Road Champ - Black Leather Boots
* These boots are the result of 2 1/2 years of R&D at Mister Freedom®.
* Inspired by 1930′s to 1950s American engineer and work boots. This type of boots were a favorite amongst motor-cyclists/servicemen/workers, as seen on many period photographs.
* All MF® original panels pattern and hand carved last. Low toe profile.
* Vegetable tan cow hides, carefully selected from a reputable American tannery.
* Exclusive leather treatment and coloring process. Hides are not dip-dyed but “painted”. Flesh side is natural, skin side treated with 3 colours coating. The MF® Road Champ only come in one color option, a rich dark brown. We just call it BLACK to simplify.
* Guaranteed to age and beautify with wear. The leather will fade with tones of reddish brown/chocolate/olive/black… according to the wear, and personal choice of oil treatment and conditioning. We like Pecard Leather Dressing.
* Olive color inside roll top band and top strap gusset.
* Hard to find steel buckles hardware. A fully functioning strap holds the boot secure at the ankle.
* All solid leather double sole, made of high quality dense and sturdy leather.
* Each pair is cobbler made by hand in the USA, in a small shoemaker work shop established in the 1960′s.
* Authentic New Old Stock “Cat’s Paw” rubber heels.
* Mid rise welt (about 10 1/2 inches)
* Approx 1 3/4 inch heel height
* All made in USA by a skilled cobbler team.
* They are sized to allow wearing thick socks for winter and inner leather insole for warmer weather. (Don’t size up!) The grab around inset/heel/ankle is controlled by adjusting the strap.
* We are now packaging the MF Road Champ® in an original selvedge denim draw string bag, with original hand silk screened artwork.
Check out these web posts, here and here, for updates on evolution and’ saga’ of my perso pair of Road Champs©. Again, the evolution of your boots will vary according to how they are worn, how often, and depending on your preferred way of conditioning and treating them.
For knowledgeable information on vintage engineer boots and other options out there, check out John’s Vintage Engineer Boots blog. Consistently updated with expert advice, new finds and fine custom leather crafts, it is a great source of facts for those wanting to know what is what in the engineer boots world.
We have always looked forward to the day we would reply “Yes!” to the formidable “Do they come in black?”
Obstinacy be praised, that day has come, the champs are back, and they’re back in black.
We understand some of you on the Road Champs waiting list have been beyond patient (I hear some put their name for a specific size two years ago!). Sincerely grateful for the support, we truly apologize for the frustration. Thankfully, there are today more options than when we first introduced our vintage-inspired RC engineer boot, sometime around 2008. Several quality contemporary brands are now offering similar flat toe profiles and BRMC Brando-style models, in a range of colors and leathers. Reviews of what’s out there today can be found on John V’s Vintage Engineer Boots blog, along with valuable info, knowledge, facts and myths around this specific style of work boots. Don’t forget to check John’s leather crafting skills on his VEB store.
Manufacturing the Road Champs in the USA has always been a real challenge for us, a very long chain of events that involves many ‘special’ people, each one a crucial link. At the end of the high-end footwear manufacturing journey, QC (Quality Control) must be unforgiving. As with the rest of what we do, we don’t claim to do it best, just trying to do it right.
As a result, we are a bit behind with our Mister Freedom® footwear output… One of the many reasons production has been backed-up is raw material issues. Faced with color inconsistency in our stock of RC uncut vegetable tanned hides, custom ordered from Horween Leather for the past eight years, we decided to make lemonade with lemons. We had a batch of Road Champ brown hides professionally hand-dyed to a beautiful and rich shade of black. After this treatment, the black-dyed cowhides went through the painstaking boot-making process… all the way to the QC verdict.
We just received the first small batch of these special edition Black Road Champs, and I have to admit I was quite disappointed… not to see my size!
The BRC look mighty sweet in person, if I may say. The underlying brown tones will resurface with normal wear, creating an attractive natural patina over time. You too will then develop an urge to take photos of your feet several times a day, mesmerizing your friends on Instagram.
For the BRC, we are also updating the sole option by mounting vintage New Old Stock rubber soles and heels. We were fortunate to find some limited stock of Nitrene which, from experience with the MF® Trooper Boots, have proved to be a bit longer-lasting on asphalt than Cat’s Paws. These old Nitrene half soles boast a “Non Marking – Oil Resistant – Long Wearing” quality. I am not one to believe any kind of advertising, but rubber is definitely less slippery than the leather soles of the original RC.
The last, pattern, MF® signature green top, sizing, price of the BRC all remain the same as the original RC.
The production of the RC has always been trickling slowly, and it is likely not to change as we continue to be regarding and selective with what bears our name. These new Mister Freedom® engineer boots will continue to be made in very small batches, and size availability will continue to be limited. This is not a marketing strategy on our part, nor a way to aggravate customers, just the result of us keeping quality standards.
In this golden age of disposable wares, cheap imports and consumerism, we’re just happy there still is footwear manufacturing activity in the USA.
This first batch of BRC will be dispatched according to the current waiting list, for those interested in a black version of our Road Champ boot. It is possible that more original brown Road Champs be available in the future, but we do not have a timeline for that.