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DavidCreightonB

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Earlier this year I was interested in getting a monkey boot from ZB. I wanted to know if they could use the upper from their urban sport shoe and combine it with they hiking boot (commando sole, leather upper, edge foam, cork inlays). Since they both use the parachute last, it seems a reasonable blend to get the style I was looking for.

urban sport parachute last.jpg

ZB Urban Sport Boot.​

Alexandra informed me that ZB was working on a paratrooper style boot. It was being modeled after the paracadutista, the footwear of the Italy’s airborne division. Parachute boots are typically 9" high, no speed hooks, with lacing to the top so you can tuck in your trousers. ZB could provide a version that was lower cut which would be closer to what I was looking for. Without having seen any of their designs, I decided to go with the standard paratrooper boot at full height.

Two months ago ZB introduced their Parachute Military Boots. Last week my boots arrived:

IMG_2341.jpeg


The stock version is horsehide and all black. I did a material change, added the Norvegese construction and antique sole and heel. These are an absolute killer.

IMG_2376.jpeg


ZB added padding to the top of the boot, as you can see below (square at the top of the boot), and to the inside of the tongue so out of the box there is no rubbing or cutting like I get on some traditional paratrooper boots.


IMG_2363.jpeg


Instead of the Norvegese construction being blacked out, ZB dyed it a dark grey to highlight the constriction and still allow it to blend in to the overall look.

The parachute last has more volume than the standard Sailor last. I find the fit has a little more room in both width and height, but not enough to change my sizing. A heaver wool sock, for me, makes up the difference. Ends up being a really comfortable fit. Below you can see a Sailor last on the right and the Parachute last on the left.

IMG_2416.jpeg


For a height comparison, I have a pair of 11" Engineering boots and the ZB Derby style boot to see where these fit in. I haven't worn Corcoran type boots in years and I forgot how much I missed the fit. The leather at the ankle is really soft and bends easily. Heel lock is excellent. Combine that with the inside calf leather, which is closer to a glove leather, and I had almost no break-in time to get these comfortable.

IMG_2407.jpeg

Quick height comparison - ZB Derby vs ZB Parachute Military
IMG_2424.jpeg


I generally don't post new shoes or boots, especially with exotic leathers, but these blew me away. Normally the elephant from ZB is a nubuck or suede in feel and appearance. In this case, they provided a black wax surface, which supports the paratrooper look and gives it an overall stealth look.

IMG_2370.jpeg


Alexandra was good enough to provide a ZB photo while my boots where in transit. It's a much better picture than I could take with an iPhone. If you're on the fence with the boot height, all I can say is there are the most comfortable boots I've gotten from ZB.

Zonkey Mil Boot Elephant.jpg


Cheers,

DaveB
 

Attachments

stephenaf2003

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Earlier this year I was interested in getting a monkey boot from ZB. I wanted to know if they could use the upper from their urban sport shoe and combine it with they hiking boot (commando sole, leather upper, edge foam, cork inlays). Since they both use the parachute last, it seems a reasonable blend to get the style I was looking for.

View attachment 1479060
ZB Urban Sport Boot.​

Alexandra informed me that ZB was working on a paratrooper style boot. It was being modeled after the paracadutista, the footwear of the Italy’s airborne division. Parachute boots are typically 9" high, no speed hooks, with lacing to the top so you can tuck in your trousers. ZB could provide a version that was lower cut which would be closer to what I was looking for. Without having seen any of their designs, I decided to go with the standard paratrooper boot at full height.

Two months ago ZB introduced their Parachute Military Boots. Last week my boots arrived:

View attachment 1479078

The stock version is horsehide and all black. I did a material change, added the Norvegese construction and antique sole and heel. These are an absolute killer.

View attachment 1479083


ZB added padding to the top of the boot, as you can see below (square at the top of the boot), and to the inside of the tongue so out of the box there is no rubbing or cutting like I get on some traditional paratrooper boots.


View attachment 1479090

Instead of the Norvegese construction being blacked out, ZB dyed it a dark grey to highlight the constriction and still allow it to blend in to the overall look.

The parachute last has more volume than the standard Sailor last. I find the fit has a little more room in both width and height, but not enough to change my sizing. A heaver wool sock, for me, makes up the difference. Ends up being a really comfortable fit. Below you can see a Sailor last on the right and the Parachute last on the left.

View attachment 1479105

For a height comparison, I have a pair of 11" Engineering boots and the ZB Derby style boot to see where these fit in. I haven't worn Corcoran type boots in years and I forgot how much I missed the fit. The leather at the ankle is really soft and bends easily. Heel lock is excellent. Combine that with the inside calf leather, which is closer to a glove leather, and I had almost no break-in time to get these comfortable.

View attachment 1479116
Quick height comparison - ZB Derby vs ZB Parachute Military
View attachment 1479119

I generally don't post new shoes or boots, especially with exotic leathers, but these blew me away. Normally the elephant from ZB is a nubuck or suede in feel and appearance. In this case, they provided a black wax surface, which supports the paratrooper look and gives it an overall stealth look.

