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Engineer Boots, Harness Boots...

tropicalbob

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I remember coming home from an army-navy store years ago with a pair of Carolinas I'd just spent $15.00 on, and sitting on my bed marveling at what a great deal engineers were and how they protected the nation's factory workers from the toxic sludge of the factory floors. $1, 950.00?
 

Edward

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I remember coming home from an army-navy store years ago with a pair of Carolinas I'd just spent $15.00 on, and sitting on my bed marveling at what a great deal engineers were and how they protected the nation's factory workers from the toxic sludge of the factory floors. $1, 950.00?

The irony being those Carolinas were probably far closer to what Brando, Dean, and their real-life counterparts actually wore back in the daY! If only some state military would adopt engineers as uniform, and produce enough of them for them to be widely available in surplus stores..... ;)
 

Mich486

One Too Many
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1,627
Clinch are handwelted + the leather is often painted by hand too. I couldn’t care less to be honest about these things but they undoubtedly increase the production costs. The construction is very good and the materials top notch. Plus they are made in Japan. They cost a lot of money. I owned a pair and sold it as they weren’t fitting right (a size too large and I like my boots to be snug). I also largely prefer Attractions’ last shape. It also turns out that they cost less than half what a pair of Clinch goes for.


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Blackadder

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Price points are weird. Will a two thousand dollar boots last longer than a thousand dollar than six hundred dollar? I don’t think durability grows proportional to price.
What about finish? My $600 Wesco are clearly made with nicer leather, hardware, than my $350 Redwings. Perhaps there is another leap of equal proportion when going with Clinch.
I think there is a phenomenon (to which i am not immune) where people want to be viewed as having what is considered “the best” regardless of whether it is by any quantifiable measure. We’re all peacocks.
In the end I think the barometer of value most closely ties in to annual income. If you’re making millions annually and the price difference between $800 Lofgrens and $2,000 Clinch is a non factor, and you like the Clinch better go for it. I myself am not in that tax bracket. If I had 2 grand to blow on TFL purchases I’d rather have a pair of Lofgren and an Aero board racer or a pair of Wesco and an Eastman roughwear B6.
I agree with you. It is impossible to rationalize or as you said quantify when it comes to style. For example, is a pair of John Lobb or Edward Green that much better than a pair of say Tricker's or Church's. JL and EG do go the extra mile of hiding the welt but is that worth an extra $400-$500?
Clinch combines work boot style with dress shoes precision and workmanship. Are they making work boots then? Their prices are close to high end dress shoes and you get details that only appears in high end dress shoes. For example, Clinch's Chukka has hidden welt like JL and EG but that does not improve the look (unless you show the bottom of your shoes to others), durability and/or comfort.
On the other hand I also find it hard to rationalize buying a pair of exotic leather Wesco and/or White's. I don't see them putting extra care into making say a pair of CXL, french calf or cordovan semi dress. For the same price you can get a pair of Alden Indy made with the same leather without the sloppy stitching, mismatched heels and other flaws you can find on a pair of White's or Wesco work boots. A pair of dress shoes quality cordovan Tricker's or Church's costs no more than a pair of work boot quality cordovan White's semi dress. I am happy paying $500 dollars for a pair of Tricker's but I must say when I received my $500 custom White's CXL bounty hunter I was shocked by the workmanship. These custom boots are not bespoke shoes, most of them (except special edition last) are still being made with regular readily available materials from their stock on their regular shoe sizes and lasts. If I had known better then, I would have just bought the regular oil leather Hathorn traveler from Baker for $300 in stead of paying the extra only to have the nice CXL ruined.
 

Edward

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With Lobbs you are, of course, paying a lot more for them being truly bespoke, which I think is easier to distinguish than the varying degrees of quality in stock footwear as you go farther up the chain. Certainly even with a custom order from stock options, though, there comes a point that might seem worth paying a couple of hundred more to many, as distinct from "the same but better" OTR. All wholly subjective, naturally!
 

Blackadder

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With Lobbs you are, of course, paying a lot more for them being truly bespoke, which I think is easier to distinguish than the varying degrees of quality in stock footwear as you go farther up the chain. Certainly even with a custom order from stock options, though, there comes a point that might seem worth paying a couple of hundred more to many, as distinct from "the same but better" OTR. All wholly subjective, naturally!
Sorry for not pointing out that I am only talking about Hermes' RTW John Lobb and not the John Lobb.
 

Edward

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Ah! I didn't know they'd lent their brand to a RTW line. I suspect that's what my old dad, car fanatic that he's long been, would call "badge engineering". ;)
 

Blackadder

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Ah! I didn't know they'd lent their brand to a RTW line. I suspect that's what my old dad, car fanatic that he's long been, would call "badge engineering". ;)
Hermes bought JL's Paris shop in 1976. JL family kept the London bespoke shop. I think they are separate entities now because Hermes also provide its own bespoke service in Paris in addition to owning all the RTW shops around the world. So I guess now we have to state whether it is St James St JL (bespoke only) or Hermes' JL (bespoke and RTW). Oh the St James' St shop belongs to JL family but the Jermyn St belongs to Hermes.
 
