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Engineer Boots, Harness Boots...

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Creeping Past, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    I've suddenly felt the urge to buy a pair of engineer boots. I say 'suddenly', but it's actually been about a week, since I read this thread. Plus I want to fold some socks over the top of my boots, just for the hell of it.

    What I mean is, all of a sudden I like them, after years of poo-pooing them as rockabilly accessories of choice.

    I've looked into Chippewa and Wesco, both of which offer styles I like (I want plain, no fancy stuff). Can I have a show of hands for Chippewa and Wesco, plus any other recommendations, please? If any UK FL members can provide links to retailers, I'd be especially grateful.
  2. celtic

    celtic A-List Customer

    Wescos are among the best made. They are VERY pricy, but you get what you pay for. All made in the USA.

    Chippewas are a great boot, especially for the money. They have begun to contract overseas for some of their boots, so make sure you get a pair that is made in the USA...they are much better quality.

    Also look at Frye 8R and 12R. Again, make sure you're getting the USA made, because they're better quality.

    DBLIII One of the Regulars

    I second celtic's reply. For dollars to quality - Chippewa USA are great. I have a couple pair and while beat to pieces are not worn out. Spent many miles on motorcycle pegs and many hours in dirty factories around big leaking equipment.
    Never could afford Wesco but have never heard a bad word about them.
  4. john z

    john z Guest

    I bought a pair of Xelement's a while ago now & have been more than happy with them. OK they aren't made in the US-of-A, although they are shipped from there. They have the look I was after in a Engineer boot; no heavy lugged sole, no steel toes & a square cut heel. Best of all they are excellent quality at a bargain price. Just be aware the Customs & Excise will sting you for importing them.

    They are made in China but don't let that put you off. They are not cheaply made. I wear a UK 8 so bought these in a US 8-1/2 but reckon I could have gone with 8s as they tend to fit loose. But then I guess they're made to be worn with thick MC socks.

    Another pair of boots that fit my requirements are by Durango which, at the time I couldn't find for some reason. I had no such problem finding them tonight though.

    Here are a couple of links:


  5. ft

    ft New in Town

    Wesco boots are the best you will find period.

    John Z- "They are made in China but don't let that put you off." You are kidding right?
  6. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    The 'Made in' debate crops up eventually in every thread here, at some stage.

    If you want to avoid stuff made in China, I guess you'd have to not buy pretty much every piece of electrical equipment on the market, which will have some component made or assembled there...

    As for clothing, how many of the products known and loved as 'Made in the USA' are produced in China? Probably more than people would like to hear about, including boots, jeans, coats, etc.

    Is there a 'China' test for quality? Nope. The truth is that good, bad and indifferent products are made all over the world, including in China.

    For example, chocolate products made in the USA are renowned in the UK and Europe for being tasteless, over-sweetened bars of gloop, bearing little relation to actual chocolate.

    Consumption is a matter of personal choice, of course, and there are many reasons — including politics and ideology and previous experience with relative quality of products — why people might choose not to buy from particular vendors/sites/places... and many reasons for people buying positively, too.

    Apologies for the off-topic rant. I'm getting booooooorrrrreeeedddd with all the dark hints and warnings about Chinese products.
  7. john z

    john z Guest

    No argument with that as it is generally accepted Rolls Royce make the best cars. But I've no intension of buying either because for me personally other makers products fills my needs at far lower cost. I'm not in the fortunate position of being able to buy things regardless of.

    No kidding intended. Don't get me wrong, I love US made clothing. I think it's the best & have many US made jackets, jeans, pants, shirts, sweaters, shoes & boots to support that claim.

    If I'm honest I'd rather my Engineer boots were made in the US but I'm a realist & the Xelement's are very well made & represent excellent value for money. I don't know if the Durango's are made in the US but if they are & I could have found them at the time I was in the market then I would've bought them instead.

    Not only that but the Wesco boots, being as well made as they are, don't appeal to my personal aesthetic taste.
  8. celtic

    celtic A-List Customer

    You asked for opinions, and then lecture when answered? :eusa_doh:

    My response is DIRECTLY related to the products you are are asking about, and have nothing to do with politics.

    I have owned USA made Chippewa and imported Chippewa. The USA Chippewas were better made.

    I have seen and touched both USA made and imported Frye. The USA Fryes were better made.

    I have owned both USA Made and imported Red Wings. The USA Wings were better made.

    I have owned both UK made and imported Docs. The UK Docs were better made.

    I also own a pair of imported Durango engineer boots....I broke one of the buckles after ONE WEEK and returned them to the store for another pair. I broke one of the NEW PAIR's buckles 6 months later and had new straps and buckles on them. They're uncomfortable, but otherwise they seem fine now. lol

    I have also tried on 3-4 pairs of Xelement boots, which I find to be reasonably made, but not up to the standards of the others mentioned...but I digress.

    Do I buy Chinese products? OF COURSE I DO.

    But please don't tell me that I'm boooooring you with nationalistic jargon because I think that certain products now being outsourced can't hold a candle to what they used to be.

    ps. most USA chocolate DOES suck.

    I guess you can say I have a thing for engineer boots. Over the past 17 years, I've owned 20 pairs of engineer boots (give or take).

