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Engineer Boots, Harness Boots...

mlwdp

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Location
United States
Good price, puts them right in there with Chippewa and Red Wing, at least per UK pricing, but they have a look that is quite different to the boots I have from either of those. My Chippewas are, from memory, an E, though I find they fit well. Where are these on sale? If I could try a pair in Beijing I'd definitely be well up for it.



For me, the real selling point of Wesco is the custom option where you can spec so much at a price less than OTR for some. I'd love to have some Wescos, but I feel the need to wait until I can try some on in the US to get an idea of their sizing and whether their patterns will work for me.



I suspect the high enders won't be too worried; no matter how good they are, I can't imagine the folks who are able and willing to spend a grand on a pair of Clinch, say, will suddenly want to save the money and buy these. Where they will, I think, find a market is among those of us who are happy spending the sort of money RedWings or Chippewas command, but would like something like this with the leather sole and a bit of a different shape. Would love to see these available here in the UK, though EBs seem to be very much a niche product these days.

Funny thing is I actually spent a grand on my Chromexcel Boss Wescos due to the leather lining and a width de-widening from E to D width.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,709
Location
London, UK
Clinch for $1000? Try $1950!

I was talking about real money, though - the increasingly worthless British pound! (Hey, I'm not biased - I'm Irish. I only live there. ;) ) I see they're closer GBP1300-1400 now, though. Big money whatever currency you put to it.

Funny thing is I actually spent a grand on my Chromexcel Boss Wescos due to the leather lining and a width de-widening from E to D width.

That comes out at just under GBP750 currently, half the price of a pair of Clinches in London... I've had a play around with the Wesco boot builder website a few times. It's a fantastic thing, but for sure if you pick up on significant 'extras' it can bump the price up. I think my planned ones were coming out mostly at around USD250 lower than that, but I was zoning in on fairly basic options. The leather lining does intrigue me: all my engineers to date have been unlined. Does it wear differently? How have you found it?

The great thing about the options Wesco offers - even if not cheap - is how they give you the opportunity to customise your boots just that little bit. I fancy a black pair with red stitching at some point.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,709
Location
London, UK
Perplexing why Wesco’s doesn’t come in a standard D width

E seems to be very common in an OTR engineer boot. Both my Redwing and my Chippewas are an 'E' officially, though a narrow E at that, as they're an excellent fit on me. I wonder do pull on boots need to be a little wider as standard to strike the right balance between being able to pull them on, but not too wide when on? EBs are one style I find the fit really varies from brand to brand. I've had a couple of pairs from other brands that needed an insole to fit me right; seems to vary with last.
 

Merv

One Too Many
Messages
1,573
Location
San Francisco
E seems to be very common in an OTR engineer boot. Both my Redwing and my Chippewas are an 'E' officially, though a narrow E at that, as they're an excellent fit on me. I wonder do pull on boots need to be a little wider as standard to strike the right balance between being able to pull them on, but not too wide when on? EBs are one style I find the fit really varies from brand to brand. I've had a couple of pairs from other brands that needed an insole to fit me right; seems to vary with last.
I don’t think the width has anything to do with being able to pull them on. I think it mostly depends upon the individual’s feet whether they have large feet with high arches or not. I tried on several Wesco engineers, none of them fit quite right. Loose, heel slip, inconsistent sizing etc.

Then I tried on The Flat Head boots, my foot popped in and they fit me perfectly. Nice and snug, no heel slip at all. They’re as comfortable as any of my lace up boots.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,709
Location
London, UK
I don’t think the width has anything to do with being able to pull them on. I think it mostly depends upon the individual’s feet whether they have large feet with high arches or not. I tried on several Wesco engineers, none of them fit quite right. Loose, heel slip, inconsistent sizing etc.

Then I tried on The Flat Head boots, my foot popped in and they fit me perfectly. Nice and snug, no heel slip at all. They’re as comfortable as any of my lace up boots.

I remember my first pair of EBs, from Grinders, were hell to wear for any distance until I hit upon the idea of a thick, foam insole - problem solved. Same with my SJCs, which were just a touch wide for me. My first pair of Chippewas, the shorter, 7" model, were hell to get the left boot on while wearing a sock for the break-in period - now not a problem - but once on, they fit really nicely. Red Wing and my 11" Chips fit me lovely as is. I'd love to have the experience of having a boot made off a custom last to see how that compares, though shy of a big lottery win... ;)

It's definitely a boot style where the last makes much more difference to fit, in my experience, than would be the case for laced boots. Bit like penny loafers too - I've had a pair of brogues that were a little to wide but that I could get away with, while pennyloafers if too wide are a pain to wear.
 

Merv

One Too Many
Messages
1,573
Location
San Francisco
One of the ongoing, perplexing questions I have about Wesco boots is the "E" width issue. As most, if not all of their boots come in a "E" width as standard width. I've asked several people at Baker Boots and Wesco to explain, their response is, "The last runs narrow - an E width on this boot is essentially a D width on everything else" ... naturally, my follow up question is, "then why not call it a "D" width?" Maybe someone can enlighten me about this issue. Because when I try on Wesco engineers, they feel wide to me, so maybe I need to try and find a "D" width in Wesco's.
 

jonbuilder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,553
Location
Grass Valley CA Foothills
One of the ongoing, perplexing questions I have about Wesco boots is the "E" width issue. As most, if not all of their boots come in a "E" width as standard width. I've asked several people at Baker Boots and Wesco to explain, their response is, "The last runs narrow - an E width on this boot is essentially a D width on everything else" ... naturally, my follow up question is, "then why not call it a "D" width?" Maybe someone can enlighten me about this issue. Because when I try on Wesco engineers, they feel wide to me, so maybe I need to try and find a "D" width in Wesco's.
Try White's boots they can be ordered in the following last without upcharge AA A B C D E EE F EEE. Their stock sizes are D and EE which any sale boots would be made. IMO The EE fit like an E so I would think D is a little narrow compared to makers who would just make D boots and try to accommodate E wide

White's charges considerably less for customization through Baker shoes
 
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Merv

One Too Many
Messages
1,573
Location
San Francisco
I finally scored a pair of Wesco boots that fit me perfectly! I was searching for about a year. Most of the Wesco's I tried on were "E" width and they fit me just ok, but with some sloppiness. I spotted these on Iron Heart's website in "D" width, so I took a chance.... voila! Soon as I slipped them on, I knew they were going to be right. I believe this was the last pair they had 8.5D. My Brannock size is 9D.

Does Wesco make the perfect engineer boot? It certainly incorporates the many aspects that make a perfect "pull-on" boot. The toe box is flat and slim, but not too slim. The stacked heel is not too high, which makes it still look like a work boot rather than a dressier boot. In addition to the various Leather options and brass buckets... well, what can you say? It's pretty close to perfection, both visually and from a functional standpoint.

Wesco boots.jpg
 

born113

One of the Regulars
Messages
270
I finally scored a pair of Wesco boots that fit me perfectly! I was searching for about a year. Most of the Wesco's I tried on were "E" width and they fit me just ok, but with some sloppiness. I spotted these on Iron Heart's website in "D" width, so I took a chance.... voila! Soon as I slipped them on, I knew they were going to be right. I believe this was the last pair they had 8.5D. My Brannock size is 9D.

Does Wesco make the perfect engineer boot? It certainly incorporates the many aspects that make a perfect "pull-on" boot. The toe box is flat and slim, but not too slim. The stacked heel is not too high, which makes it still look like a work boot rather than a dressier boot. In addition to the various Leather options and brass buckets... well, what can you say? It's pretty close to perfection, both visually and from a functional standpoint.
Excellen. Is it honey sole? What is the name of this toe shape?
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,709
Location
London, UK
One of the ongoing, perplexing questions I have about Wesco boots is the "E" width issue. As most, if not all of their boots come in a "E" width as standard width. I've asked several people at Baker Boots and Wesco to explain, their response is, "The last runs narrow - an E width on this boot is essentially a D width on everything else" ... naturally, my follow up question is, "then why not call it a "D" width?" Maybe someone can enlighten me about this issue. Because when I try on Wesco engineers, they feel wide to me, so maybe I need to try and find a "D" width in Wesco's.

It all gets a bit "But these go to eleven" after a while with these things, but I totally see what you mean: it would make far more sense if there was a clear, objective standard for these widths. There seems to be a lot more variation in what a D or E is than in what an 8 or 9 is. At least over here: I've only ever twice needed something other than a standard UK8/EU42/US9 in the last thirty years, but width can be all over the place.



I finally scored a pair of Wesco boots that fit me perfectly! I was searching for about a year. Most of the Wesco's I tried on were "E" width and they fit me just ok, but with some sloppiness. I spotted these on Iron Heart's website in "D" width, so I took a chance.... voila! Soon as I slipped them on, I knew they were going to be right. I believe this was the last pair they had 8.5D. My Brannock size is 9D.

Does Wesco make the perfect engineer boot? It certainly incorporates the many aspects that make a perfect "pull-on" boot. The toe box is flat and slim, but not too slim. The stacked heel is not too high, which makes it still look like a work boot rather than a dressier boot. In addition to the various Leather options and brass buckets... well, what can you say? It's pretty close to perfection, both visually and from a functional standpoint.

View attachment 400689


Be interesting to see how these age, especially if you don't expose them to the sun without the shafts up yer trouser legs. I can see them going a really nice, dark amber bordering on russet with time.
 

BroyCo

New in Town
Messages
3
I had a pair of Mister Freedom Road Champs a while back. I didn't wear them that often so I sold 'em. The leather tore at the lower buckle stitching a couple of weeks after I got them. It never got any worse but I expected more from a pair of boots that cost that much. I see a lot about Wesco, and that's where I plan to head next seeing as they're right up the road.
 

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hd3kmize

New in Town
Messages
35
Location
The OC
That's disappointing to hear about your Road Champ boots. I was in the Mister Freedom store a couple of weeks ago and they showed me the prototype of the new version of their Road Champs. They looked amazing and the build quality was flawless. I hope to get a pair if they ever get restocked.

As far as Wesco, you can't beat the ruggedness, build quality, and price point. They make a really good boot for a really good price. You will need to invest some time into understanding the fit and the lasts they use. Another boot you might consider is John Lofgren. Definitely more pricey and Chromexcel rather than horsehide, but flawless construction.
 

BroyCo

New in Town
Messages
3
I hope the new Road Champs live up to the name. I loved the boots, but to be honest, was a little disappointed in the quality of the hardware (buckles) as well. It felt pretty flimsy and cheap. It was very light, thin, and almost felt sort of plastic. I’m sure it wasn’t but that‘s just my experience.

I plan on actually going to the Wesco factory for my fit so shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve looked at John Lofgren quite a bit, and would probably be my second choice. I don’t necessarily have a problem with Chromexcel but I used to work here in Portland for Tanner Goods and was told a bit about how incredibly toxic Chromexcel is. It looks and feels great, but it's hard to get that impression out of my head.
 

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