Shopping Bag

The Patina Post - 2nd Edition

At long last, we are happy to release the second edition of our annual publication, The Patina Post. After another year of hard wear on our favorite boots, we are excited to show you one of the many reasons we take the “footwear first” approach here at Division Road. When you first step into the world of fully re-buildable handgrade footwear, you should understand that you are handling boots meant to last a lifetime, but sometimes it can be hard to imagine exactly what a lifetime of wear looks like. This is why we have documented carefully the evolutions in color, character, and shape as we took these boots to the streets and beyond, to show you what to expect from footwear that breaks-in rather than breaks down. While our collaboration pieces are undoubtedly impressive new, they look even better with age, and thanks to the resiliency of top-level craftsmanship their journeys never truly end.

What distinguishes a re-buildable piece of footwear from a re-solable one is the extent of use they can be put through paired with the level of repair that can be achieved. In short, in the hands of a re-builder the footwear uppers of this grade can be taken off completely and re-constructed from the insole down. This means that when you send your boot to the factory for repair, the cork, welt, midsole, and soles are reassembled as needed for complete integrity and durable longevity. Furthermore, with a re-builder you have the option to properly switch out the sole type with sound construction techniques (e.g. if you start with a Dainite, your boot can be rebuilt with a wedge). You cannot expect the same kind of structural integrity from re-solable footwear, the soles of which are often glued or reverse welted as opposed to fully re-assembled. With these lines of distinction, we make sure we only carry re-buildable footwear that yields continuous and versatile use across decades.

Due to the nature of the production methods, craftsmanship, and materials used in our footwear, we tend to take a “less is more” approach to maintenance and care. The first step is a thorough clean with water, sometimes using a mild soap if necessary, to remove dirt and debris. To provide base-level hydration after cleaning, we use leather conditioning wipes on the midsoles and on certain highly finished leathers. Lastly, we liberally apply either Saphir Greasy Leather Crème or Renovateur (the conditioner selection is dictated by the tannage type) to fully moisturize and replenish the leather with its original and natural oils. We do not use tinted creams or polishes, just conditioning, hydration, and replenishing, which allows the boots to fully embrace their true patina, scuffs, and deepening of character. This low-maintenance approach shows that the right materials do not need much to look great.

Viberg Natural Dublin Service Boot – Connor
Worn: Shop and City
3 Months - 1 Restore

 

Viberg Port Vitello Calf Service Boot – Jason
Worn: Shop and City
3 Months - 1 Restore

 

Viberg Tan Horsehide Chelsea Boot – William
Worn: Shop, Farm, and Traveling
2 years – 7 Restores – 1 Rebuild

 

Tricker's Rio Latigo Stow Boot – William
Worn: Shop and City
10 Months – 2 Restores

 

Viberg Natural CXL Roughout Service Boot – Jason
Worn: Shop, City, and Traveling
14 Months – 4 Restores

 

Viberg Mocha Vintage Side Zip Boot - William
Worn: Shop, Farm, City, and Hiking
12 Months – 2 Restores

 

Tricker’s Acorn Antique Stow Boot – William
Worn: Shop, Farm, City, and Traveling
2 Years 8 Months – 8 Restores – 1 Rebuild and Sole Conversion

 

Viberg Crust CXL Service Boot - Jason
Worn: Shop, City, Traveling, and Hiking
10 Months – 3 Restores

 

Viberg Charcoal Chamois IVY Street New Hunter - Jason
Worn: Shop, City and Hiking
4 Months – 1 Restore

 

Wesco British Tan Domain Jobmaster – Jason
Worn: Shop and City
12 Months – 3 Restores 

 

Viberg Natural Camel Slipper – William
Worn: Shop, City, Beach, and Traveling
6 Months – 1 Restore

William tends to go the extra mile in work, play, and adventure, which shows in the state of where his rubber meets the road. We call his break-in process “Will Wear,” since he accomplishes in one month what a normal man achieves in two or three. Most of his boots are worn equally in the boatyard, on the farm, in the shop, around town, and on hikes through various Northwest terrains, resulting in a storied patina that very few can replicate. Rebuildable boots thrive with this kind of lifestyle, and while they darken and change with each adventure, they still maintain a dressy excellence that never ceases to impress. Through every rejuvenation, Will’s boots become more and more iconic and incredible.

Jason is a collector, which means he deliberately rotates through an assortment of boots. He applies his footwear to urban treks, worldwide travel, and the daily grind at the shop. With a city-based lifestyle and a carefully considered approach towards his wardrobe, Jason’s boots develop a specific patina that highlights how leather forms to the foot, with unique changes in character and color that are as complex as the man himself. His diverse collection serves as a near scientific sampling of material-specific patina developments. Though he does go a bit easier on his boots, you can still see the transformations that take place in a life governed by habit and discipline.  

Connor has just started his journey into handgrade footwear, and he has hit the ground running. Though he has only a couple pairs, they see daily use from constant downtown commuting via walking and public transportation. With his first pair already due for a resole, at the shop all we can do is wonder what he’s doing in his off hours. The patina in his footwear is the result of rain, weather, and storefront maintenance, resulting in a look that wears well from casual gatherings to more formal situations. Perhaps the most impressive result of the maturation of his boots is how his small collection still manages to be versatile and unique enough to pair well in each of his ensembles.


Next: Field Guide FW18-7