- Horween Color 8 Chromexcel® leather upper
- Fully lined with black calfskin
- Blake Rapid Stitch welt construction
- Black Vibram® Ripple outsole
- Black double stitch throughout
- Reinforced leather pull tab
- Triple-stacked leather heel
- HELM signature white composite rubber midsole adds style and extra cushion
- Black Vibram® Ripple outsole adds traction and grip in inclement weather
- Black eyelets and speed hooks
- Black waxed cotton laces
- Seasonally updated sock liner quote and tongue stamp
- 323 lasted
- Shaft: 8½ in.
- Weight: 2 lb. 6 oz.
- Handcrafted in the U.S.A.
Notes From the Designer:
I grew up heavily influenced by rock bands. Fugazi, the Melvins, the Jesus Lizard, Black Flag and many more influenced me in so many ways. Supposedly unconcerned with and unintentional in terms of fashion, I was always looking at what the band members wore on their feet, and the boots were what drew my attention. Enter the Kiffen. Unique design was a must, but without sacrificing comfort. A heavy dose of military in my days at the army surplus stores gave way to putting it on the Vibram® Ripple sole. Originally invented in the ’50s for paratroopers, this sole is made to be shock absorbent and weather resistant, and it gives confidence and grip while in inclement weather. The story and the history are always invaluable. The upper, made of Horween, is a burgundy color known among the Horween crowd as Color 8. It’s been a preferred go-to of mine since 2012, when we released the Ben boot. The taller shaft and blacked-out hardware complements the deep, rich color of the leather and brings back the nostalgia I originally sought while also giving enough of an edge to make it modern. The leather stack wedge and white midsole also modernize and dress it up enough to lend to its fashionably rugged style. I kept the toe rounded via the 323 last so it stays true to its foundational influences.
Easy to talk to from the beginning, Kiffen’s friendship with the entire HELM staff grew over the years. He worked as a tailor next door to the HELM office, popping in once in a while and giving us an excuse to step away from our work, allowing us to ply him with coffee and ask him about his fiancée, Gwen, their adorably shaggy dog, Danger, or his latest project. He would show Joshua vintage styles of boots he owned, and they would talk back and forth about old boot design and vintage sneakers.
Over the years, as we talked about the “HELM family,” the phrase grew to include Kiffen. He has helped us with opening an installation space in Los Angeles, running a SXSW location on Congress Avenue, designing and constructing multiple furnishings in the East 6th Street store, and has modeled many styles of our boots for photo and video shoots in the Texas heat. With Kiffen’s extremely talented eye for design and a self-possessed, easygoing personality, it seemed obvious we needed a boot of the same name. “I like to name boots after people who are hardworking without bragging about how they are,” Joshua says. “Kiffen gets his hands dirty but doesn’t need to show you that he does.”