Thursday, 23 October 2014

Your New Winter Boots - The Chippewa Homestead

Born in the USA

For me there is something about tan leather and denim that works seamlessly, and I love a work-wear inspired boot. 

So, when I was offered the chance to review a pair of Chippewas for work the Homestead Boot in Copper Caprice grain leather was a natural choice.

Chippewa Homestead Boot

Founded in 1901, the American brand Chippewa started out producing rugged work boots – a rich tradition they have kept very much alive in their Original Collection – one characterised by, to quote the press blurb, 
“a blend of modern durability found in contemporary outdoor products combined with the heritage and authenticity of American craftsmanship and work ethic. The Collection is an assembly of vintage-inspired footwear for individuals who appreciate classic boots with a distinctive identity.”

These boots were made for walkin'...

Chippewa Homestead Boot
Fresh out the box a few months ago.
As you'd expect from any heritage collection quality and craftsmanship are key - all the Original Collection boots are Goodyear welted, hand crafted in the USA using quality hides.

Well, to the Homesteads. The light tan grained leather has pleasingly soft texture to it, and unlike my Red Wings, the boots were comfortable straight out the box, requiring only minimal breaking in. No blisters for me, I'm pleased to report.

The cushioned insole is a nice touch, the heel being maple leather, the rest something called texon. (I have no idea..)

As befits what is technically a work boot there is a reinforcing steel shank. Yet, the boots do not feel too clunky.

After a few months of regular wear the boots are now moulded perfectly to my feet.

Chippewa Homestead Boot
Starting to age nicely.

Booty call

The detailing is stylish too – the unbleached cotton stitching across the toe-cap and round the outsole looks great. The 3 brass speed hooks at the top of the boots and waxed laces mean they’re easy to get your feet in and out of – important in Danish homes where forgetting to remove your footwear results in much social awkwardness.

The sizing comes up a little large, but I prefer to wear thick socks with my boots. 

The Vibram V-Bar sole does have some grip – whether that’s up to the rigours of a Scandinavian winter remains to be seen, though I’m sure they’ll be perfect around town. (For the woods we all have our hiking boots, right?)

Chippewa Homestead Boot
Absolutely love the stitching on these boots..

You've got sole

The Homestead boot might wear its heritage on its sleeve, however, whilst the construction is undoubtedly robust, the boots are not overly heavy. They could easily be used for a pair of ‘best’. So, if you’re looking for a quality light winter boot the Homestead is for you.

Chippewa Homestead Boot

As well as style the key thing for me comfort - and these babies are so comfortable I’m sure they’ll be keeping my feet nice and toasty throughout the winter. 
With this collection Chippewa set out to combine timeless silhouettes with modern style, and with the Homestead I'd argue they've succeeded.

Call me cynical, but when you add the tag 'original or 'heritage' the price normally takes a massive hike north.
The good news is that Chippewa have a considerably lower price point that the likes of Viberg & Red Wing - being owned by Justin Brands, one of the largest bookmakers in the U.S, means that Chippewa, for the Original Collection at least, are able to keep production in-house and remain competitive without the normal quality fall off you'd expect from a mainstream brand.

Chippewa Homestead Boot
More stitching porn..
A pair of Homesteads will set you back approx $260. (By way of comparison I paid that in GBP for my Red Wings. I find myself in the Chippewa's more..)

If tan leather is not quite to your taste the boot is also available in several other finishes. Well worth a look too are their Service and Engineer Boots. Check them out here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice boot. I really like this kind of colorful boots. I think this boot is very good for winter days. You felt very warm when you put this on your feet.