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If you were to place bookmakers in broad categories of quality level, how would you rank the various contenders? I've only owned Paraboot & Carmina...

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38 minutes ago, JDelage said:

If you were to place bookmakers in broad categories of quality level, how would you rank the various contenders? I've only owned Paraboot & Carmina...

Quality? That’s tricky to define I think. And when you say bootmaker do you specifically mean boots - or are you including shoes?

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1 hour ago, JDelage said:

If you were to place bookmakers in broad categories of quality level, how would you rank the various contenders? I've only owned Paraboot & Carmina...

Not sure any of this will help you.

I own a couple pairs of Carminas, as well as Church's and three pairs of Nick's (which are also based in Spokane, same basic design, essentially equivalent to Whites and split off from Whites in the 1960s). The quality of construction is very high but not highly finished, if that makes sense. Carminas and Church's and the Japanese brands are really precise in finishing. Nicks/Whites use thicker leather and heavy duty stitching but things aren't perfectly cut or stitched. They're well made, but not finely made. My Church's are very very well made and finely at that. But they feel no more robust than my Nick's Comstocks. But the Comstocks are rougher in construction -- not lined, stitching around the welt is a little uneven, the edges are unfinished, etc. But they are exceptionally 'heavy duty' hand-made, old-school construction.

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By bootmakers, I mean brands (or craftspeople) who make boots. Whether they also make shoes doesn't matter, but at this point I'm not looking for shoes. I'm just trying to get a broad understanding of where I should put some of the names with regard to others. Names I've been very casually looking at include TCB, John Lofgren, & Dinkelacker, but it's all very preliminary at this stage.

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7 hours ago, JDelage said:

By bootmakers, I mean brands (or craftspeople) who make boots. Whether they also make shoes doesn't matter, but at this point I'm not looking for shoes. I'm just trying to get a broad understanding of where I should put some of the names with regard to others. Names I've been very casually looking at include TCB, John Lofgren, & Dinkelacker, but it's all very preliminary at this stage.

I think you’d be better defining the style of boot - there’s a big array of good quality footwear available and it’s a challenge to rate one against another. Church’s Bletsoe is not the same as the Dinkelacker Buda which is not the same as White’s Smoke Jumper which is quite different from a John Lofgren engineer.

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^ oh Ed ... we know you hold a flame for Wesco

... and from the little I know, even with the American styles, a big difference, as with denim, between the US makers (verging on the rough and ready super durable) and the Japanese interpretations (refined tanks...); again imo neither better than the other, different strokes (and price points...)

... certainly I have trickers/[uk made] grenson/cheaney and redwing / russell moccasins: the UK makes are generally more refined, but the US ones can be worn to smithereens; and I like that

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@JDelage Here’s links to about 3 dozen boot makers - I’ve probably missed about 3 dozen so I’m sure there’ll be plenty of updates once folk educate me. Clearly they’re not all equal, but they’re probably all reasonably well known and that means others can add their experiences of them. As Bartles says there are levels of refinement, not to mention leathers and style and a handful of other qualitative issue which makes your ‘broad’ request a bit difficult to be meaningful
 

Alden

Attractions          

Brass - Tokyo        

Brother Bridge

Butts and Shoulders

Carmina

Casa Fagliano          

Cheaney

Chippewa

Church’s      

Danner

Dinkelacker       

Edward Green

Flamepanda      

Grenson

Horseman Joe 

Hiro Yanagimachi   

John Lobb   

John Lofgren           

Julian    

Kreosote

Lone Wolf      Part of Sugar Cane but I’m not sure of their trading status so this is just a regular store

Maine Mountain Mocassin

Makers

Moto

Nicks

Oak Street

Onderhoud    

Paraboot

Red Wing   

Role Club      

Rolling Dub Trio

Russell Moccasin

Sagara 

Skoob     

The Real McCoys

Thorogood    

Trickers      

Truman

Unmarked

Viberg       

Wesco      

White Kloud    

White’s

William Lennon    

Wolverine     

Yuketen       

Edited by Duke Mantee

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I dig those Horseman Joe postman oxfords and sandals...has anyone ordered from them internationally before?

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1 hour ago, Broark said:

I dig those Horseman Joe postman oxfords and sandals...has anyone ordered from them internationally before?

Yes and no - it was a tortuous process that I ultimately gave up on. All the more frustrating because of how highly regarded he is.

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Mike - Thank you for this amazing list. This is going to keep me busy...

To narrow it down: not really looking for a full custom experience (unless they're within driving distance of Seattle I suppose). I'd prefer to stick to highly regarded independent / small scale makers (zero interest in Church's for example). Bonus given to manufacturers that do not use plastic components and stick to traditional materials...

To be honest, the boots that make the most sense for me right now are slip-ons or zipped. This said, I'm quite intrigued by S&S' John Lofgren's combat boots in olive CXL, as I am by Dinkelacker's full brogue boots... I want something with a reasonably wide toe box, more "town & country" than city, but I have slightly narrow feet with fairly low instep...

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No problem Joss - I thought it might be interesting for others too, as well as generating responses and/or additions.

Division Road are in your area I think - and they have a range of Viberg boot, both slip on and side zip. I’m sure there’ll be quite a few stockists of Viberg.

Quite a few of those listed do side gore or Chelsea boot styles if that’s your thing ... it does meet your slip on spec, unless you’re going full engineer boot or pecos?

