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I had been eyeing these particular boots for sometime. The fact that Russet Horsehide Leather Boots are not made by any other company (that I know of) and John Doe's own description of the leather peaked my interest. If Horween themselves advised against using this leather to make boots, then why did John Doe Shoes do it and what are the benefits?
Despite wearing these everyday for the past week and a half, the boots have just started developing creases at the flex point! However, they have become more comfortable (or I have just gotten use to the pain haha) and the only sore spot is on my right heel. The 420 Last has a squared off shaft at the counter which makes for a somewhat weird fit around the ankles.
The counter is the only place I found quality control issues as both are stitched unevenly and at a slight angle. They match though and considering how hard this leather is to work with it doesn't really bother me (my jeans cover them anyways when wearing them). I did have a speed-hook fall off but that was more my fault as I caught it on the edge of a table. Hey, it happens. Both of these issues are cosmetic and do not effect the durability. In my opinion, that is more important.
These boots will last a long time and they will keep evolving. I have really gotten into natural, undyed leather boots lately as they have the most patina potential. These Russet Horsehide Boots from John Doe Shoes are no exception. The unique grain patterns on the leather pop out the more I wear them which is something I just don't see on my cowhide boots. As this pair breaks in, the leather will to start to show even more character and darken. I think that is what I am most excited about: the great stories these boots will tell for me over the years.
AKASHI-KAMA Carmine Wave Noragi Jacket *Photo from AKASHI-KAMA
Check out the AKASHI-KAMA Feature Page to learn more about the brand!
The Noragi Jacket is rooted in Japanese history as a garment that was mostly worn by the lower class. Its overall design helped it to be a long lasting garment due to being made with the Sashiko hand-sewing technique. Nowadays, like many of its workwear brethren of years past, the Noragi Jacket has transitioned to being a fashion piece in today's society.
The Noragi Jacket can be an everyday wear if you so choose. I have been throwing it on each morning as the weather here in the Midwest has been in the 50's and 60's. It is not as heavy as the lightest sweatshirt out there and can be easily taken on and off. The jacket is also comfortable enough to be worn inside on a lazy day and can be a fashion statement when you go out for casual occasions.
Wearing this piece in public is a great conversation starter. If AKASHI-KAMA wants to tell the Asian-American story, they certainly succeeded. In the short time I have worn this garment, I have had conversations with several people regarding it; including what the symbols stand for, where I bought it, and what my own personal knowledge of Japan is. I started thinking about how clothing used to be more expressive and fashion seen more as an art form instead of the money hungry industry it has become today. I think AKASHI-KAMA is one of those new brands that see those two factors as a reason for starting their company and will help push society back to that mindset.
Buy the Carmine Wave Noragi Jacket Here
Check Out AKASI-KAMA's other Noragi Jacket Designs Here
AKASI-KAMA's Feature Page