In the vast realm of American made boots, a brand that stands tall, quite literally, is Origin Maine. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the depths of Origin’s linchpin offering – the Origin Lincoln 1861 Big Lug Boot. Buckle up as we explore every facet, from the boots’ initial impressions to leather quality, sole construction, fit and sizing, and more.
Origin Boots Overview
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a quick overview of what sets Origin Boots apart from the competition. Origin Maine is renowned not just for their exceptional boots but for their commitment to authenticity and American craftsmanship. While some brands may merely assemble their boots in the USA, Origin goes the extra mile by sourcing materials almost exclusively from home soil, embodying the essence of 100% USA-made.
As of the time of this review, Origin boasts five distinct boot lines, each with its unique array of sole options, leather colors, and shaft heights. Their transparency is commendable, breaking down every component of their boots, right from the source of the leather to the origin of the threads used. The only non-USA component is the midsole, but given their dedication to domestic manufacturing, it’s likely that they’ll resolve this supply chain challenge soon.
At first glance, the Origin Lincoln 1861 Big Lug Boot might not win a beauty contest, but beauty here is subjective. These boots exude an American heritage work boot aesthetic, reminiscent of the iconic Red Wing Iron Ranger. What sets them apart are unique flourishes, including a swirly-stitch on the boot’s waist, sewn over an extra layer of roughout leather on the inside.
Notably, the Lincoln is a cap-toe boot with two layers of leather at the toe, providing exceptional durability. If you seek a safety-toe boot, Origin’s Built Boot, with a fiberglass shank and composite toe, is better suited for demanding work conditions.
Leather Quality and Care
Origin’s leather sourcing, specifically Seidel leather, is not just about tradition but durability. Seidel leather, known for its longevity, gives the boots a rich pull-up quality. It’s infused with oils and waxes, making it weather-resistant and low-maintenance. The 2.5mm thick leather, combined with the double-layered back stay and toe, ensures robustness where it matters most.
The upper leather is heavily corrected, enhancing its resistance to scuffs and scratches. The roughout side has a substantial layer of wax, making it highly water-resistant. You can wear these boots without fretting about moisture.
The sole construction of the Origin boots is straightforward yet dependable. The front half is stitched down to the midsole, forming the “stitchdown construction.” This design ensures the front of the sole remains virtually indestructible. However, beyond the waist of the boot, the sole is primarily cemented, which does affect water resistance. The leather is lifted above the midsole by design, allowing water to penetrate.
Origin uses USA-made Vibram rubber soles for their boots, offering options like mini lug, heavy lug, or the Vibram Christy sole. The Christy wedge sole provides added arch support, making it an ideal choice for those with knee or back issues.
Fit and Sizing
Origin boots adhere to Brannock sizing, aligning with standard shoe sizes. If you wear a size 11 in Nike, you’d get a size 11 in Origin boots. This sizing consistency sets Origin apart from other American heritage brands, where sizing might vary.
Origin also offers EE wide sizes for all their boots, catering to a broader range of foot shapes and sizes.
Breaking in Origin boots is relatively hassle-free. The boots have a foam insert and foam footbed, which means there’s minimal leather that needs to be broken in. Additionally, the chrome-tanned pull-up leather of the upper is soft and flexible from day one. This ease of break-in sets Origin apart from boots made with natural insole materials.
What do Other Reviewers Say?
Numerous reviewers have expressed surprise at the comfort these tough-looking boots provide. The bison leather Origin boots have garnered particular attention. Sizing reviews consistently point towards Origin adhering to Brannock sizing, simplifying the ordering process.
Origin Boots Alternatives
If you’re considering alternatives to Origin boots, two prominent options come to mind:
Red Wing Iron Ranger
The Red Wing Iron Ranger is in a similar price range but is hailed as a more durable boot. It’s entirely made in the USA and stands out with a leather insole, leather midsole, and cork filler, along with a steel shank for added support. While it may require a more extended break-in period, the long-term comfort and durability make it a compelling alternative.
My Thoughts Overall On Origin Boots
In summary, Origin Lincoln 1861 Big Lug Boots offer top-tier material quality and construction. The double-layered toe and heel provide unmatched durability, and Origin’s commitment to American sourcing is commendable. These boots are fully recraftable, ensuring decades of wear.
However, there are some aspects to consider. The fit can be a bit narrow in the forefoot and wider in the heel, leading to initial heel slip. Additionally, the absence of a shank might pose arch support issues as the leather midsole breaks in.
1. Does Jocko own Origin?
Jocko Willink is a co-owner of Origin Maine.
2. Can Origin Maine boots be resoled?
Yes, any cobbler can easily resole Origin boots, thanks to their stitchdown construction. These boots can be resoled multiple times, ensuring a long lifespan.
3. How do you care for Origin boots?
Origin boots made with pull-up leather require minimal care. To recondition them, Venetian shoe cream is a good choice. For waterproofing and darkening the leather, you can use Obenauf’s LP. Using cedar shoe trees and a horsehair brush is also recommended for maintenance.