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Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Creeping Past, Dec 12, 2008.
Sorry gents, forgot to add the names.
Yes, Mich has it correct.
A comparison of Attractions Lot 444 and Motor Dress Engineers both size 9. Motor's toe is pointier but Attractions' heels extend further back so the length of the two are actually about the same. Measuring tape shows both to be about 30cm. My size 9.5 Redwing 8111 is also about 30cm. Comparing the other dimensions of these boots may be meaningless given each person's feet are different. For example Attractions would have less toe room with the low profile toe box and the Motor's shaft is almost perpendicular like chelsea boots which makes taking the boots off much more difficult when one has high arch feet like me.
Well it's that season so I expect I will be
No I don't, sorry.
No idea, I'm in the UK.
Tricky that second one as they're all damn expensive over here and I've not tried many US brands, I do prefer Wesco over Whites. Lofgren and Viberg I'd place above either though.
I was living in England and the States in the 90s. I wore harness back then. I remember engineer boots weren't that popular among men. On the other hand Frye made lots of ladies engineer that were sold in department store as fashion footwear. I bought my first pair of engineer boots in or around 2000 and they were lower end boots like the current Carolina or Dingo engineer boots. It seems these days quite a few of us are hyped up about mid to higher end engineer boots from White's to Role Club. I know the Japanese have always been crazy about engineer boots. They are the ones who lured Chippewa back to the engineer boots market a few years back with their orders for the Black "bookbinder leather" and Cordovan color engineer which had later become available in the US as the first release in the heritage collection. I remember because I bought mine from Japan in or around 2014 and a year or so later, they were released in the States. The Redwing engineer boots are still very popular in Japan and in addition to the basic 2268, 2269, 8268 there are lots of color choice in limited or special edition.
I’ve been thinking about engineer fit lately and why it’s so difficult. On TFL we tend to spec jackets to the 1/2” in several dimensions. Footwear sizing is the equivalent small, medium, large jackets off the rack. It’s like picking a jacket by saying “I’m 6’ tall, the end.” At least with a jacket being slightly too big, while asthetically not ideal, is not painful. In footwear with lace ups you can at least make some adjustments. Not so with engineers. I’ve heard so many people talk about tight insteps and plastic bag tricks while I need to add a 3/4 insert just to touch the instep with the strap cranked down. Foot shape is every bit as unique as body shape and that is why I think engineers are less popular. I mean, it must be the reason since they look COOL AF!!!!!!
@Dav is that the John Lofgren cxl brown or the ELC colab Havanna brown?
Unfortunetly it seems that the majority of pull-on boots sold here in the US are cheap-o Ariats (that admittedly fit and feel like a tennis shoe). $150 - 200 a pair sold at a place like The Boot Barn - 2-4 year wear and throwaway - on to the next pair. Most "western" fans would not even consider an Engineer or Harness boot (don't know why) for any price.
Neither, they're the natural cxl ones. I got them from East West Apparel.
It also doesn't help that most boots these days only come in one width. For example, I have only seen the E width 2268 in Japan. The steel toe ones cannot be bent or stretched. I can never get my toes to fit into the steel cap so my Redwing 8268 is one and a half size longer than I require. Luckily I have high arch and my feet kind of got locked in place there without too much slippage.
Nice. The dogs and local dirt give them a great patina. You should consider bottling the formula Nd selling it to a tannery.
I have several pair of Tony Lama western boots and just purchased a pair of Carolina engineers. I also have 3 pair of wellington boots. I would have purchased Chippewa but as everyone knows they no longer make an engineer. The Carolinas seem to be a very rugged well made boot, I really like them. I'm sure Wesco is a very good boot but I'm not going to pay in excess of 6 bills for boots that I'm going to beat up. Of course they are worth every penny to some people, just not me.
The office is a good place to break in a new pair of boots; I find it ideal as I'm not on my feet all day, and if the boots get a bit much I can always kick them off. I even often keep a pair of shoes I'm breaking in in the office for several weeks, and travel in a comfortable pair if needsbe.
I think everyone's go-to will vary depending on budget, fit and quality. A boot I can't afford or which is above what I'm comfortable spending is pointless for me to look at. Equally one that fits badly - no matter how well made other wise - is pointless. And a badly made boot.... well.