    My newest pair with only about a week of wear are a pair of Japanese reprodction horsehide Buco boots. With shipping, service fee's, ect., I paid just shy of a $1,000 for them. My next pair in the shoot are going to be a pair of custom-made Wesco Boss' that will cost around $800.00. My contact at West Coast Shoes said he could link me up with their Japanese company to have horsehide WESCO's made - that's definitely an option and I'd love to try and have them reproduce the look of my old 1940's horsehide Engineers (below)

    My most comfortable pair of Engineer boots are my current day Chippewa's. They break in really well and become soft over the years. I have this kind with the natural brown welt: [​IMG]

    One of my favorites (that I hardly ever wear) are the burgandy shorties pictured on the shoe rack. They are Japanese 1940's reproductions by an old company called Jubilee. They are rare, indeed.

    My newest pair of horsehide Buco's fresh from the Post Man


    My loss - I sold these on ebay for 699.99 (Buy it Now) about 1.5-2 years ago an and regret it every waking day. These are vintage 1940's horsehide Chippewa's

  10. M/C boots

    Nice M/C boots guys,anyone like the WC Russell boots?
  11. Lone_Ranger

    Lone_Ranger A-List Customer

    Here's a good website for the Wesco boots. They offer the engineer, and the harness style, and motor patrol. They can be customized too.

    Also have the Dehner motor patrol boots, in the stock, and custom versions.

    Wesco harness .... http://www.boot.com/bwharn.shtml

    Wesco Boss engineer.... http://www.boot.com/bwboss.shtml

    Wesco motor patrol...http://www.boot.com/bwpatrol.shtml

    The FAQ page http://www.boot.com/bfaq1.shtml
    has some Wesco information

    Dehner stock motor patrol.....http://www.boot.com/bdstock.htm

    Dehner custom motor patrol.... http://www.boot.com/bdcustomMP.htm
  12. Jay

    Jay Practically Family

    I'll second the Chippewas, too. They are comfortable and broke in very nicely, and they aren't too clunky-looking like a lot of pairs I've seen. My only problem is that the "distressed brown" (or something) color I ordered looks shaggy/nappy as hell compared to the pictures on their site. 8 months of routine polish later and they still look shaggy. Besides that, I love them.

    Also: Does anyone know of a way to get the leather to look smoother?
  13. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    Thanks for the links n pics, chaps.

    Celtic, I was reacting to another poster, not you, but sorry for offending you. Still, even if I ask for opinions, I should be allowed my own. On balance, my off-topic veering would have been better placed as a question elsewhere on the forum. Apologies to any FLers who've felt got at by this.

    I really like shape of the Bucos, Marinebilly. I've seen them in another of your posts. Edit: 84,000 Yen! And all sold out, it seems. That's one and a half Aero jackets.

    This is going to cost me...
  14. celtic

    celtic A-List Customer

    No worries, Creeping Past. You didn't offend me, it takes a lot to offend me.

    I'd just hate to be thought of as a xenophobe when that isn't the case in the least bit.

    Sometimes quality can be judged somewhat on point of origin, and I think that modern American boots and leather jackets for the most part can. My reasoning (perhaps faulty..[huh] ) is that shoes, boots, leather items are made here in the states so seldomly that there might be a reason that a company here is still in business...and my hope is that the reason they are still operating in the black is the fact they are quality items.

    On the other hand, comapnies can outsource and keep some semblance of quality too.

    For instance, don't you think the new Dutch made HP SAUCE is just as tasty as the UK original? ;)
  15. jeep44

    jeep44 One of the Regulars

    I wasn't aware these boots were so sought after! I have a pair of Iron Age steel toe engineer boots that I bought at the shoe store at work maybe 25 years ago-back when I got my Harley Roadster. They look almost identical in style and condition to that pair of '40s Chippewas posted above-thick,heavy leather, roller buckles, old-style rubber soles-the kind with pieces of string mixed in with the rubber,like WW2 Army boots. These boots had been gathering dust in a corner of my garage for many years, and I actually threw them out this summer, but pulled them out of the trash as I was hauling it to the street. After a good rubbing with a beeswax leather dressing, they look quite well. Now I'm glad I saved them.
  16. john z

    john z Guest

    Iron them with the back of a large heated spoon. My Father gave me that tip years ago when I wanted smooth leather on the toes of my shoes prior to the spit & polish mirror shine.

    It's how the forces removed the pebbling from the toe caps of their service boots.

    marineabilly: Man, I envy you those Buco's. They are the best looking boots I've yet seen & can't imagine ever seeing better. I want. What are they like to wear?
  17. Jay

    Jay Practically Family

    Holy cow! That did wonders! Even the parts that looked like hamburger finally laid down nice and smooth. I might have to give them another run over soon, but they sure are a lot more shiny then before. Thanks a lot!
  18. Thanks John z. They are an awesome pair of boots and I am proud to be an owner. Well, I ordered them while i was in Iraq and when I went home on leave this past summer, they were there waiting for me. They're made of thick, heavy horsehide and I made the mistake of breaking them in during our three day trip to Disneyland. They are stiff as heck!! Other than the minor cut to my shin where the top of the boot rubbed, they are built like a tank and will just look better over time as i wear them in more. They have the Cats Paw sole with rivets, so these will outlast me - definitely.

    Here are more pics from the Japanese website:

  19. H.Johnson

    H.Johnson One Too Many

    The British Army 'bullshine' technique has been covered in depth on previous threads.

  20. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    I got a pair of Carolina boots off Ebay.

    Those Bucos with the cat's paw sole made me realise I should start cheap and work upwards... [huh]

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