This week, we have paired two family owned heritage legacies, Horween Leather and Viberg, that both have reinvented themselves with distinction while enhancing their old world production techniques. Through the years, their evolutions have granted a new lifespan to classic productions to add utility in wardrobes for the modern man. When Brett Viberg sought to redirect from making the finest logging and workboots in the world to something that would stay relevant for future generations, sourcing and design were paramount to his strategy. This period coincided with the heritage revival that began during the last recession as customers looked to discover the way things used to be made along with purchasing goods with longevity, quality, and uniqueness at the heart of their soul.
Of the same era and generation, Nick Horween was looking to do the same thing for his century-old family business that shared the ethos of top quality production that celebrates tradition. Partnering since the beginning of their individual company journeys, Brett and Nick have developed tannages, experimented with productions, and have furthered the heritage market while staying true to its tenants. Throughout the years, in full-weight, full-grained hides that others balk to handle, Viberg has crafted Horween Leathers into some of the most desirable boots that have ever been made.
So, this week's theme is about honoring heritage through the hard work and foundation laid before us. In times of strife, it’s easy to forget that past generations have conquered major unforeseen hardships while managing to further their businesses and industries. With the perspective of where to go by looking at where we've been, Horween x Viberg x Division Road endeavor to do the best we can through making the best of it with what we have. In that vein, from the desert to the workshop to the trenches, we’re presenting three special Horween Vibergs with our Division Road approach that are built and designed to handle any adversity with distinctive style.
One of our new shop favorites involves our predisposition towards the rarely used Bobcat, the throwback workhorse from Viberg’s archives, which is a trekking boot that can take a considerable beating to yield a standout patina. This boot is comprised of the Brown Waxed Flesh leather from Horween, tanned with a hand applied dyed wax coating that levels, hardens, and seals the Roughout flesh-sided nap of a full weight Marine Field Leather, a.k.a. Natural Chromexcel Roughout. Through continued heavy wear the sand colored nap starts to reveal through the brown dye to provide a tonally textured finish that exhibits a patina unique to its travels. Formed on the military-inspired Munson based 2040 Last that’s comfortable and utilitarian with an aggressive shape that accommodates many foot types, the Bobcat profile boasts a higher quarter, overlapping vamp and counter, and fully gusseted tongue that all locks down to climb higher. Designed to coordinate with future patina evolutions, the antiqued brass eyelets, natural leather midsole, and industrial grade all-terrain gripped Sand colored Vibram 2060 sole comprise a heritage history prepared for any of the days that possibly lie ahead.
A story about history brings us back to one of the first Vibergs we launched the business with just four years ago. As an original make-up to debut our brand and collaborations with Viberg that would cement our unique position, the Natural Waxed Flesh Service Boot remains a core exclusive favorite among many Division Road Army Servicemen. Designed as a re-frame on WWII era Service Boots with Horween’s Natural Waxed Flesh leather that applies a hardened wax coating to the leather originally formulated for the N-1 military issue Boondocker, it relates how soldiers treated their boots in the field for protection and utility. Formed on the 2045, a true Munson Last developed by the U.S. Army to accommodate the widest array of foot types, this boot comes with a wide and moderately profiled forefoot and slight bump toe along with a snug heel to grip the foot, thus allowing this boot to be comfortable, rugged, and historically consistent. Finally, with vintage specifications, a long-lasting Goodyear commando sole for all conditions and terrain, and an undyed tonally textured patina that will develop from the nap of the natural leather breaking through the wax, this is a tank that will get better as it becomes battle worn.
Doubling down on wartime history, we bring you the Viberg Chukka Boot, a long-standing redesign of the British Military issue used in the Desert Campaigns during WWII that has a simple and elegant design coming to fruition in a versatile and hardwearing boot made for warmer months. For the call, this dutiful Chukka uses Horween’s Chamois, which is a superior and sophisticated workboot leather that's vegetable re-tanned with an intense oil content on the flesh side to provide a textured patina through years of conflict with the elements. In a beautiful burnt Tobacco Brown, the Roughout is constantly and naturally renewed with an oily surface that pairs with the Chukka’s true-to-original form via the simple and graceful adaptations of a curved quarter, stitched-in counter, and leather pull loop. Formed on the military Munson based 2040 Last that yields a snug heel and waist to hold the foot in place while having a comfortable and generous forefoot, this perfected fit has an unstructured toe that yields a classic yet modern aesthetic. All paired with our favored high traction sand colored Vibram 2060 walking sole to relate to the heritage enthusiast looking for improvements, this Chukka is made for trekking from the desert to the downtown with casual refinement.