I've actually been fairly fortunate with cheaper boots so far. I do have some Red Wings as well as a pair of Chippewas (the lower, 7" model) which I like very much. I also still have, after fifteen years of regular wear, my original cheapo Grinders (£80 I paid in Camden market in 2005). The Grinders aren't as nice in the hide as my other boots, and I needed to add a thick insole to snug them up enough to be comfortable, but that done, they've lasted and worn as well as any expensive boots. I've handled other cheap boots I didn't and handled many more expensive boots, but I have to give the Grinders serious props for sheer bang for buck. At the other end of the scale, I have my eyes on both the Lewis 'Mechanic' boot, their take on the classic American engineer boot, and the Westway, a more distinctly 'British' animal. In the long run, I'd like a pair of each, though beautiful as both are, somewhat inevitably there's an element of 'brand tax', Lewis being such a big name on the scene here in the UK at least. Were I in the US, I'd definitely be looking at a custom order from Gasolina who do a lovely, Lewis-style boot in their range, but the strong dollar / weak pound of recent years make it unrealistic for now.
Yes. This sort of specialist market product as an import has always been expensive, but the pound basically halving in value against the dollar in the last decade has killed buying anything American for me, especially if there's a risk of a sizing problem. Maybe if the currency ever recovers and I do a stateside trip....
It's interesting comparing the markets. All styles of footwear go in and out of fashion in the UK ladieswear market, it seems - one year it's engineer boots, the next cowboy, or even co-respondent brogues. The men's market is much less adventurous in general, so often rather than there being a range of price-points for an item, it might only be available at all as a high-end, 'luxury' branded piece, with the occasional bargain basement imitation. Frustrating, as the midrange suits me well.... Engineers are partly sought after by the rockabilly crowd here, though that market is slightly diluted as it can be a bit split between the Americanised scene and the continuation of the 'Rocker' scene (around places like the Ace Cafe - strictly more an early sixties thing, but even in its original 60-64 heyday the rocker thang was already a retro-movement, rejecting the modernism of the mods and the Beatles in favour of a rock and roll music of a style already well established when Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly died in 59). The latter tend to be more about the Lewis-style, British zip-up boots. A slightly different animal, and, as befits the 60s origins, tending to be worn differently - over (narrower) jeans, not under. For all Brando was a massive influence on the quintessential Rocker look, there were very significant elements that made the Brit rockers look, if not from a different planet than the BRMC, definitely from another continent (figuratively as well as literally).
Undoubtedly the British boots with the zip up the back are markedly easier to get a good fit in, which is plausible part of it. The rest is, well.... fashion.
One thing I've never seen in the UK (at least outside of photos from the BLUF scene) is the 18" engineer boots, which is what surprised me when Chippewa apparently said they'd keep those going (I assume the US market is different). Not clear whether they or RedWing are still making them or other markets, as they do seem to still be around over here?
I've seen a lot of nice-looking Japanese made boots on Rakuten and the likes, though again wary of buying something like that - even at the £100 mark - with no surety as to what might arrive or how it might fit. Maybe a trip there if the pound is ever worth something again!
It's the difference between buy a corset and buying armour, really. The corset can be tailored to fit the body. The armour.... well. All done and said, no matter how cool they are, engineer boots are basically leather wellies, with the same fit issues....
I see two main factors that obstruct the spread of the engineers, and they are intertwined 1. styling 2. limited sizing options (and when there are customizable choices the price goes way up). Unlike the more pointed roper/cowboy boots that historically can be worn (can pass as) dress shoes, the toe of the engineer still suggests it's clunky workboots, plus the Brando/Dean influence, it's limited to be paired with jeans. Having realized so, this is not news. Historically the engineers have always been workboots in the first place, just like the tan Timberland boots has a certain "out genre" following, the engineers had theirs, in the 50s and maybe 80s (Bruce Sprinsteen). Right now, it is strictly limited to us, not sure what would be the catch-all description of us loungers, who go after the historical A2 G1 and the engineers....
A sub group within a subgroup for sure. I like it that way. As Ricky Roma says “I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion.” We’re niche Everywhere except Japan if Instagram is to be believed.
Japan seems to be a haven for all sorts of subcultures. At a price, of course!
Wesco x Ironheart 1930s engineer boots - 10” height, brown Domain leather. Thanks to Bfd70. Between these and my horsehide BKH1939s I am all set. Well, except for a pair of horsehide natural Role Clubs, maybe!
BKH1939. Got a couple scuffs on these last weekend while I was changing the rocker cover gaskets on my Triumph so they’re starting to look a bit more worn thankfully.
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