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Oak Street's

New Boot

$276, by Oak Street Bootmakers

  • Horween Leather Co. produces Chromexcel leather using a bark retannage from a proprietary recipe, and finishes it with a blend of natural oils and greases.

Chicago's Oak Street Bootmakers has made a name for themselves with hand-sewn American footwear—designed in the Midwest, bench-made in Maine and crafted exclusively with Horween leathers. But since the beginning, there was one thing they couldn't do. "Since day one, we've had consistent requests to make shoes out of a loden green leather," says founder George Vlagos. "The first samplings weren't right, so over the course of the last year we've worked to develop our own Chromexcel version with Horween." The result is a handsome trail oxford in an unexpected, but versatile color with a Vibram sole and rawhide laces that can take a beating. "Chromexcel is so incredibly oily that it never dulls and we want the shoes to be as water resistant as possible without having to add things like artificial waterproofers," says Vlagos. "This is naturally water resistant and we then pair it with waxed thread to help prevent moisture from seeping in at stitch points." Which means it's the kind of shoe you'll want to sport come snow, rain or shine.