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Japanese Boot / Shoe Appreciation Thread (White Cloud, Rolling Dub Trio, John Lofgren, Clinch, etc.

beepbop

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Hot damn!

how did you size these? How’s the fit?
Fit is really good, I did 1 down from brannock, and they're quite snug in the shaft, and the instep is a little lower. I'm wearing thin socks right now, but I think they can accommodate wool socks with some break in.
 

smartbrother

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Fit is really good, I did 1 down from brannock, and they're quite snug in the shaft, and the instep is a little lower. I'm wearing thin socks right now, but I think they can accommodate wool socks with some break in.
That sounds like a perfect fit for my narrow ankles and low instep. Thanks for the info 🙏🏽
 

smartbrother

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Those look great! Where did you get them?
You can buy these today

 

RuffyD

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Was gonna order the Stan from Tempo but haven't heard back from them about the restock yet. Might end up ordering directly from RDT
 

Calvin as in CALVIN

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For those wondering about clinch — they are very expensive. When I purchased my Yeager boot in brown HH I LOVED them but they just didn’t fit. That’s the major problem with clinch. You NEED to know your size almost perfectly or it won’t fit right. The CN Soft last is narrow and the CN-Wide last is just about an E width. Also to consider is the low instep and thin shaft (for engineers at least). For the price you pay you may be disappointed by the fit and it’ll continue to go downhill from there.

I will admit that the craftsmanship, though amazing, isn’t perfect. When I got mine, the tongue stitching where it meets the vamp was accidentally inverted/rolled over instead of straight/flat, causing a pinch at my forefoot. I know it doesn’t make sense without pictures but it was something like that made me go... how’d you let this slide? but hey, Clinch is the holy grail and no one is going to let that get in the way of the idea of owning one of his work. Just don’t expect 100% craftsmanship from anyone.

Rant aside, here’s some pictures I took when I received them then sold them.

 
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justsayno

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Agree that nothing is perfect in handmade. But your issue is actually a defect. You should get a refund.
 

DavidCreightonB

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I agree with everything you said about Clinch - but I did have a comment on the sizing. This is my experience with their lasts:

CN - This is the basis of most of the lasts at Clinch. Length - Mine are true to Brannock length, so 9.5 US Brannock is 10H (or 10 and a Half) in the CN. Width - no greater than a C or if your are like me and fall between a C and D measured on a Brannock at the ball width, it is the max I think anyone should go. I have a low instep, so boots, like the George Boot, fit without room above my instep. If a 2030 is a little roomy in width and height, the the CN might fit. The CN has room in the waist, a higher arch (which is great if you have flat feet) and curves inward at the ball so it narrows just before the little toe at the center of the outside ball. The reason I mention the inward curve at the outside ball of the foot is as I go through the CN-S and CN Wide, I find they all have the same fit for me at that point.

CN-S - I thought this was just a soft toe but I have 2 boots in this last and their width is between the CN and CN Wide. I have yet to figure this out. Length - same as the CN, true to Brannock. Width - I went a 1/2 size down on the first order I ever placed and these fit in width but I am just about to the end of the boot with my toes at the end of the day. I found these slightly wider in the waist as the CN but the width of the ball is the same as the CN, so I would stay with the same fit guidelines as the CN.

CN-Wide - I only have this in the Engineering Boots. Length - stay true to your Brannock. These are wide in the heel, instep and waist (seems like a fit for an E width and high instep). They narrow at the ball, so over time the boot can settle (i.e., top compresses down) and this can get a little more room. I don't know that I would recommend an E width in your Brannock length unless you are willing go through the break-in in the area of the front ball. I am between a C and D and the CN-Wide and CN both fit the width of the ball of my foot the same. I went a 1/2 size down and used a boot stretcher for the left boot to get my toe some more room. Over time it would have molded to my foot but I have no patience and wanted to get this fitting ASAP.

MT - Used in the trainers. Brannock length should be used. Width - these are narrow from waist to toe. No wider than a C width (can fit between a C/D on Brannock but this is really snug). Compared to the CN, these have a lower arch. They feel really flat for me, like the old Converse court sneakers and wrap my foot similar to boxing shoes. I have trainers in leather and after break-in, I like the fit. Like a wrap-around monkey boot.

RS - Used in the Service shoes. Brannock length should be used. If the CN fits, the RS will fit. The difference is a D width should work in this last. The RS fits similar to the Viberg 1004. There is a lot of curve and a high arch in this last. The waist is similar to the CN but when used in a shoe, I can adjust the lacing for a slightly wider fit. This does require break-in for my feet because of the curve from heel to toe and high arch. If it feels comfortable at first, it's a good fit. But at the end of the day my shins feel it. Same as the 1004 break-in. Best description is an orthopedic type last. If you have flat narrow feet, the is a good last.

This is my experience, so don't take it as how these fit for everyone. I've not gone to Brass to get their input on the differences in the lasts and fit. For reference, Onderhoud EU43, Ostmo Moe EU 43.5, Viberg 2030 8.5 - these are all comfortable but roomy for me. Joe Works 6 and 0 lasts in 8 and the Lofgren 140 last in 8.5 are snug fits. 10H with Clinch is spot on for me with all their lasts. If you expect a level of build quality in their price range to be similar to other companies in Japan, it's not. There is a lot of weird stuff and if you take a close look, you will find imperfections. But the way these age, look and feel after a few months, I loose sight of these problems.