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Beast

New in Town
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30
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Netherlands
Who ever would have thought trotter covers could get so complicated!!

Well, for me that's the reason why I'm here! Finding out what provides the best bang for the buck, to learn how to recognise Quality and to find what works best for me. It's complicated and fortunately for me there is an entire forum dedicated to making sense out of it all!
 

Edward

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Well, for me that's the reason why I'm here! Finding out what provides the best bang for the buck, to learn how to recognise Quality and to find what works best for me. It's complicated and fortunately for me there is an entire forum dedicated to making sense out of it all!

I hear you. You're talknig to a man who currently owns in the region of seventy pairs of shoes....
 

glider

A-List Customer
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342
I see Red Wing engineer boots on e-bay but they don't list any on there web page. I guess they made them at one time but no longer do. Is that correct ? I have decided that I need pair but I really don't know what the best choice in my price range would be. The Wesco is probably the gold standard but I'm not paying 6 or 7 hundred bucks for them, 2 to 3 is more my speed. Frye 12R is looking pretty good actually but I appreciate any advice given. By the way, I do ride a motorcycle and that is what these would be used for besides just everyday wear.
 

Edward

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London, UK
I see Red Wing engineer boots on e-bay but they don't list any on there web page. I guess they made them at one time but no longer do. Is that correct ? I have decided that I need pair but I really don't know what the best choice in my price range would be. The Wesco is probably the gold standard but I'm not paying 6 or 7 hundred bucks for them, 2 to 3 is more my speed. Frye 12R is looking pretty good actually but I appreciate any advice given. By the way, I do ride a motorcycle and that is what these would be used for besides just everyday wear.

I hear you; Wescos et al are just a bit more than I want to spend right now. My personal experience with both RedWings and Chippewa has been very good, well worth the money. Imn terms of riding, well... they'd be as good as any other sturdy leather boot, though nothing in the way of protection beyond a durable sole and a good, thick hide. Chippewa engineers I have found to be on the narrow side; I bought a pair that are rated as E, but fit more like a snug D width. Need a bit of stretching to begin with, though after that a snugger fit than my usual with engineers, which involves using a thick insole to snug 'em up. I have a pair of these - https://www.bootsandleather.co.uk/l...12/grinders-wild-one-black-leather-boots-p903 - Grinders Wild Ones. Much cheaper than Red Wings. Quality of construction is excellent, and the hefty sole is the best thing for wet and snow. Steel toecap means I wouldn't hesitate to use them for safety boots. Not sure how they'd last in a slide as the leather is a little thinner than my Reds / Chips, though still feels plenty sturdy. ten years of semi-regular wear and they still stand up on their own...

If you want something that's specifically designed for the bike, I have a pair of these TCX Heritage boots: https://www.motolegends.com/boots/tcx-heritage-boots.html Less aesthetically beautiful than the Chippewas (though still in the same style ballpark), but fully ECE certified, hidden ankle protectors, and a snug fit. Kockman do them with a nicer-shaped heel, but I've never tried them (hear they're good, though I'm not so much a fan of the rougher look to the leather.)
 

Bfd70

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3,553
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Chicago
I have that ^ exact pair purchased thru Sierra. They say they are factory seconds. I have purchased 3 pair of RW seconds. I can’t find one thing wrong with any of them. My unscientific (a sample of 1) data on that model is that they have a generous toe box, tight instep, and snug heal. For me they are perfect. If you have high arches or wide feet i would definitely source them in a wide size. Regarding RW vs Wesco. I would say that the wesco price to finish ratio is fair. The leather is nicer, the stitching is better. If you’re not a stickler for these things it may not be worth it. Particularly on the bike. In my opinion for durability plenty of brands may equal RW but i doubt any would beat. I have pairs that are 8-10 years old and on their 3rd set of soles and their isn’t so much as a stitch popped or hole.
I believe RW no longer makes engineers for the US market but they do for other countries. Strange.
 

Blackadder

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3,604
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China
I see Red Wing engineer boots on e-bay but they don't list any on there web page. I guess they made them at one time but no longer do. Is that correct ? I have decided that I need pair but I really don't know what the best choice in my price range would be. The Wesco is probably the gold standard but I'm not paying 6 or 7 hundred bucks for them, 2 to 3 is more my speed. Frye 12R is looking pretty good actually but I appreciate any advice given. By the way, I do ride a motorcycle and that is what these would be used for besides just everyday wear.
I have Engineer boots by Chippewa, Red Wing, Wesco, Viberg, Frye and a few Japanese manufacturers. I just took a look on the internet and found that a lot of the mid price range engineer boots have been discontinued. Hathron Open Road would be a good choice if you can find them. Viberg safety boots division raised their price so that is out of the question. I bought a pair of Boulet real cheap on ebay last month but I would not recommend them. Leather pretty soft and thin. I agree with Edward. For the price, I would go for a pair of Chippewa.
 

Sheepdog149

Practically Family
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622
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Fort Lauderdale, FL
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