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manowar

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It would be interesting to see something like a commando sold offered on White's, bridging the gap between the Vibram 100 & 430. Commando half-lug looks awesome if you are OK with the exposed leather, though I do wonder how it holds up in the field compared to the 100, 430, and even 700.
 

wordfool

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It would be interesting to see something like a commando sold offered on White's, bridging the gap between the Vibram 100 & 430. Commando half-lug looks awesome if you are OK with the exposed leather, though I do wonder how it holds up in the field compared to the 100, 430, and even 700.
In my experience it's soft and wears very quickly on pavement. The 430 is made of a different material that is harder and does not wear nearly as fast on pavement (same as 700 perhaps?) and the 100 of course has such tall lugs that it's probably good for years (I've never worn out a 100-style sole)
 

miggyramone

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I live in San Diego, so we don't see much rain outside of the current weather. For me, the commando mini lug half sole is a bit overkill but still low profile enough to not make the boots look clunky.
 

chicken1616

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I'm looking for an on-road, off-road hybrid sole that would make for a good travel boot -- something good for urban schlepping but able to give me some confidence when I take it off road on occasion. I find the 430 is too slick when things get wet and/or loose (and being TPU it's rock hard on pavement in cold weather), while the 100 lug sole is overkill and looks a bit weird in a mall or bar.



Yes, it would be ideal if it lasted, but those half soles are very soft (I can easily squish the lugs on my SDs) and wear so damn fast that within six months they're semi-slick, not helped by the fact that the lugs are really not that tall to begin with. I have a pair of Beckmans that I've not worn that much yet the half sole is almost smooth in the middle just from pavement pounding. If they could make a mini-lug half sole that was not so soft and fast-wearing it would be a good option.

The Itshide commando sole has lugs that are taller than the half sole and the 430, yet do not go all the way to the edge of the sole so overall it looks a bit sleeker than the 100 chunk monster.
IMHO, the best all around is the #269 sole. I have heard people give it grief on here, but I have four of them. They are more flexible than the 430, and lighter. They grip on ice and smoother rock. The 430 and 100 will load up in mud and essentially be smooth, so there isn't really a good choice there. I think some people look at a sole, and by its "looks" decide whether or not it is good for "off road". If I had to go with one sole on these boots, it would be the 269.
 

chicken1616

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In my experience it's soft and wears very quickly on pavement. The 430 is made of a different material that is harder and does not wear nearly as fast on pavement (same as 700 perhaps?) and the 100 of course has such tall lugs that it's probably good for years (I've never worn out a 100-style sole)
I have worn out a 100 sole(2 actually). I had two pair for work I alternated every other day for a little over a year, and the lowers(vamps and counters) were completely trashed and the sole was worn smooth.
 

miggyramone

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^Agreed. The 269 sole grips nicely to smooth surfaces. I never felt like I was gonna bust my ass like Dainite soles. I'm a bigger fan of the 700 half sole. Wears down fairly slow for a soft rubber. The standard 700 is too hard for my feet.
 

wordfool

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IMHO, the best all around is the #269 sole. I have heard people give it grief on here, but I have four of them. They are more flexible than the 430, and lighter. They grip on ice and smoother rock. The 430 and 100 will load up in mud and essentially be smooth, so there isn't really a good choice there. I think some people look at a sole, and by its "looks" decide whether or not it is good for "off road". If I had to go with one sole on these boots, it would be the 269.
Interesting option. I've had soles that look similar in the past and never rated them for grip, although granted that was on shoes that I never wore anywhere that needed any significant grip. You're right about any lug sole in mud (same in snow) -- I'd try to take hiking boots if I knew I'd be tramping through a lot of mud. The sort of "off-road" I'm thinking of is more rocky than muddy.
 

chicken1616

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BTW, the FR 100 sole, the 700, and the 430 suck ass on ice. Fortunately I don't have to worry about that any more, but just a thought.
 

chicken1616

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Interesting option. I've had soles that look similar in the past and never rated them for grip, although granted that was on shoes that I never wore anywhere that needed any significant grip. You're right about any lug sole in mud (same in snow) -- I'd try to take hiking boots if I knew I'd be tramping through a lot of mud. The sort of "off-road" I'm thinking of is more rocky than muddy.
I have climbed all over rocks in Griffith Park, and the 269 works great. A dedicated pair of hiking boots have even better soles available, but for these types of boots,I like the 269 best.
 

manowar

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About the Vibram 269, it has actually impressed me so far with grip. Not the best to hike in but it works. It struggles in soft, loose dirt and gravel but does well on slick surfaces. It seems like the 269 is made of the same compound as the 430 but without the small lugs added. It does hold in sneaky bits of mud between the tiny rubber ridges, but nothing like the lugged mudfests.
 

linafelt

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^^ I liked the 269 for the couple of years I had it on my BHs, but I seem to recall lots of complaints about how quickly it wore out, to the extent that I thought White’s had said they would stop using it..
 

iamntbatman

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I saw a few comments about the commando half sole being fast wearing (being able to push lugs in?). Are these the older version? I have the newer compound half commando sole on my BHs and it's super hard wearing.
 

ThreeLions

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I seem to recall that @sambam mentioned that the commando half lug soles had been updated to a very long wearing rubber compound. I have them on my triple sole smokejumpers and while they haven't had a ton of wear, the soles still look brand new.
 

ThreeLions

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Several pages back there was some talk of belts. I thought I'd share a few pictures of some that I made. My main hobby is woodworking, but I was building a project that called for a fair bit of leather. I sort of caught the leather working bug and have made a few things.

Each belt is made from two layers of 6-8oz veg tan leather, which are cemented back to back and then saddle stitched. The edges are all polished and slicked, witch is rather time consuming.



The buckle end is skived so that after folding over the buckle it still appears to be the same thickness. This is the hardest part to get right.



All of the stitching is done by hand. The holes are punched with a stitching iron and then the belt is saddle stitched. This involves one very long thread with a needle at each end. The result is an incredibly strong stitch.



The buckles were high quality solid brass. I used a nickel plated one for the black belt.



I did three colors and used Fiebings Pro Dye. Black, Saddle Tan, and Mahogany. The insides get coated with resolene to help prevent dye transfer to your clothes. For a top-coat on the show side, I used carnauba creme wax.

I wear the saddle tan belt almost every day as it very closely matches the British Tan on my White's Boots.

Each belt takes me about 8 hours of actual labor from start to finish. This doesn't count the time that the belt is hung up to dry in the various stages of the build.

I've since made a few holsters and some other items.
 

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