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Vocans

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All true. There are so many great options out there, no need to buy the 18th variant shade of brown. There's a reason that high quality box calf is preferred but most bespoke makers, it makes a better shoe/boot.
Well, I think a part of that also involves box calf being a more formal material than shell, which is usually the aim with bespoke. Shell is certainly a high-end material but it's generally seen as more casual. Calf is also easier to work with than shell, though I doubt that's too much of a consideration for bespoke shoemakers.
 

NYDRH

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Well, I think a part of that also involves box calf being a more formal material than shell, which is usually the aim with bespoke. Shell is certainly a high-end material but it's generally seen as more casual. Calf is also easier to work with than shell, though I doubt that's too much of a consideration for bespoke shoemakers.
Definitely agree on the formal look that bespoke is more associated with, I believe the majority of orders are still black dress shoes. I have had this conversation with a couple of bespoke makers and they don't like working with shell, it doesn't allow them to do certain things like fiddled waists and it tends to tear when lasting(as we know). They also mentioned that its almost exclusively ordered from North Americans. It's also a one dimensional material and really doesn't allow them to display their talents.
 

gte872h

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Definitely agree on the formal look that bespoke is more associated with, I believe the majority of orders are still black dress shoes. I have had this conversation with a couple of bespoke makers and they don't like working with shell, it doesn't allow them to do certain things like fiddled waists and it tends to tear when lasting(as we know). They also mentioned that its almost exclusively ordered from North Americans. It's also a one dimensional material and really doesn't allow them to display their talents.
Yes. Nicholas Templeman says about half his orders are for black cap toe oxfords while his other half are more casual derbies. A lot of Norwegian split toes as of late from the US. I’m one of them. Haha. Us Americans are obsessed with shell and Norwegian split toes.
 

WeatheredHide

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Speaking of bashing shell, are we talking about how overrated shell is? ;)

Really thought I would understand and be onboard with all the shell hype but my couple of pairs don’t really get a whole lot of wear. It’s just not my thing I suppose.

It’s hot and doesn’t breathe but I get that it’s tough, indescribable, and doesn’t require a lot of care. It’s also shiny and doesn’t crease but it doesn’t have any grain or character. There’s so many other great leathers out there.

Does it mean anything that most shoemakers do not wear shell themselves? Most bespoke shoemakers prefer using calfskin almost exclusively. Are there other things I’m missing?
I have a beautiful Ashland shell Fat Herbie wallet, and many other accessories, watch bands, and bags made of (or trimmed) in shell. I love looking at some of the shell boots you guys post here, too. That said, I don't know that I'll ever buy shell boots. I know it can be beat up, but I don't think it's as compelling a beaten-up hide for boots as other hides.

I'll live the shell boot life vicariously through the photos from those here who have them.
 

linafelt

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Just picked up some 310s off the interweb. Not my ideal build (I'm a captoe guy), and still up in the air whether they will fit in the long run (trying out different insoles) or whether I may put them up for sale again. But, given the paucity of 310s these days, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give it a try. Brown oil tan, cat's paw heels, and a half sole labeled "Swiss Brand, Vitamin." I've never heard of the latter, but it seems like a very good sole actually. Not clear to me if this was an Ironheart boot that for some reason had the Vibram half sole changed out, or if it was a custom order with leather sole and the half sole added afterwards. In any case, very little wear on the boots, and to my mind they represent classic Viberg style.

P2273176.JPGP2273177.JPGP2273178.JPG
 

smartbrother

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Just picked up some 310s off the interweb. Not my ideal build (I'm a captoe guy), and still up in the air whether they will fit in the long run (trying out different insoles) or whether I may put them up for sale again. But, given the paucity of 310s these days, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give it a try. Brown oil tan, cat's paw heels, and a half sole labeled "Swiss Brand, Vitamin." I've never heard of the latter, but it seems like a very good sole actually. Not clear to me if this was an Ironheart boot that for some reason had the Vibram half sole changed out, or if it was a custom order with leather sole and the half sole added afterwards. In any case, very little wear on the boots, and to my mind they represent classic Viberg style.

View attachment 1345130View attachment 1345131View attachment 1345132
Those look great. I hope they work out for you 👍🏽
 

woofmang

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Just realized, looking at my spreadsheet, that the boots I wore yesterday are not only my most worn boots over the last 6 months, they're my most worn footwear, period. Love these!

20200226_vb-oiled-mocha.jpg
 

gte872h

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Just picked up some 310s off the interweb. Not my ideal build (I'm a captoe guy), and still up in the air whether they will fit in the long run (trying out different insoles) or whether I may put them up for sale again. But, given the paucity of 310s these days, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give it a try. Brown oil tan, cat's paw heels, and a half sole labeled "Swiss Brand, Vitamin." I've never heard of the latter, but it seems like a very good sole actually. Not clear to me if this was an Ironheart boot that for some reason had the Vibram half sole changed out, or if it was a custom order with leather sole and the half sole added afterwards. In any case, very little wear on the boots, and to my mind they represent classic Viberg style.

View attachment 1345130View attachment 1345131View attachment 1345132
Nice pickup @linafelt. Definitely looks like the old Iron Heart build to me. Curious what size you picked up? I know you have tinkered around with Viberg sizing in the past a bit.


I never got the appeal of split toe derbies. Of course as a long time SF member, I have several pairs, including those I have never got around to wearing.
For me I like the history of the Norwegian split toe and its origin. They were sort of a workboot of its time back in the day used by workers to build the channels and railways in Europe. Made to be waterproof and withstand tough conditions with a gusseted or bellows tongue and stitching that never goes through the entire leather. It’s called a navvy cut in England. I’m a big fan of JM Weston’s Chasse and Golf models as well. Plus it works for a more casual wardrobe.

 

linafelt

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Nice pickup @linafelt. Definitely looks like the old Iron Heart build to me. Curious what size you picked up? I know you have tinkered around with Viberg sizing in the past a bit.
Thanks. Yeah, that's right, I've been around the block a few times with various Vibergs, trying to get it right. I think it's clear that I'm a 9.5E in the 310 last, but the E width is a rare bird in the 310, likely extinct. Years ago I had two beautiful pairs of seconds to try on from Viberg, back when things were more informal. One was a 9E in brown HH and was too tight, and the other was a 10D in black HH and too big. I ended up keeping the 10s and wearing them for a while, and they were one of my favorite pair of boots ever. I probably should have kept them and tried to make them work, but it was still MTO days and I sold them assuming I could get the same boot built in a 9.5E and then I'd be set for life! But alas, just around then they discontinued MTO, and the 310s have dried up. (Also tried 110s, which didn't do it for me.)

So, this pair are 10D, and I may try harder to make them work than I did with the late, lamented pair of HHs.

For old times' sake, attaching here pics of those original black and brown HH boots -- even though it makes my heart hurt to look at them...

rafa 310 viberg.jpgvibergs outside.jpg
 

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