As I wrote on this blog on July 10, 2019, a long-standing boot retailer, Big Black Boots, closed up shop in July. This internet-only boot reseller company was very well known and respected in the “Bootman’s Community”, especially among those of us who admired a certain commanding appearance of certain brands of boots.
Big Black Boots specialized in fitting and selling Dehner motorcycle patrol boots and Wesco boots, in particular the logger, engineer (Boss), and harness boots.
In honor of the owners of this company’s contributions to my knowledge about these boots, and also having been a customer since the mid-80s when they first opened their business (via mail order), I bought…
…my last pair of classic bal-laced Dehner Patrol Boots via Big Black Boots.
These boots arrived in late August, which was rather fast considering that the Dehner Boot Company usually takes 8-10 weeks to make a pair of their motorcycle patrol boots for us non-LEO customers. (Actually, I am a Leo, but only by birth sign 🙂 ).
What attracted me to these boots was a new-to-me type of shiny leather product that Dehner offered for these boots. Dehner calls the leather coating “Wayfarer” (over Voyager calfskin). As usual, the company does not say much about it or where it is sourced. In fact, the Dehner website “Leather Guide” doesn’t even list or describe what “Wayfarer” is.
You can see that the Dehner Boot Company offer various leathers for motorcycle patrol boots, but only see “custom imported European calfskin” (smooth, can be shined nicely, but very expensive), “Dragoon” (oiled, grained, not shiny), “Voyager” (smooth and with work, will shine nicely), or “Dehcord” (synthetic and much maligned due to being easily damaged).
Then, looking closely, you will see on the Dehner website order page “Voyager — Wayfarer.” NO explanation about what that means shows anywhere on the website. (Hate to say it, but Dehner’s website is quite old and outdated, and only seems to be maintained with updates on pricing and a few other things. The website does not have a search feature and is very difficult to find information on.)
I digress… someone asked me about the Wayfarer product, so that intrigued me to investigate further. I called the company and asked. I didn’t get that much more information other than Wayfarer is not a leather — it is an application of a topcoat onto Voyager leather that makes the leather shine brilliantly. This application is the same as one sees on Chippewa “Hi-Shine” boots or Chippewa Firefighter Boots, of which I own several pairs.
This plastic topcoat application on the boots makes them appear to be brilliantly shiny. It does not crack or break (as far as I can tell) as the boots break in. Just some natural creasing (especially at the ankle when broken in as directed.)
These boots look sharp. They fit well with breeches. I also ordered them with a Vibram 430 “mini-lug” sole, which provides both traction and flexibility when walking. I now await cooler weather to wear them more frequently while riding my Harley.
But if you are a BLUF guy, and/or an admirer of tall black Dehner motorcycle police boots, and if you want a brilliantly shiny boot that you don’t have to maintain (other than a wipe now-and-then with furniture polish), Dehner Boots with Voyager Wayfarer are the boots you want.
Life is short: know your boots and the options for the leather used to make them. See these boots on my website here.