Over 20 years ago, General John J. Pershing oversaw the development of a new service boot for the American Expeditionary Forces that was designed specifically to handle the muddy surfaces of trench warfare. Not only did he see that first model through to its completion, he also evolved it nine times until the end of World War I, with each new iteration being a much improved version of its predecessor. That combat footwear became the M1918 Pershing Trench Boot. And while you can get reproductions of that exact same combat boot today, the Oak Street Bootmakers Type 10 Trench Boot evolves that classic service footwear for more contemporary needs.
Why not just get an M1918 reproduction that stays faithful to the original? Mostly, because you’re not actually fighting a war… in trenches… that are covered in cold mud. Instead, you’re a dude who just wants a nice pair of boots that will look good with your selvedge denim or whatever other trousers you want to pair with it. As such, we have a feeling this updated variant, much like other contemporary Pershing-inspired boots, will suit you a whole lot better.
The Oak Street Bootmakers Type 10 Trench Boot is a rugged boot shaped using an Elston last, which is the outfit’s specific form for everyday footwear. According to the outfit, this shape should deliver all-day comfort for nearly all foot types, all while providing a generous amount of room at the toes. It has an upper cut in Horween Chromexcel Roughout leather, which is a light, flexible, and durable material with a suede-like surface that’s designed to develop even more character over time, along with a calfskin lining that’s gentle on the feet (not that it matters because you should wear combat socks with your combat boots).
It gets tone-on-tone stitching, so it has that no-nonsense, single-tone aesthetic of traditional combat boots, along with hand-burnished toes and heels that give it just that extra dose of character from one end to the other. A partially-structured toe makes it easier to pair with different denim styles, while rawhide laces and antique brass hardware round out the classic look of the boot’s upper.
The Oak Street Bootmakers Type 10 Trench Boot uses an Itshide Commando sole, which is well-known for its high resistance to wear and exceptional non-slip properties. It has rubber star extrusions in the center that deliver both cushioning and traction, along with outer lugs that provide stability and offset pads (toe and heel) for shock absorption. Basically, it’s the type of sole that absolutely deserves its place in a combat boot-inspired footwear.
Like many high-end boots, it uses Goodyear welt construction, so it’s 100 percent recraftable, allowing you to resole the shoe over and over until the leather finally throws its hands up and taps out. It’s also US-made, in case you’re wary of footwear built in shoddy factories with unreliable craftsmanship. In case you’re getting one, the outfit recommends choosing your exact size, as the leather is supposedly designed to stretch to conform to your feet over time.
The Oak Street Bootmakers Type 10 Trench Boot is available now, priced at $474.