Aero Leather/William Lennon boot
Edited by rabiesinfrance - 6/21/12 at 12:35pm
William Lennon Replica B5 British Army standard issue boot
Brown oiled rough-out kip leather, unlined
Double leather sole with hobnails and horseshoe heel ring
These boots have been in storage for nearly 3 years. So far, I've only worn them on carpet.
Note traditional British Army boot lacing method. Simple knot tied in the bottom of the lace, behind the bottom eyelet, then the loose end is fed through and run straight across in front and diagonally behind the eyelets to the top, then wrapped around the leg twice and the remainder coiled around the wrap with the loose end tucked under. There were slight variations but no bows or other conventional tight knots employed at the top. This method of lacing was also used by the Australian, New Zealand and no doubt other militaries for many years, on low and high cut army boots, although it now appears to have been abandoned, with the uglier criss-cross and bows becoming a common sight. The Australians are now wearing R.M. Williams Chelsea boots with their ceremonial dress!
First treatment with Obenauf's Leather Oil. The rough-out leather absorbed it very quickly, and they now look about as close to black as brown can be.
The laces will also be oiled, and the uppers will get a dose of Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP. A small amount of green corrosion rubbed off the eyelets and rivets.
I'm looking to expand my collection of William Lennon products, but they are not quick to respond to emails (this seems to be a common experience).
William Lennon Style 78NLD
The leather was soft to the touch but in need of some moisturising. Filson Boot Oil Finish has now been applied. Prior to oiling, a brief brushing brought out a decent shine. A waxy residue on the tongue wiped off with paper towel.
They are slightly taller than some of my Balmoral Boots.
Note different style of hobnails to those of the replica British Army B5 boots.
Unlike my last order, this pair was delivered in a single box. I recall with amusement the horror of another William Lennon customer who received only one boot in the mail, not knowing that the other was sent separately and would arrive soon afterwards. It seems we may no longer need to worry about that.
William Lennon's boxes are weak and flimsy, but their contents certainly are not. While I consider weak boxes a problem with the likes of Enzo Bonafe, in this case it's fine due to the different style and much lower price point. They are work boots, after all, and work boots typically do not live in their boxes; boot bags and trees are virtually unknown to them. In the modern era, it seems most work boots are subjected to abuse for which they were not designed, never polished, and simply discarded after a year or so. Indeed, it is said that the very similar B5 boots (above) were only expected to last a few months on the battlefield.
Delivery time was approximately 8 weeks from placement of order to receipt, which is about as fast as can be for made to order products.
The quality of workmanship on this pair seems pretty much flawless for what is essentially a rough and ready product; I'm impressed.
As usual, the fit is generous. However, this seems less of a problem with Derby boots than with Oxfords. Whereas generous-fitting Balmoral boots tend to put me in a world of pain, most of the slack on a Derby can be offset by tighter lacing, which in this case leaves only the slightest of movement in the heels.
Are they things of beauty? Well, perhaps in the sense of a bulldog. Either way, they're not your average work boot.
Next stop: style 77 Officer Boots
William Lennon B5 sockliner detachment
My three year old B5s saw wear for the first time yesterday. It was a pleasant hour-long experience for me (mixed with a few moments of sheer terror due to hobnail-induced slippage), but after their removal my socks felt sticky around the heel. At the time I paid little attention to it but inspection of the boots this morning revealed why. It appears that the sockliners became detached during yesterday's excursion. Their dislodgement facilitated a better view of Lennon's brass-screw construction.
It is suspected that excessive movement of my feet within the boots due to the generous last may have contributed to this incident. However, heel slippage was not an obvious problem while I had them on, and the boots were very comfortable; it was a pleasant surprise. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it was the most comfortable first wear experience of any pair of boots I have ever owned. The thick rough out leather uppers gently hugged my feet. After an hour of walking, there was no chafing or soreness at all.
Walking on hobnails
The hobnails added a very interesting twist to the experience. Their noisy contact with the ground attracted the attention of many people. Grip on various dry surfaces is summarised below.
Concrete footpaths, asphalt roads, carpet: good - felt no different to ordinary leather soles (noise excepted)
Pavements, linoleum: some slippage but manageable
Wooden floorboards, duckboards: direct relationship between smoothness of surface and slipperiness; rough floorboards less slippery than polished
Tiles, polished smooth hard surfaces: very slippery - proceed with extreme caution; I nearly fell several times.
I have yet to test them in the wet.