Wolverine 744 LTD
with a bit of Crane's method thrown in.
So, I got my 744 LTD's yesterday, and can I just say that the online pictures don't due them justice. I had been looking for a nice pair of shit-kickers, since I'd always felt my last pair were just a bit too big for my foot. I wanted something that was office appropriate (it's a casual-ish office) but could withstand me not having to baby them. I live in the Northeast, on Long Island. It can be wet, snowy, muddy, rocky, dirty, sandy, I might just be kicking sidewalks in the city, or repairing some Sandy damages to my house. I had settled on getting a pair of 1000 miles, when I saw Crane's 721 LTD. Now, I knew that I could probably find a pair of 1000 milers for around $300 if I tried, but I had just been by the local Allen Edmonds outlet to return some things and knew that I could get a pair of 744's for $350 there. At the time, I thought "what a great deal on shells, but I really don't need a dress boot." Well, after seeing just what Crane's put his through, that sealed the deal. I went in knowing that I wanted a half-sole and to sno-seal these.
Called up the outlet on Saturday, ordered them in They were at my office yesterday (Wednesday)! I restrained myself (kind of) from showing them off to everyone, and after work dropped them off at the cobbler for a half-sole. I asked about the Raptor vs. the Mini-Lugs and he said neither, you want these: Adler, Made in Italy spiky things. Boy do they grip, and match the aesthetic pretty nicely. $45 installed, which is a lot for some places and cheap others. Around here it's about right, and he has always done amazing jobs on my shoes and he had them done by this afternoon (Thursday). Didn't do the heel, didn't see the need, and I didn't want the boost.
Sizing info: I got these in a size 9D. I generally wear 9EEE or 9.5EEE balmorals, since it's important to get them laced all the way closed. I usually wear 8.5EEE boots, or 9.5D, which tend to have the exact same form factor, but different length eyelet pieces (so that when you lace them, there may be a larger or smaller gap between them). Since these are unlined, and I know that shell will fit like a glove, I went with these. They really do fit perfectly, if a bit snug. The toes are bulbous, but whatever.
The seconds don't come in any kind of fanciness, just a 1000 Mile box with a small little sticker indicating they are 744S (S for seconds) and the true seconds price of $609 vs. the $350 I paid. There was no *definite* reason these should be considered seconds. Scuffed toes and scratches? Easy to buff out with some elbow grease. A slightly messed up piece of leather on the side? Maybe, that's the best I could figure, but that would happen to any piece of leather. The semi-circle brogue-ing on the cap-toe is really, really abbreviated on mine. When I saw the display pair in the store, it had big semi-circles that turned me off a bit. They looked like big flaps, and were just as pronounced as the online pictures look. These edge designs are barely even there, almost flush with the stitching. Some people on the forums would pay extra for this. Regardless, the tongues state that at one point, these were 229/1000, but then someone thought better of that.
These demonstrated the "infamous" sole separation that others have mentioned. My cobbler said it wasn't an issue, but one of the heels was separated enough that I knew it'd bug me. Thoughts of sand and pebbles getting trapped in there, and I'd be checking constantly to make sure it hadn't gotten worse. Especially since AE doesn't use nails in their heels, just glue. So when I brought them home from the cobbler, grabbed my professional grade liquid cyanoacrylate glue. This is similar to krazy/super/gorilla glues with a major difference: liquid, not a gel/not thick. Makes less of a mess and is easy to get into the crack.Just ran it along the edge, let it get in there, and pushed the sole/shoe together. 10 seconds later no gap when I let go! 2 hours later, no gap when I flex. Edit, Update:
this actually ended up not working, and doing slight, but non-important, damage to the heel piece. Showed it to my cobbler, he just smiled at me and said, "next time you'll listen to me, right?" and assured me I hadn't done any actual harm. The issue with being inquisitive I guess.
Crane's mentioned plenty that you just don't know how the boots have been stored. I can tell you that these boots have been sitting somewhere, unloved, for a while. There were plenty of parts that just felt way, way too dry. So tonight I took some Obenauf's Leather Oil (not LP) and oiled them up. They sucked it in like crazy. So fast that I gave them a bit more, and that disappeared just as fast. Didn't matter to me that the oil made them darker, since I was just going to sno-seal them anyway. They are now a chocolate brown, really dark. Darker actually then the photos of them make them appear. Let them soak for a while, wiped off the residue, letting them sit. Going to give them a nice sno-sealing tomorrow evening, so it's not like I'm concerned with their color. I'll post pics of that as well.New boots!
, on FlickrSlight flaw
, on FlickrGrippy soles
, on FlickrErase job
, on FlickrDSCF0289
, on FlickrOiling
, on FlickrPost-oiled
, on FlickrEdited by wdahab - 1/11/13 at 1:05pm