Truman Boot Co. custom boots review

Truman Boot Co. is a relative new comer to the Americana footwear scene, having only established their small factory in 2014.

Taking inspiration from the rugged stitch-down boots of North Western America, Truman differentiates itself from the other, much older, bootmakers in building sleeker shoes with modern leathers.

The pair I am reviewing today is a one-off pair of boots made with the waxy Mohawk leather from C.F. Stead tannery. This pair was purchased at a significantly discounted price as part of a sample sale, otherwise a similar pair would retail at $530 USD with a ~13 week build-time.

Let’s have a look:

Firstly, the fit.

Truman’s boots fit true to Brannock size (TTS). This means that they run just a bit smaller compared with most boots from the other North Western makers such as White’s and Nick’s. The overall fit is a bit tighter, and you’ll need to size up if you want to wear heavy socks.

At TTS, the length is absolutely perfect for me, and the volume in the toe box is just right. Absolutely no discomfort in those areas, even during the first day of wear.

However, these boots are fairly narrow where the tongue and the vamp are connected – this resulted in uncomfortable pressure for me even with looser lacing and thin socks. I am hoping this area will stretch out after a few wears.

Overall, a sleeker shape and “lighter” aesthetic compared with more traditional American work boots, especially with the unstructured toe. Certainly a casual dress boot, and not something that is meant for manual labour – which is fine by me.

As mentioned previously, the leather comes from the Stead tannery and is named Mohawk – this appears to be a line of sueded cattlehide that have been heavily waxed. This pair is made with the Stone leather, which is not a stock colour at Truman.

This leather is very interesting. Immediately, the supple handfeel and the powdery surface tells me that the leather is packed full of fats and waxes. This Stone Mohawk leather measured 2.2 mm (5.5 oz).

After the first wear, during a rainy day, what I did notice is that this leather is fairly water & scratch resistant. The colour is pleasing, one of the lighter shades in the Mohawk line of leathers, and combines well with denim jeans.

Although there will be no grain evolution on this leather with wear – given the grain has been removed – how the waxy surface will change in terms of colour or smoothness should be very interesting.

I do not know how this leather will respond to feeding or waxing. Will definitely keep you updated in this regard.

The tongue is made of one piece of CXL horsehide in natural – very cool. The horsehide measured 1.8 mm (4.5 oz).

I rather like this single-piece tongue construction, although the resulting rolled edges on both sides do add to the already tight mid-foot section, contributing to the discomfort I am experiencing there.

You will notice in the photos that the tongue leather on the left boot juts out on top by a few mm. A slightly cosmetic flaw which could be easily corrected, I suppose.

The laces are made of a nice, thick waxed leather. A secondary pair of waxed cotton laces are also provided. I prefer the waxed cotton personally, as it laces more securely with a simple knot.

The midsole and heelstacks are rigid, natural leathers – a shade darker than most ‘natural’ sole leathers featured on other brands. The polish and edge finish on the midsole and heelstack were done very well – only mild unevenness in colour and one spot of staining noted.

The stitch-down is very neat, and there was only a small section on the R) boot where the stitches were a little wonky.

The stitches on the body of the shoe were done with thin brown threads, consisting of mostly double and single row stitching.

Overall, the construct was fairly neat: Pretty good compared with other North American makers, not as neat as higher-end Japanese workboots.

The inside of the boot was somewhat minimalistic. The insole is one piece. The vamp is leather lined whereas the tongue and the counter/back are not lined.

I would have appreciated a leather heel pad – not sure whether my pair did not feature the heel pads because they were samples, or if this was a deliberate design.

My pair has gold coloured hardware, in the 5 eyelet + 2 speedhook configuration.

The sole unit features black Commando sole & heel. Notice the nail-down of the heel.

I reckon they look pretty handsome on the feet, and the toe-shape is way old-school.

Service boot-like, with a Viberg-y vibe, and almost a little British!

Looking forward to seeing how the shape of the unstructured toes will change over time.

Overall, I am fairly happy with my first pair of Truman Boot Co. boots.

Personally, I think the styling is spot-on and the various customization options are pretty cool. The selection of leathers is also quite exciting – anything from Kudu to Italian horsehide. Overall, with the unique toe-shape, sleeker aesthetics and the fun leathers, Truman’s boots are easily distinguished from other American makers. An impressive feat considering the company only launched in 2014.

At $490 and up in most leather options, these aren’t the cheapest boots around. Though I do think the value is there, in terms of the aforementioned aspects which lend themselves to Truman’s signature aesthetic.

The only criticism I have regarding my pair is the narrowness of the mid-foot, near the top, where the tongue is stitched to the vamp. This makes the boots a somewhat uncomfortable to wear thus far, despite the length and the toe volume being perfect – I have not had this problem with other American boots before (my feet aren’t particularly thick at all), and I hope this problem will resolve with time as the leather stretches out.

Have a look at their website here!


5 thoughts on “Truman Boot Co. custom boots review

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