ROD last, and just as their Ultraflex chukka, inserts two layers of memory foam in between the footbed and midsole.
An unlined summer slipper, Meermin thinned the veg-tan outsole and used a breathable, soft Italian reverse calf suede. It’s a shame these were released after our slipper roundup.
Not strictly a new release, this boot is new to me and Ben. Oliver Cabell sent us both a pair of these blake-stitched boots to review, and the service boot pattern and Stead kudu are both pretty impressive, especially at this price point. We’ll withhold judgment for now until we’ve had a chance to break these guys in, but we’re excited to see how the kudu takes a beating.