View attachment 1479121

Alexandra was good enough to provide a ZB photo while my boots where in transit. It's a much better picture than I could take with an iPhone. If you're on the fence with the boot height, all I can say is there are the most comfortable boots I've gotten from ZB.

View attachment 1479126

Cheers,

DaveB
Holy $h!+ :worship: ...those are absolutely absurd and absolutely gobsmacking awesome!

The elephant takes them to another level altogether. Very well done indeed!
 

acapaca

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What a beast of a boot! Thanks very much for sharing. Makes for great inspiration.
 
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Nakedsnake

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Hopefully this isn't against the spirit of the thread. I tried my first pair on Zonkey's last week. Amazing shoe, but sadly they didn't fit. If anyone is interested in a black captoe oxford, worn once, 11 UK, let me know.

More info here. Thanks
 

nishant

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They are actually a great value in comparison to other manufacturers. I paid 1450 Euros, then add shipping and import duties.

DaveB
Love those boots. Value however is another matter.

In my ordeal with them last year, ZB refused to stand behind their product when the entire leather finish on crust calf essentially crumbled off the leather .. they attributed it to air pressure in flight during shipping lol .. And basically said .. tough luck !!!

Given how poor my experience as repeat buyer was, I wonder what they do to first time buyers.

To me, now, the value is ..
 

Phoenician

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Love those boots. Value however is another matter.

In my ordeal with them last year, ZB refused to stand behind their product when the entire leather finish on crust calf essentially crumbled off the leather .. they attributed it to air pressure in flight during shipping lol .. And basically said .. tough luck !!!

Given how poor my experience as repeat buyer was, I wonder what they do to first time buyers.

To me, now, the value is ..
ugh, that is some world class shitty service. Can’t believe they had the hubris to even give you an excuse so stupid. I would have liked hearing them reply from a response like “oh, I guess I missed the sticker on the box stating that you can’t wear your footwear on airplanes and must remain in a closet unworn, at sea level”
 

LThomsen

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Love those boots. Value however is another matter.

In my ordeal with them last year, ZB refused to stand behind their product when the entire leather finish on crust calf essentially crumbled off the leather .. they attributed it to air pressure in flight during shipping lol .. And basically said .. tough luck !!!

Given how poor my experience as repeat buyer was, I wonder what they do to first time buyers.

To me, now, the value is ..
They really said that to you? That's absurd.
 

jayvee

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
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Love those boots. Value however is another matter.

In my ordeal with them last year, ZB refused to stand behind their product when the entire leather finish on crust calf essentially crumbled off the leather .. they attributed it to air pressure in flight during shipping lol .. And basically said .. tough luck !!!

Given how poor my experience as repeat buyer was, I wonder what they do to first time buyers.

To me, now, the value is ..
Would like to see the damage if you can be bothered to take a photo next time you get them out.
 

ZBA

New Member
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Nov 5, 2020
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Love those boots. Value however is another matter.

In my ordeal with them last year, ZB refused to stand behind their product when the entire leather finish on crust calf essentially crumbled off the leather .. they attributed it to air pressure in flight during shipping lol .. And basically said .. tough luck !!!

Given how poor my experience as repeat buyer was, I wonder what they do to first time buyers.

To me, now, the value is ..
I am surprised and saddened to read about your customer experience one year later, in a public forum, especially since we have exchanged two dozen emails over a period of a only few months in 2019 and yet I completely missed your expression of anger in any of your emails.
Your first purchase from us was a well discounted ‘Last Pair’ of boots on which you asked for a customisation - metal toe taps. Once we have added the metal toe taps, the boots received a new polish and were shipped.

Three months later, you contacted me and told me that you are disappointed that the wax finishing layer has 'crumbled off’. You asked me what do I think and wether I 'can suggest anything to help rectify it’.

Given that the shoes had a healthy polish when they left from us, I expressed my opinion at the time that the temperature difference during transportation might have caused the new wax layer to dry/not set in properly. In that context, I apologised that there was nothing we could do about it. And by 'about it', I meant exactly that: we have no control over the conditions in which shipping companies are transporting parcels.

(I think one can easily assume that a freshly polished pair of shoes can leave our office on a hot day with 30 degrees Celsius and within 24-48 hours end up in the cargo haul of a transatlantic flight, where temperatures may approach zero or drop well below. Add to that road shipping, when parcels go into over heated trucks which are also parked occasionally in full sun.)
Shoe wax is a mix of chemical substances (like turpentine, which is volatile) and it reacts at different temperatures. (I won't go into details, chemistry is not my field, and my assumption might have been wrong and for this I apologise. But I am sure that the manufacturers of Saphir can explain to you much better why and in what conditions their shoe wax dries out.)

Since you had also asked for a suggestion, I recommended brushing the boots with a brush or with a soft cloth to remove the dried wax and if that didn’t help, to give the boots a light polish. I felt it was normal to give leather shoes a refreshment after they sat in a cabinet for three months.

If I would have sensed in any way then how distraught this polishing issue had made you, I would have insisted that you ship the boots immediately back to Vienna so that we can re-polish them for you, even if several months had gone by without a complaint on your part.

Alexandra, ZB
 

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