We are pleased to present the third edition of our anticipated annual publication, The Patina Post. After another year of wear on some of our favorite new boots, we are excited to demonstrate the reason we’re so focused on footwear and believe it’s the foundation of style in our heritage goods arena. Since we specialize in this implicitly lifetime category of fully re-buildable handgrade footwear, it only makes sense to show how these pieces develop so one can project what’s possible to achieve with decades of regular wear in leathers and builds of this level. While our collaboration pieces undoubtedly are impressive when pristine, they’re built to look better with age as they evolve in color, finish, character, and shape that matches their wearers when taken to the streets and beyond. Thanks to the resiliency of top-level craftsmanship, the journey never truly ends with footwear that breaks-in rather than breaks-down.
One major differentiation between re-buildable footwear from everything else is the extent of use they can be put through, and to the degree they can be repaired. In short, in the hands of a re-builder the footwear can be remade from the constructed insole to the sole. This means that when you send your boot to the factory for repair, the cork, welt, midsole, and soles are replaced as needed for complete integrity and durable longevity versus typical re-solable footwear where the original welt or midsole are left intact and new soles are often glued or reverse-welted, leaving certain areas compromised through wear undiscovered and unaddressed. With these lines of distinction, 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 minimalist’s approach to our “restorations.” The first step is a thorough clean with water, sometimes using a mild leather 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 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 natural oils and reactivate the original tanning recipe. 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 authentic character. This low-maintenance approach shows that elevated, dutiful materials do not need much to look great.
Jason is a collector, which means he’s always rotating 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 these builds mold 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.
Viberg x DR Natural Toscanello Horsebutt High Chelsea
2 Months – 1 Restore
Viberg x DR Port Vitello Calf Service Boot
16 Months – 3 Restores
Viberg x DR Brown Waxed Flesh Bobcat
9 Months – 1 Restore
Wesco x DR Black Tie Domain Jobmaster
18 Months – 2 Restores
Kevin also is a deliberately footed gent and has an urban-to-outdoor modern Northwest lifestyle. He’s a spirited character and is always running around the shop and city with an energy that matches an industrial work ethic and gets the full molding potential out of our builds. While still experimenting with his style as a graduated denim head, he’s definitely driven to more patina heavy leathers in a distinct black and tan palette that offsets and coordinates with his dark and earth toned wardrobe in a heritage, street leaning style. With an inclination toward flesh side leathers and vegetable tannages, Kevin’s projects communicate his cool and collected, or warm and weathered nature.
Viberg x DR Natural Camel Service Boot
9 Months – 3 Restores
Viberg x DR Charcoal Chamois Roughout Service Boot
1 Year – 1 Restore
Viberg x DR Snuff Calf Suede Service Boot
9 Months – 2 Restores
Tricker’s x DR Gold MC Allan Cap Toe Boot
6 Months – 1 Restore
Ephriam has just started his journey into handgrade footwear and as our resident photographer, the grueling studio work along with traversing the city and outdoors to get the right shots is a perfect formula for impressive results in our footwear. Essentially rotating between two boots, he has hit the ground running on his prized patina projects. Often driven by a dark palette that matches his understated persona, his pieces show a true character beneath the surface. Starting with a collectable and a new core-exclusive on his favorite 1035 Last, the results have shown the range of what’s possible in totally different tannages and builds to demonstrate the daily wardrobe versatility our styles possess when worn diligently.