4606 --- Oil Tan uppers, 17-inch Welt
structed Engineer's type, field boot with
Ranger heel. Medium double leather soles
with embossed viscolized outsole, drill lined
vamp, outside counter pocket, grain insole,
shank rivets, inside rolled top band, in stock
D width, sizes 6 to 11 and 12.
Chippewa Engineer Boot from 1943 Catalogue.
The above graphics are from an actual 1943 Chippewa
It was a letter sending a catalog to a customer.
Click to view the complete letter >
From the 1943 Chippewa catalogue pictured on this page, we know the
engineer boot goes back to the 40's. However, in a August 7, 1980 letter (pictured
below) sent to a friend, the President/Director of Sales at the Chippewa Shoe Co., stated,
"it is the understanding of the writer that the Chippewa Engineer boot was
originally developed by this company way back during depression days. As far as we
know, it is American. Our engineer boot is made with a stovepipe leg and is
fashioned over what they call an English Riding Boot last. We have made the engineer
style for many years and it is a very common pattern with us, although the volume on it is
not as great as it used to be."
I would guess the volume did increase after this 1980 letter. I welcome
any comments and additional information to this history. In 1960's Sears catalogs,
the Chippewa made engineers (Sears name) were shown being worn by land surveyors. I
have thought this is how they got the name, engineer? And this has
been confirmed on the Chippewa Boots website. From the 2010 Chippewa
Boots website, "Chippewa Boots® is credited with developing the Engineer
Boot in the 1930's. The name comes from their original use by, among other
people, land surveyors."
I have been told by others
that train engineers first wore engineer boots, but this appears to be less
WESCO may be the manufacture of some of the early engineer boots. Does the
engineer boot have its origin before the depression days? After receiving a 1928
Chippewa catalog (pictured at the bottom) no engineer boots are in the 1928 Chippewa
catalog! This further substantiates the 1930's era for the start of
the engineer boot as does the information from Jeff (see below) in
< This letter is the 1980 letter that is quoted above.
It was sent to a friend that had requested information
as to the origin of the engineer boot.
< Click to view the complete letter.
If anyone knows of or has any engineer boots from many years ago, I would be most
interested. Sears appears to have been a main distributor for engineer boots made by
Chippewa during the 40' to the 70's. In the 1943 letter, Chippewa even recommended
to the customer, "In your locality we would recommend that you call at Sears."
I have engineer boots in the collection from the 70's and quite possibility some
from the 60's or earlier.
I received the following informative information from Jeff in Milwaukee who has
researched old Sears catalogs at the library:
"I checked at the Milwaukee Public Library and found that the first
appearance of engineer boots was around 1938. They were originally all of the l7 or
l8-inch height. It wasn't until later on that the ll-inch boots were found in the
catalogs. Also, during the war years, engineer boots disappeared from the catalogs. The
re-appearance of engineer boots was announced in the catalog after the war. I
remember the page saying something like, "Engineer boots are now back and are
available again." I hope this helps with your historical interest in these
Jeff in Milwaukee *
A 1928 Chippewa has been found.
Chippewa Engineer boots in 1928??
No Engineer boots in the 1928 catalog,
Only lace up loggers.
|This site is not a business, but is a private
collection. The opinions and comments are mine and are not those of the particular
brand or manufacture of the items pictured in this site. All information given is
based on my personal experience and knowledge gained from owning this huge classic
collection. Items are for display and are not for sale.
These pages are for non-profit informational purposes with no intention of
infringing upon the copyrights of any of the copyright owners.
* Jeff in Milwaukee
did not include his e-mail address in the comments he sent. Jeff, if you read this,
thanks a bunch for the information and if you do not want to be quoted, please let me
know. Otherwise, write back. I will get busy on the Brand Trivia pages
as you asked. Sorry for being so slow. Jerry
For many more pictures of the classic engineer boot, check out:
[ Engineer Boots ]