Engineered Garments x White's Boots - Poleclimber - Releasing 04.08.23
Engineered Garments teams up with White's Boots to create the Engineered Garments Poleclimber, a low-cut version of the company's iconic work boots. A spiritual successor to the original Nepenthes x White's Boots Poleclimber - released about 23 years ago - this unique collaboration is available in Black, Distress, and Red Dog. Releasing exclusively at Nepenthes New York on Saturday, April 8th.
White's began in 1853 when Edward White opened a one-person work boot shop in Connecticut. His son John took the business to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in the 1880s, developing new designs for the loggers and miners of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The family moved again a few years later, spying opportunities in the Pacific Northwest's burgeoning lumber industry. As the logging industry shaped America's Pacific Northwest, White's Boots would shape the loggers.
The company's legacy is due to the third-generation son Otto White. His fanatic devotion to comfort and meticulous study of foot anatomy is responsible for Arch-Ease – the company's orthopedic construction, patented in 1926 - and his business savvy brought the company to Spokane, Washington, the sole threshold between the Pacific Northwest and the East, where it remains today.
White's Boots debuted its classic lineup in the late 1920s to 30s, including the Sportsman, Summer Logger, and Packer. The boots' comfort and durable double-row hand-stitched construction made them the footwear of choice among loggers. The company continued to expand, designing boots for logging-adjacent industries as well.
During the 1920s, electricity became widely available for the first time, even in rural areas. Electrical lines were hung in the air, suspended from pile-driven logs, giving birth to the lineman.
The original White's Lineman is a high-cut boot running nearly to the calf with a combination eyelet and D-ring fastening system. They also featured a structured toe and an additional reinforcement patch on the medial side of the boot.
The Engineered Garments x White's Boots heavily modifies the original designs while keeping its spirit intact. Daiki removes the boot's top half for a low-cut Oxford-style shoe. Crucially, the inner lineman reinforcement patch remains. This asymmetrical feature in the orthodox version aligns with Engineered Garments' designer Daiki Suzuki's penchant for mismatched footwear.
The Engineered Garments Poleclimber uses the Northwest Last, which has a deep toe-box and wide ball and heel sections. It also has the lowest arch of any of the White's Boots lasts, which provides an instantly comfortable fit and makes them easy to break in. Naturally, every pair has hand-sewn stitch-down construction - lasted, welted, and bottomed in their Spokane, WA. The Poleclimbers' leather shank provides stability while allowing more flexibility than a metal shank. The Vibram 2021 lightweight sole features lightweight Morflex rubber, flat-wedge makeup, and tiny ridges for traction. White's sources oil-tanned leather from Milwaukee's Seidel Tanning Corporation. Finally, a kiltie appears on the boots' vamp to keep the laces clean.
This release integrates Engineered Garments' unconventional design style with White's Boots dedication to tradition and utility. What may appear as an assuming pair of Oxfords reveals its secrets upon closer inspection, as each handmade Poleclimber tells its part of the EG and White's story.