Rider Boot Co. Fall 2012……coming October:

After chasing around too many dress boots last Fall, I’ve gone back to me true intention and re-developed my Hobo Boot (now called the ‘Jackson’) in a variety of options:

First up is a new calfskin from France that goes through a vegetable re-tanning to plump it up and gives me an option to show off some burnishing.  Particularly pleased with the new Russet color.  Second we have a waterproof suede version coming along on a Crepe outsole, which I have personally always worn but never put into the line.  Very, very comfortable.

note – I am changing, in production, the handstitched thread color to tone-on-tone…..

…..fresh off the plane and debuting next week for Buyers at MRketNY:

So, in our work developing product for LCA here in North America, I started a project with my friend Tiberio Ferretti, in Montecatini,  to give our clients something to wear around their hips:


To start, Tubular Woven Leather with either Brush-Off or Croc Flanks Ranger style tabs or Keeper/End Tab Combo –

Debuting at Mrket July 22-24 in NYC.


We are looking forward to the new Tarrago catalogs arriving next week….preview here:

The new Ottowa in Baltic W/P Suede will be available exclusively at:

LeatherSoul….both Hawaii and Beverly Hills locations.

This random website will have the Desert Sand & the Noix ready to send out in exchange for money….. Rider Boot Shop.


Spent a little time this week re-working a pair of shell cordovan boots that has been thru the ringer, it appears. There are a lot of opinions out there on what is the best way to polish/clean shell cordovan, and there really is no ‘best’ way, IMO. Much of it depends on the finish that the factory that made the shoe or boot uses – not just how the material itself is tanned and finished in Chicago. Besides, there is a fairly large difference in the shells from the delivery to delivery…..it’s not plastic, so what works for one might not be as nice for another. This, however, is how I usually do it:

Arrived –






First step is to brush them off, and then a good bath with Renomat






Next step is a couple of wipe downs with Saphir Regenerant (a cleaner….sponge it on, let it dry, wipe it off) –






After that I make a mix of Renovateur and Cream and brush it on –






After 2 coats of that mix, plenty of brushing and a hard cloth buffing, it’s time for 2 coats of wax (I use Neutral….shell really doesn’t absorb much, if any, color) –







Usually, they turn out well…..and it’s really not hard at all. For everyday maintenance, a simply brushing will do the trick.


The new S/S hikers came out of production great……limited edition supply, with purchase details coming


Ottowa LTD in Cape Butt Suede on Vibram Mountain sole is $660 usd.


…..figure it’s a good time to show how to recondition a pair after a LONG 6 months of hard wear.

Nicely broken in:

First step, after getting out the laces, is a quick brushing:


Now it’s time for a bath……using Saphir RenoMat, which is a very nice cleaner and easy to use:


Then a quick, light brushing (I like the palm size brushes, not shoe brushes, for this):

Now I brush on a bead of clear Dubbin (Saphir HP in this case) over the neutral stitching, which will protect them from the color to come:


Now the secret weapon…..Saphir’s Sport Wax in the Black:

Now, just more light buffing with the horsehair brush followed by some rag work, a light coat of NeatsFoot Oil, a little more brushing and ready for another 6 months:

………new boots in Walnut, Gunmetal Shell Cordovan – not to mention calfskin – being packed up today and tomorrow in Florence getting ready to head to J Gilbert Footwear, and their new shop in Seattle.  Been a bit of a drama, but things getting slowly back on track for us in Italy.  Not easy adding a new factory, moving material, patterns, etc!  Were getting there, and hope to have pics to show off soon.

Thanks Mr. Borgioli!


Greetings again, and apologies for the lack of updates over the last month.  Between traveling, trying to organize material deliveries, sole production, more travel and more trying to organize component production/deliveries – not to mention some financial issues that have arisen from certain corners of the country that have greatly effected leather purchasing and production schedules – I am a bit behind in long posting here.  Forgive me.

What is happening in the factories?  Well, they are slogging along, basically.  It’s hard to make boots without leather and soles, and we have faced shortages and delays (along with just about everyone else from my side of the fence this season) in both this season.  After a long wait, the Walnut shells arrived in Milan from Horween early June and went immediately into work.  I had hoped to have the pending orders for JGilbert Footwear out of production and in transit first or second week of July.  BUT, most of those orders were detailed with a custom ‘Commando’ style sole that I developed with a sole manufacturer in Parabiago.  Unfortunately, those soles were delivered late, and then the quality was not anywhere near what I want to use on my boots.  I have since instructed the factory to use the classic Lug Sole from Vibram that I have used for years – it works and that’s what I need for my quality level. I tried to satisfy a new itch, but am returning to what works and is dependable.  To develop new soles takes too long, costs too much money, and the results are not known until too late – I’m sticking with Vibram for my heavy duty outsole needs.  Lesson learned.  As of last nights work with the factory, I am hoping for all Walnut Shell Cordovan orders (both specials and stock runs) to be shipping in my August 8 shipment just before the factory closes down for Holiday.  Also, a couple pair of the Gunmetal specials should be ready by then.  I will know more and advise all at that time.

————note:  we received TOO much Walnut shell from Horween ( and, yeah, they make me pay for it), so there is enough on-hand to make another 14 pair or so for Winter, so don’t be shy – give Yenni a call at the shop in Seattle.

For Gunmetal….it arrived!  Friday.  And just enough to fill all open orders.  At this point I don’t expect to see these boots start to get packed up until mid-September, at the earliest.  I will be in the factory at that time and will be helping in finishing and packing and any issues will have been noted before then.

I had a talk with Skip Horween this week, and it really does need to be said that they need a good 6-8 months to do shell orders – especially custom colors such as this.  They won’t rush the process, and they shouldn’t.  I get a little stessed out……but that’s my problem.  Good things take time and we all just have to wait it out.  Or buy ready-made.

Speaking of ready-made…..stay tuned for a good series of posts regarding the new STOCK Goodyear Flex boots coming out of Calz. Borgioli for Rider Boot.  First small deliveries are here and getting ready to go.  We debuted these boots at Leffot this Spring and the reaction was fantastic.  Stay tuned please.

I am also getting ready to ship an exclusive colorway (pictured a stock colorway….they will show off their version) of the Ottowa Hiker to Need Supply here in Richmond, which they will be putting up for pre-orders soon enough.  Looks real good.

The F/W shipments to Japan are getting ready to go as well, with the Ottowa being the #1 boot heading in that direction for next season.  Strasburgo will have more information on which shops are getting those.

That’s about all for the moment……right around the corner will be new boots, new constructions and new details; ready-to-buy.