Battle Of The Top-Tier Engineers

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Bender, Jan 26, 2021.

Who Does The Best Engineer

  1. John Lofgren Bootmaker

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Mr. Freedom Road Champs

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. Role Club (Brian the Bootmaker)

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  4. Other

    5 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. Bender

    Bender Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    Like the thread says... Weigh in on the best-built, best-looking way for me to waste my money.

    Lofgren? Road Champs? Role Club? Other?
     
  2. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    12,682
    Clinch!
     
    JustinW likes this.
  3. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,615
    Location:
    London, UK
    I'm going other: Wesco. This for the simple reason that if money comes into it, Wesco for me are the best balance between being able to order a boot to my spec and price. Once you get into the others, they're all outstanding. More than I'd be comfortable spending on as pair of boots alone, but money no object I don't think any of them are objective better than each other, just different. So yeah - Wesco for me; if someone else is paying the bill, however, whichever of those others fits my foot best is probably the answer. Aesthetics aside, I think the most important distinction with an engineer boot has to be the fit; in my experience, some brands will fit me just right from the off, while others will always need an insole to snug 'em up. A boot at 150, I can live with that, but for the big money I'd want them fitting right from the off.
     
  4. JustinW

    JustinW Practically Family

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    In The Flat Field
    RC, Wesco and Whites are the only option in EEE so screw all you needle foot posers!
     
    Bender likes this.
  5. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,351
    Attractions by a long shot and game over for all the other makers as far as engineers go. :) yeah I like them a lot
     
  6. Bfd70

    Bfd70 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,232
    Location:
    Chicago
    If you really want an answer on best built the number of people who have handled all three plus other is a pretty small sample (though larger here than most venues). I think Attractions look the best. I’ve read too many reviews about how long it takes to break them in. I’ve owned Wesco and thought they looked great but didnt fit me well. I’ve had pair of Lofgren. They fit great and are comfortable out of the box. My gripe is each pair had at least on part where the grain was substantially looser than the rest of the boot. Sent one pair back it was so bad. Sellers were great. According to them they reached out to Lofgren himself who said “i wouldn’t pay $1000 for those, they should be exchange.” Each of my other pair suffer the same but to a lesser degree. I dont typically see that in photos of other makes. But, as mentioned, they are super comfortable.
     
  7. Bfd70

    Bfd70 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,232
    Location:
    Chicago
    Oh, and haven’t Road champs been unobtainable for years?
     
  8. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,351
    ^They are hard to get by. I think I read somewhere they are taking pre orders now but I can be wrong.

    Seriously though, as cliche as it sounds, you can’t go wrong with any of the makers you brought up though the big absents from your list imho all the Japanese brands like Clinch, attractions, the Flat Head etc. In the end is down to personal preference as to what little detail from the xxx model catches your eye more than that from the yyy model.
     
    Edward likes this.
  9. Mr Peabody

    Mr Peabody New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    Chippewa 97863. Look good, last long, cheap. Don't feel bad beating them up at work.
     
    JustinW and Edward like this.
  10. BotanPhotography

    BotanPhotography Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    I have Attractions and Wesco Mister Lous. Attractions Horsebutt leather is top quality, I heard the construction can be hit or miss, but mine are fine. They're super comfortable once you wear them a little bit, though the first time was super difficult to take off and put on my left foot. The Mister Lous were easy to put on and take off, but the break in hurts. Also, I have flat feet, so the waist of my foot sits on the part where it curves in, which makes it a bit uncomfortable. They're definitely the boots I'd grab if I'm going for a ride vs if I'm walking or will be on my feet all day.

    Lofgren is Lofgren, if you like CXL its a great pick.

    Japanese makers like Moto or Clinch usually have near unimpeachable stitching, finishing, and leather pick. Clinch being almost the "Mecca" of Engineers. If you have a contact in Japan you can usually take advantage of the exchange rate vs buying directly in the West.

    Road Champs are doing another run this year, but it depends on whether you like the profile of them or not. Vintage Engineer Boots is my go to source for all things Engineers, his top three according to his blog are Lofgrens, Attractions, and Road Champs in no particular order. He wears the FUCK out of his boots too. The reason he excludes Clinch is due to price point being prohibitive.
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,615
    Location:
    London, UK
    I saw some Clinch boots in the Clutch Cafe here in London some time back. Lovely boots, just too rich for my blood at around GBP700 for off the shelf. Money no object, mind, I'd have walked out of the store wearing them had they been comfortable (I didn't bother to try them on because money, alas, is very much something I need to keep in mind when shopping!).
     
