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Himel Bros. x Viberg Engineer Boots

October 03, 2018

Himel Bros. x Viberg Engineer Boots

Dave Himel is tough on his footwear. When Brett Viberg, owner of Viberg Boot Mfg. Ltd., saw the brutalized engineer boots Dave was wearing in New York, LA, and Tokyo, he saw the seed of an idea—a pair of engineer boots, made to fit Dave’s hard-wearing, hard-working lifestyle.


Boots made from the toughest leather around—horsebutt—a leather that’s tough to work with, but even tougher to destroy. Not just any horsebutt, either: “warp shoe” or “crust” horsebutt. This American-made, chrome-tanned leather is left in an unfinished state, undyed, giving it unmatched capacity to develop character and patina. They chose solid nickel Japanese-made reproduction roller buckles, in classic Engineer boot style; and a nailed heel, made with custom, solid brass Japanese nails which do not corrode.


Four years ago, Dave’s first pair of Viberg collaboration boots looked like this. Now, after years of hard globetrotting, new soles from the Viberg factory, and being oiled and polished in four far-flung countries, they look like this:
            Dave and Brett selected the Horween Crust for exactly this reason: the incredible level of durability of the nearly-raw leather allows for an infinite variety and capacity for character and patina.
        These boots have been on hundreds of journeys. They’ve seen woods, streams, snows and cities. That means rain, snow—all weather in all places.  
Dave Himel wearing Himel x Viberg boots in Santa Croce, Italy, source of the Himel Bros. Victoria Horsehide.
David Himel wearing Himel x Viberg in Chicago, source of the Crust Horsebutt used in their manufacture.
David Himel wearing Himel x Viberg in Chicago, source of the Crust Horsebutt used in their manufacture.
The Himel Bros. x Viberg Engineer boots three years into their lifespan.
Dave showing off his boots in Himeji, Japan, source of the legendary Shinki Horsehide



  • Horween Crust Horsebutt Leather—tough as nails, and as close to raw as leather gets.
  • 2005 last specifically developed by Viberg for their engineer boots, in use for 40 years. Delivers enough depth in the instep to allow for a pull-on boot. Classic round-toe shape in the forefoot.
  • Stitchdown construction from the vamp forward—two rows of stitching, the inner row fastening the upper to the midsole; the outer row goes through the upper, midsole, and outsole. Stitched with a vintage Rapid E machine at the Viberg factory in B.C.
  • Nailed heel—made with solid brass Japanese nails, custom made for Viberg.
  • Hardware—solid nickel Japanese-made reproduction roller buckles.

The Viberg for Himel Bros. Engineer Boot is available now—preorder it right here.


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How to Order


How to order a custom jacket:

This is a brief explanation of how to order a custom Himel Bros. leather jacket.  Many jacket buyers will have previous experience with tailoring or may own other custom pieces, and as a result have a very clear picture of their style and size. The following fitting primer is written for the first time buyer.

Selecting your style: 

Think about your fashion style.  If you ask your friends, they’ll probably be aware of your look and style.  Are you classic, a sportsman, a rockstar, a motorcyclist or maybe a hero?  Each Himel Bros. jacket has an iconic look ranging from staid to outrageous.  When selecting a jacket it’s important to take careful consideration of what works best with body type and your personal style.  The Heron, for example, has a looser fit and suits the widest range of body types, whereas the motorcycle styles are slimmer, and best suited to an athletic body type.  Typically, most people can be grouped into three main body types: the average build, the muscular build, and the husky build.  Our jackets are built for an average build, so it is important that if you are muscular or husky that you include that in a note.  We of course ask for photos in a tight t-shirt front and side to assess your posture and build. 

Selecting your size: 

Once you have been through our instagram and social media and have settled on your desired style, the next step is finding your correct size.  There are two important factors to consider in this process: your body size and jacket size.  Your chest measurement corresponds to our stock size.  For most people this is all you will need.  If your chest measurement under your armpits is 40 inches you will wear a size 40 jacket.  We have a video that shows you how to do it yourself, or you can see your local tailor (the first timer will likely need to do this).  It is important to assess your arm and waist measures as well.  Consider if you are average or if you have monkey arms or a big belly as any unusual proportions will have to be addressed through the ordering process.  Below we offer a diagram you can have filled in by a local tailor or a friend with a measuring tape.  For a first timer with an average build, our stock sizes are usually sufficient, so when in doubt stick with that. 

If you are concerned about fit and still not confident as to your correct size, you also have the option to ship us a properly fitting jacket and we’ll build-up your jacket from that.  Ideally the jacket you send us will be of a similar style to the one you’re ordering (leather jackets obviously are best for this purpose).  Before you ship us your jacket, make sure to take pictures of youself wearing it so we can assess fit: at minimum we require a side shot and a front shot. Then arrange at your cost to ship the jacket to Himel Bros.  Please note this on the order in the notes section.  Your jacket will be shipped back with your new bespoke Himel Bros. jacket.

For the more particular or tailored order, you can send us very specific measurements.  For example some gentlemen have thicker wrists or lift weights and require a different flatter shoulder slope or wider cuff.  If off the rack jackets pop up on the shoulders it is usually due to a muscular posture and you should let us know.  So in our video you can use measurements from a similar jacket in style to the one you are ordering.  Of course we would appreciate pictures of you in that jacket front and side if you are using measurements from an actual jacket.  Review the illustrations throughout this website that detail where to measure to provide us with accurate measurement for your custom jacket.  It is not required to give us all the measurements, just the ones you want changed.  Any specific custom measures or features you wish on your jacket we will need them in advance and in a note when you order. 

Picking your leather:

We provide lots of information about our leather types, colours, finishes and characteristics.  The order page gives you all the available options.  For anything else you will have to email us in advance of ordering.  Our instagram feed shows lots of examples of our custom jacket orders. 

Picking thread colour, liners and special features: 

We offer images and descriptions of all our liners, threads, buttons and zips.  Generally each style comes with its stock options on buttons and zips, however you can chose your liner and thread.  If you like to showcase our superior sewing techniques contrast thread is the best option.  If you like a flashy liner or prefer something more more staid we have options for you.  Extra pockets or other options are possible it is best to email us in advance.  You can even choose between brass or nickel silver hardware.