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Comparison - Wesco Mr Lou to John Lofgren Engineer

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
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5,395
Location
Iowa
So this is a really more of an "appreciation for" than a "Who is best" topic & thread. I am not a competitive person, I just simply appreciate products as they are designed & built. I mean no ill will toward any either of these two makers. Both build a high quality, durable and desirable product. The fact I even have one pair of these is in itself quite a privilege. Therefore, to be able to review both of them at the same time is a straight up honor. These are not-inexpensive products, so I take this seriously.


Full disclosure - both pair of these came my way slightly pre-owned. The Lofgren's had maybe one mile of actual wear in them when I received them. The fit is slightly loose being a 12D (and very true to size) where my "ideal" slip on boot runs around a 11.5C. Not easy to find in any engineers. However, these work great with a pair of wool socks over normal socks. Fit is fine in that configuration. The Wesco's were also very slightly used, and are an 11D and do not fit - too short on both feet. Therefore, my plan is to order a 12D pair of these. These fit slightly narrower so may not have to do the 2x sock trick with the pair I order.


So here's a few photos to get the conversation started. As you can see they are quite similar - yet quite different as well:


IMG_8221.JPG

IMG_8223.JPG

IMG_8244.JPG


This third photo shows off the obvious size differences between the 12D Lofgren's and the 11D Wesco's.


As can be quickly observed, the Lofgren’s are taller and have a more shaped upper shaft, which actually makes them more challenging to build I would have to suspect. The Mr. Lou's are straight cut and all stitching around the top is straight as well. One hidden feature of the Wesco's is the presence of a function pull on-loop that "hides" among the back stitching.


Some general observations here:

  • The Lofgren's have very tight, neat, black stitching in the uppers
  • Wesco's stitching is brown and more typical of their work boots
  • The Wesco stitching is a fairly noticeable feature of their boots
  • The bright, polished metal buckles of the Wesco are much more apparent than the more subtle brass buckles of the Lofgren's.
  • The heel is more shaped on the Lofgren's
  • The Wesco's have a much greater upward point to their sole, given the relative size difference of the shoes.
  • Both have a similar (high) level of build quality
  • Both use Horween-sourced leather. Apparently, the Wesco's are horsehide.
  • My Lofgren's are already starting to show some tea-core effect in places.
  • The leather used on the Lofgren’s for the straps, upper & lower is slightly thinner than the Wesco's.
  • Those straps on the Wesco have more defined holes for adjustment
  • Wesco's uses a "cat's paw" style sole & heel pad
  • Lofgren’s uses Vibram sole & heel pad
  • Lofgren's 12.5" tall, Wesco's 10" tall
A few more detail photos showing Heel shape, and stitching of the boots:



IMG_8245.JPG


^^ Wesco has the brown stiching in the uppers

Here are the top details:
IMG_8255.JPG
IMG_8257.JPG


The Lofgren's are quite a bit taller than the Wesco's, however both should provide great protection for your feel & ankles on a motorcycle. Both had "narrowed" shafts and are designed to be worn under your pants leg. Both appear to have "moderate" arch support, and are completely leather inside & out.


Overall - summary: I really like both of these pairs of boots. The JL's have an obvious air of deep, rich quality to them that slightly overshadow the Wesco's in my opinion. That said, they are also around $1075 new through Standard & Strange and are only offered in batches as they are made. If you can swallow the price, and hold up with the wait, these are worth a serious look. They are wonderful boots however you really do have to be sure they will fit you- standard D width is all that appear to be offered, yet they run slightly wider in my experience than a "D".


The Wesco's are an excellent choice, especially at $699. They are beautiful to look at, comfortable to wear (except when a bit short) but have a little more of a "edge" to them. To the best of my knowledge (please correct me if I am wrong here) these are stitch down constructed. This is a great feature as they would be full re-buildable as well. They may be just a bit more eye-catching in the wild, and that may or may not be your thing. I think they would be excellent Motorcycling boots, or even for horseback riding. They are not afraid of some good honest in the dirt work as well. (To be fair the JL's are not either, but you will feel it a bit more knowing these were four-digit boots from a pricing standpoint).


With some care and careful ordering from the start to get the fit dialed in, either of these could be with you for many decades. Each will give you great service and foot support and look great at the same time.
 
Last edited:

Pandemic

One Too Many
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In The Flat Field
Great comparison, thanks!

JL are a no-go for my wide feet, sadly.

Wesco offer full made to order. Even though the Mr Lou isn’t stocked in EEE, they can be ordered in that configuration. I ordered a custom pair of Boss boots in brown domain leather during Baker’s last sale (came in around $400). The MP toe looks nicer, but I was concerned about fit so stuck with the Boss toe. I would like to try the slimmer shaft option that is on the Mr Lou’s - the standard shaft is fairly big on a EEE fitting and limits you to a minimum 8.5” trouser opening.

