Viberg Color #8 Chromexcel Service Boot Review

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Viberg Color 8 CXL Service Boots

I first heard of Viberg through /r/goodyearwelt. Around 2014, a there were quite fewer number of boot companies around primarily made in the USA – Oak Street Bootmakers Trench Boot, Wolverine 1K Mile Boot, Aldens, etc. Viberg’s sleekness of their service boots and their quality was mentioned several times. Dayton boots also made in Canada were also quite popular (the black nubuck). By then, I already had purchased Alden Indy 403 Brown Chromexcel, Alden Shell Color 8 Captoe Boots, and wanted a boot that was military looking to go with my style at the time.

The 3 main colors of service boots that Viberg had on their site was Black, Brown/Icy Mocha, and Burgundy/Color 8. I actually wanted the Icy Mocha (which looks very similar to natural chromexcel), but the site didn’t have it in stock at the time with no estimated time to restock. Between the black and burgundy CXL, I decided with Color 8 CXL at a total cost of $735 USD including shipping. At the time, I thought this was going to be my one and only Viberg boot, so I wanted it the color and style to be as versatile as possible.

Details

  • Last: 2030 Last (Canadian Military Officer’s Last)
  • Size: 9
  • Color: Color 8 Chromexcel
  • Style: Service Boot
  • Specs: Brogued Captoe, Unstructured Toe Box with a contrasting black tongue
  • Sole: Dainite
  • Hardware: 7 Brass Eyelets
  • Price: $735 USD

Sizing:

I had already owned the Alden 403s on the Trubalance Last (9D), and Alden x Jcrew Captoe Boots on the Barrie Last (9D), and was confident I sized correctly in those. The general online consensus is that the 2030 last runs half a size large just like the Barrie and Trubalance. My brannock sizing is 9.5E, so I ordered a size 9.

The boots fit perfectly with thinner dress socks and stretched out comfortably to fit thicker wool socks later.

Scuffs and nicks

Impressions/Quality:

I remember the box the boots came in – it was the sturdiest shoe box I had ever felt in my life. Inside came with shoe bags, a handwritten note, and an additional pair of laces. The two pairs of shoelaces included were a flat waxed cotton black shoelace and a brown rawhide leather shoelace.

The depth of the color 8 chromexcel was really beautiful, such a stunning color. I don’t remember seeing any flaws that warranted returning. The black contrasting tongue was very thick but yet still soft. I initially wore them with the black flat waxed laces, but later settled on the rawhide laces. The toebox was unstructured and provided a very sleek/slim look from the top and sides.

I believe this was the first or second boot that had Dainite soles. However, this pair didn’t actually come with Dainite branded soles. It was actually Itshide which is slightly firmer and less flexible. I had problems with some of the lugs chipping off quite early on within the first couple of wears. I’m not sure why Viberg used Itshide soles for this batch, but in later makeups they switched back to Dainite. I like the soles because they’re really sleek, yet provide enough traction in rain to prevent a slip.

Conclusion

After owning them for just about 4 years, I think they were a solid purchase. Now that there are other quality boot competitors (Truman, Junkard, Thursday Boots) that also provide a slim last, it’s quite questionable whether Viberg boots are worth $700+.

Viberg Color 8 CXL Boot Side View

At the time I purchased them in 2014, they were the only company that provided a slim look accompanied with an unstructured toebox. Nowadays, Viberg has ventured into wider territory such as using Italian leathers, switching to goodyear welt, no longer producing unstructured toeboxes (I stand clarified by Frank P. @imustbefrank ! Viberg still produces boots with an unstructured toebox, but as of now all the CXL have a structured toe – may change in the future) , no more contrasting tongues. A lot has changed since then. Right now, I’d price these boots at around $500 new. Viberg hasn’t decreased at all in their quality boots, but now with increased competition in the market, they may not be the “best bang for the buck”. In addition, Viberg has held a couple sample sales where you can get a new pair of one-offs for $400 and below once a year. I’ve also been noticing companies being more liberal in placing them at sale prices such as Mr Porter, Superdenim, and Brooklyn Clothing Co.

I think the era of Viberg’s dominance in the market peaked in 2013-2015, and now if I had a brand new footwear wardrobe, I’d look into other options such as Truman boots. However, that’s another day’s discussion!

 

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