    Spiney and JustinW like this.
  12. BotanPhotography

    BotanPhotography Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Now they’re more than double that :p
     
    Edward likes this.
  13. jpto

    jpto New in Town

    Messages:
    30
    Role Club and Clinch are my top picks, handwelted and the quality are equally great on both of them
     
  14. BotanPhotography

    BotanPhotography Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    I would strongly recommend Flame Panda as well. Peng is super helpful, very well priced for a full custom boot. I’ve seen a couple of his engineers on Instagram and they’re pretty killer.
    Plus if you like Chinese food his Instagram is awesome too
     
    JustinW likes this.
  15. Bender

    Bender Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    Thanks for the suggestions so far!

    -Clinch look good, but pricy. Might bite the bullet if I can find the right deal.

    -Attractions seem cool. Anybody know where in Japan they are made?

    -Flame Panda sounds interesting, but I have no idea how to actually get a pair... I haven’t been able to find a website nor dealers. Anybody have a link to something?

    -Handled some Road Champs at Mr. Freedom the other day. Very nice. For anyone interested, they do have a like-new pair of demos in a size 8.5 for sale. And a well-worn pair of 10.5 demos too. And another pair of new 10.5 early prototypes that may or may not be for sale, they salesman needed to check with the owner. Neither the 8.5 nor the 10.5 is my size, however. I was informed new stock was coming, so that may be an option.

    -I own some Donkey Punchers, so am familiar with Lofgren quality. Impeccable. That said, not a huge fan of steerhide CXL. But Lofgren also does Horween horsehide.

    -Role Club is out. Apparently the wait is over two years?! [Bartender Edit: keep it clean, please!] that, ha ha.

    -Lastly, I do have a pair of Mr. Lous, albeit discount page stock. They are, to my eye, perhaps the best-looking engineers out there... Wesco just nailed the profile. However, my pair has mismatched hides on the shafts and vamps (visible only on the inside). And while there are no defects in the construction (and the boots look to be built to survive a war), the overall fit and finish is a step down from the Lofgren and Road Champs (and presumably the other top-tier boots we are discussing as well). More importantly, being a D width in the MP last, they are very narrow on me, and the overall fit of the MP last feels weird to me... or maybe it’s just the width. Anyway, after I posted this thread, I dropped them off for stretching. That said, there’s no guarantee I’ll like the fit even in the correct width. But who knows. Maybe I will. If they end up comfy, maybe I’ll ignore their foibles, beat them beautiful, and save north of a grand. They are good-looking...

    2A4D4A6C-5BF6-4FF8-ACA3-F8FD3F11328F.jpeg 3980DCE5-6E46-4CC9-9A44-CF9162096B0C.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2021
    Bfd70 likes this.
  16. BotanPhotography

    BotanPhotography Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    I’m not sure Lofgren does any HH boots aside from that one anniversary version of their service boot. Also the Lofgren Eastman Tanker is in veg tanned Horsehide as well, source unknown though.

    Attractions have a shop in Tokyo, I am unclear whether thats their headquarters or just a shop.

    Flame Panda you can send him a message through Instagram, or there is a QQ email address on his Instagram profile, which he will respond to as well.

    I recommend also checking out Moto JP, they also do Engineers. Moto as a brand probably has the highest cost efficiency before you get to diminishing returns.
     
  17. Bender

    Bender Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    Thanks for the heads up re. Moto!

    Yeah, I was surprised at the Lofgren HH offering... it’s just one color, “Havana”. A website exclusive offer... Personally, I’d probably take them to my guy and turn those edges brown. Not sure the natural is a great look with that hide.
    8BB183EB-5E01-44BD-9862-59033B6EC16C.jpeg
    https://johnlofgren.com/collections...ngineer-boots-br-horween-shf-horsehide-havana
     
  18. BotanPhotography

    BotanPhotography Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
  19. Bender

    Bender Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    Yep. But still should be a good deal tougher and harder-wearing than Lofgren’s usual CXL, no?
     
  20. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,788
    Location:
    China
    I believe Attractions are made by Makers but I have no actual proof. I have two pairs of Attractions and the materials and workmanship of my lot 268 is identical to the Makers engineer boots, different last but same horsebutt, same sole and same stitch work.
    https://www.facebook.com/stmakers/
    https://maker-s.jp/product
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021

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