The & eyelets have arrived!
The boots, unworn:
First try-on, side view
The boots are loose at the top and ankle- clearly meant to accommodate pants tucked into them. As you can see, even with a kilty in, the top of the shoe has to overlap to close on my ankle. I have very thin legs, so this isn't uncommon, but the fact that the boots are designed wide means I need to fill the space a bit more than usual.
Here, you can see the overlap better. Again, this is with a leather kilty in.
The hand stitching is BEAUTIFUL. The toes fit as they should, very slightly snug but not tight, which means in awhile they will be pleasantly roomy. They don't press any of my toes more than the others.
I had to try quite a few variations of laces, lacing style, kilty arrangement, and insole arrangement before I found just the right fit, and evidenly over the winter I have totally lost my lacing calluses. The thin waxed laces blistered my fingers. Good sign I need to lace boots on more often!
The new soles are indeed slightly squishier in the not-entirely-cured heel than the fully cured store example. Not unpleasantly so, but it will be neat to feel them finish firming up. Time will really tell if I can use these in their intended role, but they are lovely, comfortable, and well made boots. My thanks to Dustin at Portland Dry Goods who took the order for me!
One last photo: