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.