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This is perhaps the most peculiar leather we have. When we inquired Horween about this leather, they told us. You are not thinking about making boots with this leather. Right?
We certainly were thinking about making boots with this leather. So why was Horween telling us not to make boots with this leather? It's a very hard leather and it´s extremely difficult to make footwear with it. It won´t bend, flex or stretch like any other leather we have ever used, not even Shell Cordovan.
Why were we so stubborn to try it even against Horween's advice? Because we are THAT good at making shoes and the footwear made of this leather will blow your mind.
First, it's vegetable tanned leather at it's finest, almost no color at all but a light tan shade. That means these will develop a spectacular patina over time. I think you can even dye them if you wish. Speaking of time, we are not kidding when we say these boots will outlive you and at least three more generations. Hell, I think these boots and cockroaches would be the only remaining things in case of a nuclear meltdown.
This footwear is definitely not for the faint of heart or impatient people. Acquiring these boots is the beginning of a journey. While all our footwear is quite comfortable out of the box and requires almost no break in time, this is a different animal and I would suggest going nice and slow at first. But what is a month of breaking them in compared to eternity?
The russet horsehide boots I received from John Doe really did blow my mind. First off, this leather is amazing. I did not find the break in to be quite so bad as they made it out to be. There was a couple of blisters and a few days of sore feet but in the end it was totally worth it. Secondly, the construction and quality of the boots was unmatched at the price point I got them at. For a boot of similar quality you will have to fork out MUCH more at a larger retailer. A lot of folks point to QC issues with JDS but I was hard pressed to find any flaws in these boots. Finally, the customer service at JDS has been phenomenal. I pestered them with a million questions about which leather to choose, which style, the construction of the boots, you name it. They have always responded promptly and answered all of my questions in full. I am so pleased with my purchase that I am buying another pair in plain toe along with a pair for my dad. Not that I needed to, the first pair I bought really does seem like it will last the rest of my life. I am a couple of months in, I have been wearing them hard every day, and they have yet to show any signs of slowing down!
They aren't kidding with the leather description! These are beautiful but not for those who want comfort right out of the box! Imagine a RW Iron Ranger break in period but with tougher horsehide leather. So awesome and it will be totally worth it! Pure Veg. Tanned Leather is another highlight!