From Victorian era curiosities to early 20th century equestrian and motorcycle wear to rare WW2 era items - Black Sign garments are beautifully constructed, with a shared identity and aesthetic cohesion running through the collection to a degree we rarely see in brands focusing on reproductions & recreations.
Inspired by a vintage sample of aviator's engineer boots, these are based on footwear from the 1930s, having originally developed from pull-on roper boots issued to soldiers during the first World War. These were among the first wave of what that would go on to be known as Engineer Boots, born from a need for sturdy and secure boots that could be put on or removed quickly and easily, without requiring tedious lacing. The original sample boots from the 30s that inspired this style are included in our photographs, for reference.
The Black Sign Aviator Boots are hands down some of the most handsome Engineers we've ever carried. Standing at a remarkable 14.5" height, these are less "biker" and more "pilot" or "equestrian" with a lowered block heel (as opposed to the usual logger heel), extended shaft, and sleek 270 degree flat welt. Unlike other more modern boots, these lack a traditional heel counter, being finished with an internal seam where the vamp meets the rear half of the boot - imbuing a sleeker and more antique aesthetic throughout, but increasing the time and effort it takes to produce each pair.
They're made from a black, tea-core horsebutt leather, with a semi-gloss finish and a thickness of between 2.3mm and 2.5mm - dense, but not overly stiff, these will break in to the shape of your foot with wear. This vegetable tanned leather is sturdy, with natural scars and blemishes across its surface, and the subtle grain texture of a high quality horsebutt. Over time, the black dye will scuff and wear down, revealing the natural brown core beneath, developing a classic and highly sought-out vintage patina.
Given their impressive height (that stands about 3.5" higher than your average engineer boot), these look fantastic when styled with breeches or other similarly vintage-type pants. If that's not your thing though, the shaft does fit comfortably under your favorite pair of straight leg trousers for a more contemporary look.
The hardware is as impressive as the design and material selection, with solid cast iron (not die-cut) buckles, and a classic Biltrite half outsole and heel combo - an excellent combination both in terms of historical accuracy, but also in regards to traction, durability, and comfort. The outsole leather is sourced from England, having been slow tanned in oak bark, resulting in a leather that both is more supple and durable than other chrome-tanned alternatives.
These are a standard heritage boot fit, meaning they run large when compared to sneakers. For the best fit, we suggest taking 1 size smaller than your brannock device measurement.
- 2.3mm - 2.5mm Japanese horsehide leather
- Vegetable tanned
- Glossy finish
- Tea core leather
- 14.5" shaft height
- Oak-tanned outsole leather
- Goodyear flat welt
- Partially structured flat toe
- Gusseted shaft opening
- No heel counter
- Vintage construction details
- BILTRITE half sole and heel
- Custom iron hardware
- Custom last
- Size down 1 from Brannock
- Resoleable and recraftable
- Made in Japan
We reference Brannock sizing for our footwear. The Brannock Device is the standard foot measuring tool for the world's footwear industry. Most better quality footwear stores will have one.
If you're unsure about sizing - please contact us before ordering these boots. We're friendly, we promise.
Built on a custom last, with a tall shaft and roomy heel cup. We find the fit to be fairly standard for an engineer boot, with sizing that aligns with many other heritage lasts. These are designed for easy wearing and removal, and those bothered by the particularly "swimmy" feel of engineer boots like these can mitigate heel slippage with the Protalus T-75 insole.
Narrow and low volume feet:
- 1 size smaller than Brannock for a comfortable fit
- Thick socks or an insole recommended
D-Width and average volume feet:
- 1 size smaller than Brannock for a comfortable fit
- Thick socks or an insole may enhance the fit
E & EE-Width and high volume feet:
- 1 size smaller than Brannock for a snug fit
Our Oakland and Santa Fe stores are open for cubside pickup. View our curbside pickup info.
Due to USPS service delays, we are shipping most USA orders via UPS Ground until further notice. If you prefer to have your order shipped with USPS, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Bandanas, Patches, T-Shirts, Socks, & Hats - $5 via USPS First Class Mail
Curbside pickup: Free
Orders $300 and over - Free shipping via UPS Ground
Orders under $300 - $12 shipping via UPS Ground
Expedited Shipping (1 - 2 business days) via UPS - $40
Canada Shipping - Orders under $400
USPS First Class (10 - 15 business days) - $18
USPS Priority Mail (5 - 10 business days) - $35
DHL Express (2-3 business days) - $55
Canada Shipping - Orders over $400
DHL Express (1-3 business days) - $50
Rest of World Shipping
DHL Express (2-4 business days) - $55
We want you to be comfortable shopping with us online without being able to touch the product. Before you purchase, please check the size charts we provide against your favorite garments.
- Exchanges or returns for store credit will be accepted on full-price items within 14 days of delivery (as verified by courier)
- Items sold on sale or discount are final sale, no returns or exchanges.
- Items must be in original condition with all tags attached.
- Items that have been washed, hemmed, altered, excessively worn, set aflame or touched by a private equity firm cannot be returned.
- All return and exchange shipping costs are your responsibility
- We will process all returns within 3 business days of receipt
- Our team will acknowledge receipt and action take with your return
- Full terms and conditions are here.
- If you have questions at any time you can reach us at email@example.com or use our contact form, or phone us at 510-373-9696.