Clinch CN Last Soft Toe Engineer Boots – Horsebutt Brown

by Clinch Boots

Clinch CN Last Soft Toe Engineer Boots – Horsebutt Brown

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The Clinch 11″ Engineer Boots are quite simply Iconic in the World of serious boots and are often thought of as grail boots in terms of engineers. We couldn’t agree more. Without overdoing it, they really are quite special. They have a chiselled, handsome and almost dress like aesthetic, very shapely and slender whilst at the same time they look and feel “rugged” and aggressive and ready for any action or outfit. The silhouette is fantastic and is the cream on top of a painstakingly well crafted cake.

In terms of delivering what the boot connoisseur appreciates in the “workboot/ real boots” marketplace, Clinch boots really do tick all the boxes. They represent the best of the best in small ethical production, all hand made, old world construction, art, beauty and superior materials. Hand cut, sewn (upper, insole & welt), soaked, lasted, nailed, sanded and trimmed all in a small workshop in Tokyo. There is such a lot that goes into each pair.

Leather: The hand dyed (by Clinch) European Horsebutt is a mid to heavier weight, light/ mixed grain leather that has been hand selected by Minoru himself to represent and wear like a true vintage pair of engineers. Selecting this leather and each piece by hand to meet the standard is quite the task. It is a lovely luxurious and tough leather that looks fantastic when shaped and worn in (have a google). The hand dying gives a lovely depth of colour and will become more apparent the more you wear them.

Process: They are hand lasted using wooden lasts which also mean the boots can only be constructed by hand welting them which is a very time consuming and exacting process but also one which can offer unrivalled fit after break in and a truly personal and unique finish.

Materials: Clinch are extremely particular about all aspects of their boots and sourcing of the right materials is just as detailed and time consuming as the making. The majority of components are sourced from Japan whereas the leathers have been carefully selected from specific specialist tanners around the World.

We opted for a slightly lowered heel (one lift lower – about 2- 3mm) as we preferred the balance better with the soft toe versions here.

The fit: Being upfront, it’s not going to be for everyone. Please take a look at the sizing tab for more in-depth info about the two widths Clinch offer. If you don’t have high arches then you are in for a real treat. Due to the sculpted lasts and soaked and very comfortable insole they feel great when on, they are snug in the heel and early part of the mid foot and widen slightly at the ball and toe box to help accommodate the wider western foot. When on, they feel made for the foot, not mass market.

Sizing: Please see the sizing tab for full details.

These Clinch Engineer boots are on their classic CN last which feels quite standard (D width) throughout the foot. The heel, shapely mid-foot and ball are more standard than you would think from the images and there is good width at the toe also as they have a sort of squared off shape to them. Where most customers will struggle is getting them on. The area highlighted in Blue in the last picture is where they are at their slimmest/ lowest and, due to this, those of you with higher arches on top of the foot or who are heavier built around the heel to top of foot area will have difficulties getting them on and of again, if you can at all. Due to the lower vamp and slim shaft of the boot, they are more difficult to get on than other engineers (John Lofgren & Attractions for example) so we advise that they work well for people with flatter arches or with a slimmer back of foot area as in the pictures. When on, they are very very comfortable immediately and are just as wide throughout the mid-foot and toe as any of the below brands.

We strongly recommend going up a half size from the CN WIDE last in this normal CN last if you have experience with them.

Clinch boots are sized this way: 7.5 UK – 8 US – 9 Clinch Size. The CN last in 9 US in length alone (instep is different in the area mentioned) is very similar to:

Viberg 2030: 8.5 D

White’s Semi Dress: 8 – 8.5

White’s Smoke Jumper 4811 last: 8

White’s Cruisers: 8.5 US

John Lofgren Engineers: 8.5

JL M43: 8.5 – 9

JL Donkey Puncher: 8 – 8.5

JL  Chukka: 9 (8 is more comparable in length but these fit very close/ tighter)

Red Wing Iron Ranger: 9 – 9.5 US (8 – 8.5 UK)

Truman Boots (updated last): 9 US

Rolling Dub Trio Coupen/ Stan last: 8 US

Trickers (and majority of British brands): 8 G/F

Please get in touch with any sizing questions you may have. We will do our very best to assist you in as much depth as we can to get your sizing right. We have experience with a number of UK, European, Japanese and USA made branded shoes/ boots to help with comparisons and can take any measurements you may need.