My first pair of Redwings were these 875 Moc-toes. It was one of the first items I bought that I knew I’d have for a long time, so I did my research on how to take good care of them to make that happen. Keeping the leather in good condition is the most important aspect of taking care of your boots. The soles can be replaced over & over again, the stitching can be redone on the welt, but if the uppers get dry and crack, that’s extremely difficult to repair. I’ve been wearing these for about a year and a half, and have been oiling them with of Obenauf’s Leather Protector(LP) since day one.
I’ve had a few people ask me about leather conditioners and how to use them on a pair of work boots, so I’ll tell you how I do it. First off, I know that no one uses LP as frequently as I do on leather goods. So I’ll say this: If you do not want your leathers to darken – I would avoid using the LP and just use a leather oil – as they will not darken near as much as LP. It’s extremely simple.
Stuff you’ll need: Obenauf’s LP, your hands.
- Clean the surface of your boots; remove any dirt/salt on them. You can use a shoe brush for this, or your bare hands. You can use a damp rag to remove any surface stains.
- Remove the laces. Oiling the tongue of the boots creates those neat lace marks you see on mine.
- Apply the LP all over the boots using your bare hands. Your body heat lets the LP soak into the leather deeper.
- Place your boots outside in the sunlight for thirty-minutes. This really allows the oil to sink in and the boots to take on a darker hue in color.
- Take a clean cloth and wipe off any excess oil.
- Lace them back up and wear ‘em.
See, super easy. It really is important to keep your leather uppers well hydrated and protected from the elements. Leather dries out, and you don’t want to let that happen to a good ol’ pair of Redwings. This stuff is really cheap (that tub will last you ALONG time) compared to the price of a new pair of boots. Oh, and it’s made in the USA.
Awhile back I stumbled on Truman Hand Crafted, the idea behind one of my favorite bloggers – Teppei Teranishi of Newgrass. He delved into leatherworking as a hobby, and has just recently started selling his wares. I have been storing my notebook in my back pocket for far too long and saw that he had a beautifully designed journal cover that was exactly what I had been looking for.
The cover is made from an 6 oz vegetable tanned leather with the majority of it being cut from a single piece of leather. The tab closure has a pen/pencil holder stitched onto it to ensure you’re never without one. Handset copper rivets secure the journal cover to protect your valuable (or invaluable) notes. Hand stitched throughout, with waxed and burnished edges – you know that no corners were cut in making these.
These are available over at the Truman shop, along with some other fine pieces. These are made to order, but the turn around time is fairly quick.
I am totally guilty of wearing the same clothes for a few days in a row, but isn’t that what this stuff was made for? Durable garments that take on character the more you beat them up are fantastic, and much like denim, they get better & better with each wear. I’ve never been much for an oxford shirt, or “double monks” – but I am a huge fan of clothing that can be worn without worry. Stuff that isn’t ruined once it has a grass stain on the knee, a slight tear on the sleeve, or even spilling a quarter of a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce on the crotch. Thankfully, there’s a handful of guys out there that make garments that can still look awesome, even when they’re a bit beat up.
Some things just look better the older they get. Tanner Goods workman wallet & tether at roughly five months of everyday use, the coasters are at about a year.
Caesy Oney, who hails from Portland, but is currently residing in Montana, where he creates a few really practical leather goods – and rides a pretty badass motorcycle. He is the one-man operation behind Draught Dry Goods. I was in desperate need for a camera strap that had some character to it, something sturdy enough to lug around my D200. The Olivier camera strap in a natural vegetable tanned leather looked like the perfect match. Brass hardware to secure the camera to the strap, and doubled-up rivets to make sure the strap itself won’t give out on you. The strap is also adjustable, so depending on your height, or how you want to use it – it can be altered. This leather will darken with time (obviously) to a golden brown. Thank you again, Caesy.
I won’t bore you with paragraphs of history behind what makes Wolverine, well, Wolverine. Instead, I’ll keep it short and sweet – if you want history, click here. If you do not care, and just want to see pictures of some awesome boots – scroll down. My good friend Steve Musha has been breaking in a pair of 1,000 Miles for a year now, and I wanted some pictures of them. They still look as good as new, and they’re holding up extremely well even after being worn daily. These started out as the “Rust” color so you can see that the sunlight has really brightened them up. They have been treated a few times with boot oil to keep the Florida sun rays from drying out the leather. I’ll have more photos up once I have access to Lightroom again, but for now I hope these will suffice.
These are my everyday essentials. Nothing more, nothing less.
I decided I wanted to try out a wallet with more space with the hopes it would help me stay more organized, keep receipts, and maybe actually force me to keep cash on me. Because, although this helps you save money, it is not very gentleman like. My main focus was finding something that would have longevity, simple stitching, a vintage silhouette, crafted in the United States, and of course: be crafted of vegetable tanned, natural toned leather. This wallet is perfect for me, it’s got a very spacious bill slot, a coin pouch that is sealed off with a heavy-duty zipper, and just enough card slots to give you enough space, but not too much to add bulk to the wallet. Crafted by the good folks over at Tanner Goods of Portland, OR. Constructed of beautiful 3/4oz English Bridle Leather to ensure longevity. This is a wallet I’ll have for many years to come.
Well, I think it’s time for some pictures of these beauties. These have rarely left my feet since the day I got them, and there’s a reason for that. I don’t think there is much else to say, besides the fact they’re still going strong and only look better the more worn in they get. I think it’s the way I walk, but I’ve been absolutely destroying this Vibram soles – other than that, they look brand new minus a few scuffs & scratches. I plan to take them to the cobbler next week and have the scuffs dyed with navy dye, but I wanted to take some shots of them beforehand.
After taking the day off work, I embarked on my two hour drive over to the quaint town of Winter Park, FL. Winter Park is right outside of Orlando, and is definitely the neatest area I’ve seen in this state. It just has a very different vibe, and that’s probably due to it housing a lot of cool independently owned shops and restaurants. I wandered around for a few minutes looking for Suite 102. I got lucky that Mike Wilkie spotted me due to the Oak Street Bootmaker Trail Oxfords on my feet, or else I would of continued wondering in the complete wrong direction. He called me over and then invited me into the Makr Carry Goods studio. I walked in the door to hear the general hustle & bustle of a workshop. Three gentleman were sitting at work-benches working on wallets, card holders, and even some leather risers the Makr skate decks.
The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming (in a good way) smell of the Horween leather from the shop, and the fact that they were listening to Explosions in the Sky. I felt at home right away. I walked around the studio and shot a few photos of some of the bags that Jason has designed, some of this stuff is not out yet, and some of it is is already available at the Makr shop. The attention to detail in these bags surpasses anything I’ve seen before, and after sitting with Jason and viewing the design process – I have a whole new level respect for the products he’s creating. These bags are fine tuned, sample after sample, to be absolutely perfect. In the end product, it definitely shows.
I started chatting with Jason while he was working on designing something from his new line of products, and all I can tell you right now is that you should save your money. It’s really, really good stuff that is super efficient, and super simple. We were chatting about the time that goes in to running something like Makr, and as expected it’s a whole lot of late nights, and even more weekends spent in the studio. Which in this case, is not that bad of a place to be.
Thanks again to Jason and everyone else for having me out and taking the time out of their busy schedules to let me take photos, and chat with them. I’ll definitely be back soon.