When 8053 transitioned from MIE to MIC, it was a major disappointment. It shrank 1/2 size, became both narrower and smaller and takes forever to break in. Worse, the padded collar wears out in no time at all, while the collar on MIE 8053 endures for 10 years.
The oxblood 1461 is MIT (Made in Taiwan) and is surprisingly nice. It 12UK and is bigger than 12UK MIC.
Here is what MIC 8053 looks like after 6 months:
and here is MIC 8053 after a year. Never saw that problem with MIE which keeps going strong well after a decade.
L to R: MIC 1490 which seem too large; MIE blue 1460; MIC 1460; and that strange 6-eyelet pair MIE. One is the rare 12.5UK size that fits like glove, the other is the usual 13UK. If I could have just one item on the list, I would take that 6-eyelet MIE boot. The leather is different and not shiny like on 1460. But it feels exactly like my favorite 8053.
Here are 8287. Two MIE are great and one MIC which is a real disappointment, it's 13UK but feels like 15US. I only wear it in the winter with a thick wool sock. Along with MIC 1490. The thick sole doesn't feel as sturdy as on the MIE 8287. Another example of where MIE is better.
Various new models, all MIC. Including one that looks almost exactly like the MIE 8053. Surprisingly, all are comfortable and unlike MIC 8053, all seem a little bigger than MIE counterparts. I had to put in real thick insoles on some of them to make them fit. Lower right corner is one with a steel-toe.
Edited by etcetera - 8/22/11 at 8:00am