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If you’ve never heard of designer John Lofgren before, you’re missing out on some grail-level boots with incredible history. Lofgren has been making modern interpretations of classic footwear for the better part of two decades. He’s teamed up with Standard & Strange to create a super limited run of boots based on the original M-43 service shoe used during WWII. The basic specifications for production were “composition sole, welted construction, natural combination-tanned rough-out cowhide, all on the Munson last with an unstructured toe,” which led to quite a few different variations, odd batches and one-offs considering the number of contractors required to produce footwear for all the active servicemen. That led S&S to pose the question, “What could be out there that we haven’t seen?” The answer is these Black Cat Boots. Same Munson last and basic specs as the original, now paired with a Vibram 705 sole and a combination-tanned black Japanese rough-out steerhide. If you’re interested in picking up a pair of these durable boots, don’t sleep on the pre-order because they’re only producing two dozen pairs.

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