Got back my trench boots back from OSB. As originally thought (before they offered to take them in) it's just aesthetic, not structural. I think it's just dry, and next time I LP these, I'll make sure to hit the welt a little bit to give it some more moisture. Really should be getting the welt water-proofed anyway, for the amount I walk through the water.
Also, had a chance to look at/try on some Alden Natty CXL Sloat boots (basically plain toe indy boots with neocork soles). OSB wins by a lot if you want an actual boot (maybe Alden wins for a fashionable boot, though). OSB is just meatier, uses thicker CXL, and has twice as wide of a tongue (Alden's tongue is maybe an inch wide! wtf?). Alden does have speedhooks, but they look delicate, and can probably be pulled right out of the thin CXL.
Btw, OSB, I'm jealous of those Women's trench boots you teased on your twitter, with speedhooks. If they're properly durable, those would be excellent on the men's as well.
Anyway, got these back on my feet, and back in my boot rotation. Coming up on the end of boot weather, c'est la vie I guess.
Just curious, where did you get to try on the Alden Sloat boots? I was thinking of those at the same time I was looking at the Trench boots, but seems like they are only available at Unionmade... The pics on this site of a worn pair almost convinced me:
So, glad to hear that you prefer the Trench boots after trying both on.