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Oh yes, most of those makers have some Chelsea that would work for me. That's my problem. :laugh2: That's why I'm curious what people think of the various aspects of quality, however subjective that is.

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Maybe I should reframe my question as:

How would you rank bookmakers in broad categories of craftsmanship quality given the context of, say, a pair of town & country Chelsea in some flavor of horsehide...

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@Duke ManteeUnmarked is another brand to add to the list.

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2 hours ago, JDelage said:

To narrow it down: not really looking for a full custom experience (unless they're within driving distance of Seattle I suppose). I'd prefer to stick to highly regarded independent / small scale makers (zero interest in Church's for example). Bonus given to manufacturers that do not use plastic components and stick to traditional materials...

Seattle’s within easy driving distance of a whole slew of classic PNW bootmakers (White’s, Nick’s, etc.), all of whom will fit pretty much all of your criteria

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@julian-wolf - Thank you. I know. I'm not really looking for what is the most *convenient* option. Really trying to understand the quality / craftsmanship "mapping", including for makers in Japan, etc.

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Sure—didn’t mean to imply that those would be the best options for you, just though the caveat of “unless they're within driving distance of Seattle” was funny since Washington’s really one of the only states where this sort of thing is broadly available

Edited by julian-wolf

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@Duke ManteeIt’s a crime you left Chippewa off the list lol. :laugh2:

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If I lived within driving distance of Spokane, I would take full advantage!

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2 hours ago, JDelage said:

Maybe I should reframe my question as:

How would you rank bookmakers in broad categories of craftsmanship quality given the context of, say, a pair of town & country Chelsea in some flavor of horsehide...

We’ve had a little bit of a discussion earlier in this thread about Chelsea Boots (starting on p. 331) - the issue isn’t really about quality, because arguably the quality of RDT, Lofgren, Paraboot, Church’s, Trickers and RM Williams Chelsea Boots (to name a few) are broadly equivalent. So then it boils down to the styling or the fit or the material used ... or cost - you could spend $1500 on a pair from Edward Green

 

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4 minutes ago, mlwdp said:

@Duke ManteeIt’s a crime you left Chippewa off the list lol. :laugh2:

I actually thought I was doing quite well to get 3 dozen or so ...

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I'll put in a vote for the Wesco Romeo...

& 100% yes unmarked for the Mexican makers...

& look thru @Double 0 Soul posts for incredible buco and toys mccoys set ups

and @volvo240thebest posts for championing of indo boots sagara and onderhoud before lofgren got out his dog-whistle...

Edited by bartlebyyphonics

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I love my Toys McCoys Surveyor boots (Pictures from a while ago)

26750013888_819e0cb007_b.jpg

39726182235_5854e9f82f_b.jpg

26750014208_07e0331fa3_b.jpg

Had to get these rewelted though due to the welt ripping apart on one boot

 

Dont forget Russell Mocassin for the list!

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47 minutes ago, mlwdp said:

@Duke ManteeIt’s a crime you left Chippewa off the list lol. :laugh2:

& thorogood!

[& russell moccasins...] - ah @fre-co beat me to it...

[and for the slim toe heads; road champ / mr freedom]

1 hour ago, JDelage said:

I'm not really looking for what is the most *convenient* option. Really trying to understand the quality / craftsmanship "mapping", including for makers in Japan, etc.

fwiw... in the history of amerikaji there are moments where US production sputters and stops: an interesting moment for PNW residents is whether to support continued production of said boots or to buy tripled priced refined versions... [this again may seem white chauvinist/nationalist etc. but when I can buy vintage at price x and repro at price x3 I know where to go... in my limited experience; 50s Oshkosh fabric outshines the more recent Orslow remake of it [as excellent as that is, and it is excellent]: or... if you can get it whilst it lives; do so... cone is one example of this... and I say this knowing Attractions 444 is best boot out there for the price... ]

also: another thought: boots have their histories: the semiotics of this is worth paying attention to... a boot is not just a boot...

for example: the slimmer 40s profiled engineers are beloved of the true vintage head, but may be toooo cosplay for the casul...

whereas the m43 boondocker is a great all rounder...

and etc. off topic interesting to see how the long shaft logger was adopted for the gay bondage scene of the 70s (as documented here by dear Robert Mapplethorpe) for its own excessive machismo qualities... and for another queered version of boot love do see Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising - see around 8:11 for blue velvet meets jean genet meets white trouser biker madness!

image.png.05e733c7638e4fca20b711a78b41f597.png

Edited by bartlebyyphonics

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9 minutes ago, fre-co said:

I love my Toys McCoys Surveyor boots (Pictures from a while ago)

26750013888_819e0cb007_b.jpg

 

Hubby hubba at that rainbow stitch 

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40 minutes ago, bartlebyyphonics said:

and @volvo240thebest posts for championing of indo boots sagara and onderhoud before lofgren got out his dog-whistle...

Agreed, It was a completely onderhouded comment to make.

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onderhoud-overhoud-wandering free [until the vamp cramps ones foot...]

interesting that the name is dutch for maintenance [repair]: colonial histories bite deep still even when championing variance...

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Someone mentioned attractions- not the lot.444 but the previous iteration. Horse butt and brass buckles.... And the best engineer boot profile around for me. 

D85067CF-17E5-445C-8D72-A5D4087AAF1C.jpeg

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1 hour ago, fre-co said:

If I lived within driving distance of Spokane, I would take full advantage!

It's certainly doable but it's close to 5hrs each way - when the passes are open that is.

Edited by JDelage

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