DaveB
 

Calvin as in CALVIN

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I agree with everything you said about Clinch - but I did have a comment on the sizing. This is my experience with their lasts:

CN - This is the basis of most of the lasts at Clinch. Length - Mine are true to Brannock length, so 9.5 US Brannock is 10H (or 10 and a Half) in the CN. Width - no greater than a C or if your are like me and fall between a C and D measured on a Brannock at the ball width, it is the max I think anyone should go. I have a low instep, so boots, like the George Boot, fit without room above my instep. If a 2030 is a little roomy in width and height, the the CN might fit. The CN has room in the waist, a higher arch (which is great if you have flat feet) and curves inward at the ball so it narrows just before the little toe at the center of the outside ball. The reason I mention the inward curve at the outside ball of the foot is as I go through the CN-S and CN Wide, I find they all have the same fit for me at that point.

CN-S - I thought this was just a soft toe but I have 2 boots in this last and their width is between the CN and CN Wide. I have yet to figure this out. Length - same as the CN, true to Brannock. Width - I went a 1/2 size down on the first order I ever placed and these fit in width but I am just about to the end of the boot with my toes at the end of the day. I found these slightly wider in the waist as the CN but the width of the ball is the same as the CN, so I would stay with the same fit guidelines as the CN.

CN-Wide - I only have this in the Engineering Boots. Length - stay true to your Brannock. These are wide in the heel, instep and waist (seems like a fit for an E width and high instep). They narrow at the ball, so over time the boot can settle (i.e., top compresses down) and this can get a little more room. I don't know that I would recommend an E width in your Brannock length unless you are willing go through the break-in in the area of the front ball. I am between a C and D and the CN-Wide and CN both fit the width of the ball of my foot the same. I went a 1/2 size down and used a boot stretcher for the left boot to get my toe some more room. Over time it would have molded to my foot but I have no patience and wanted to get this fitting ASAP.

MT - Used in the trainers. Brannock length should be used. Width - these are narrow from waist to toe. No wider than a C width (can fit between a C/D on Brannock but this is really snug). Compared to the CN, these have a lower arch. They feel really flat for me, like the old Converse court sneakers and wrap my foot similar to boxing shoes. I have trainers in leather and after break-in, I like the fit. Like a wrap-around monkey boot.

RS - Used in the Service shoes. Brannock length should be used. If the CN fits, the RS will fit. The difference is a D width should work in this last. The RS fits similar to the Viberg 1004. There is a lot of curve and a high arch in this last. The waist is similar to the CN but when used in a shoe, I can adjust the lacing for a slightly wider fit. This does require break-in for my feet because of the curve from heel to toe and high arch. If it feels comfortable at first, it's a good fit. But at the end of the day my shins feel it. Same as the 1004 break-in. Best description is an orthopedic type last. If you have flat narrow feet, the is a good last.

This is my experience, so don't take it as how these fit for everyone. I've not gone to Brass to get their input on the differences in the lasts and fit. For reference, Onderhoud EU43, Ostmo Moe EU 43.5, Viberg 2030 8.5 - these are all comfortable but roomy for me. Joe Works 6 and 0 lasts in 8 and the Lofgren 140 last in 8.5 are snug fits. 10H with Clinch is spot on for me with all their lasts. If you expect a level of build quality in their price range to be similar to other companies in Japan, it's not. There is a lot of weird stuff and if you take a close look, you will find imperfections. But the way these age, look and feel after a few months, I loose sight of these problems.

DaveB
For the CN-Wide, you recommended TTS length wise? I’m a 9.5 D/E and went with S&S’ suggestion of going a full size down (8.5) for my preorder. Now I’m concerned lol.

when I tried on the CN-S (which I didn’t realize there’s a difference with the CN) it was very narrow like you mentioned. Length is close to TTS and a narrow width (closer to a C).

thanks for the detailed breakdown of each last. Super helpful for everyone looking to jump on Clinch.

also, you’re right about the ‘value’ of Clinch. The break in is what you’re paying for. All the flaws get overlooked once you start putting wear on them. If you’re the type to keep these pretty, you’ll for sure find a flaw and feel disappointed. If you’re intending to wear them down then all of that won’t matter
 

DavidCreightonB

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I am a US 9.5 C/D, so if you are a 9.5 D/E, then your closer to a Clinch 10H in the CN Wide. I went a 1/2 size down with the CN-S and CN Wide (Clinch 10) and they both fit me but my toe is really close to the end. Going TTS for me is the right fit. Was the CN-S you got in the 10H Yeager too narrow? Your toe should have near the end so I am not sure how you want to go down a full size from that. For reference my foot length is 10.35in (26.5 cm).
 
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Calvin as in CALVIN

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I am a US 9.5 C/D, so if you are a 9.5 D/E, then your closer to a Clinch 10H in the CN Wide. I went a 1/2 size down with the CN-S and CN Wide (Clinch 10) and they both fit me but my toe is really close to the end. Going TTS for me is the right fit. Was the CN-S you got in the 10H Yeager too narrow? Your toe should have near the end so I am not sure how you want to go down a full size from that. For reference my foot length is 10.35in (26.5 cm).
CN-S I went TTS length and that was perfect. Width of course was a different story.

but great, now I’m anticipating that my Clinch Engineers are going to be too small. I went with Clinch 9.5/US 8.5 (S&S suggested)
 

Mghart

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As an aside, the pair of Clinch I had a few years ago were on the WR last which I don't think they use anymore at this point. Sizing back then was so hard cause there still wasn't much written up about them. I'm a 10 brannock, but I went up a size to a 'Clinch' size 11, which was a US 10, but if proved to be a half size too big so sold them at a considerable loss.

I'd be tempted at some point to maybe try again, but the cost versus sizing wrong is a big gamble that is tough to swallow.
 

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