Right now, I’m playing around with a hybrid western and engineer boot:

https://builder.wescoboots.com/CustomBoot.aspx?id=Boss

A bit like these:

https://www.stitchdown.com/brands/wesco-boots/wesco-boots-morrison-mto-review/
 
Last edited:

Bfd70

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,069
Location
Traverse city
Great write up.
I currently own 2 pair of Lofgren and have owned an Iron heart Wesco collab in the past. I found the leather and construction of the Wesco to be near enough on par with the Lofgren to make the savings worth while. However there are two reasons I stayed with Lofgren. First and obviously most important yet entirely subjective is fit. The MP toe of the Wesco is too narrow for me. The boss toe shape is not as attractive as the Lofgrens and of course now you are getting into custom territory. I exchanged a dozen emails with Wesco regarding dialing in my fit but I just wasn’t convinced it would work and didn’t want to wait and pay with a no return option for something i wasn’t positive would fit. Second is that i found the foot bed of the Lofgren to be far superior. The JL pretty much mold like gym shoes out of the box.
 

edmond

Vendor
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175
Location
hk/mla
lofrgren are nicer ont he foot bed cause underneath the footbed liner is memory foam , while wescos are full leather not even cork. the lofgrens are good for everyday use light duty but if you fall off a bike and a 500 lbd harley falls on your feet those will crash. wescos will freaking protect you. i think those lofgrens are more of a lifestyle boots hence the price... wescos are a natural on those spectrums..
 

edmond

Vendor
Messages
175
Location
hk/mla
Great comparison, thanks!

JL are a no-go for my wide feet, sadly.

Wesco offer full made to order. Even though the Mr Lou isn’t stocked in EEE, they can be ordered in that configuration. I ordered a custom pair of Boss boots in brown domain leather during Baker’s last sale (came in around $400). The MP toe looks nicer, but I was concerned about fit so stuck with the Boss toe. I would like to try the slimmer shaft option that is on the Mr Lou’s - the standard shaft is fairly big on a EEE fitting and limits you to a minimum 8.5” trouser opening.

Right now, I’m playing around with a hybrid western and engineer boot:

https://builder.wescoboots.com/CustomBoot.aspx?id=Boss

A bit like these:

https://www.stitchdown.com/brands/wesco-boots/wesco-boots-morrison-mto-review/



ohh how wide are your feet ? like eee wide? like 5 1/2 inch on the widest part?
 

Bfd70

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,069
Location
Traverse city
lofrgren are nicer ont he foot bed cause underneath the footbed liner is memory foam , while wescos are full leather not even cork. the lofgrens are good for everyday use light duty but if you fall off a bike and a 500 lbd harley falls on your feet those will crash. wescos will freaking protect you. i think those lofgrens are more of a lifestyle boots hence the price... wescos are a natural on those spectrums..
If you’re worried about the get off I think all engineer boots are a terrible choice.
 

Pandemic

One Too Many
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In The Flat Field
ohh how wide are your feet ? like eee wide? like 5 1/2 inch on the widest part?

I’m a 10EEE in Wesco Boss. I think my options are Wesco, Whites, Rile Club or Indonesian.

I may end-up ordering a pair of Boss boots with near Mr Lou specs.
 
Last edited:

edmond

Vendor
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175
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hk/mla
oh alright! yeah wescos run pretty narrow specially on the 09 anf 65 last the 1339 last runs pretty wide the E on those 1339s are pretty loose dude
 

AeroFan_07

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5,395
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Iowa
im worried about a brand selling for a grand with memory foam inserts in them

Where are you getting this information? Mine do not have this at all...(that I can see, certanly have not cut them open). All leather inside & out including footbed. No "padding" to speak of.

The JL's are Goodyear welt constructed, and I agree with general construction of the Wesco's (Stitchdown) is a bit heavier-duty.
 

edmond

Vendor
Messages
175
Location
hk/mla
Where are you getting this information? Mine do not have this at all...(that I can see, certanly have not cut them open). All leather inside & out including footbed. No "padding" to speak of.

The JL's are Goodyear welt constructed, and I agree with general construction of the Wesco's (Stitchdown) is a bit heavier-duty.

let me get a photo
 

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
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5,395
Location
Iowa
^^ Cool re-sole! It'll be a very long time before mine need any work at all, if I had paid full price, I might be a bit concerned, but since I paid about 50% for these (pre-owned) no issue at all. I don't use these for work, just for nicer occassions.

I am more of a recovering leather jacket addict who has shifted over to boots! :)
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,827
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China
Memory foam should not be a concern but probably has more to do with our perspective of pricing in relation to the labour and material cost, durability etc. All those new safety boots are now made with molded plastic and plastic foam. Besides, I don't really buy the point of view on protection when most Harley riders don't even wear a full face helmet (in fact some here don't even wear a helmet at all). A pair of 21oz jeans and a leather jacket offer hardly any extra protection without hard armour.
 

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