Retrospective on our Hand-welted Line

Our Why

In June 2023, we launched the Caswell hand-welted line in response to our community's call for more customization options, a need highlighted by the excitement around our special releases earlier that summer. When we began developing this line, we noticed a gap: outside of the PNW work boot space, few U.S. brands allowed customers to tailor every part of their boot without limiting them to a small selection of options such as outsole and cap toe customization. This discovery led us to investigate further.

We quickly identified a common obstacle: scale. For a custom line to be economically viable, producing at a larger scale is often necessary because it brings down costs, particularly for materials like leather. However, working with smaller batches or even individual hides poses challenges, such as a higher cost and little room for mistakes. Creating custom lines is a delicate process, requiring precision to meet both design and quality standards.

Understanding these complexities, we decided to embrace the challenge, knowing well that building this line would be a journey. We were prepared for it to evolve over time into the valuable offering we envisioned. Our aim was to provide an unparalleled custom service that includes a wide variety of design options, access to exceptional leathers, and unique sole choices that are hard to find all in one brand.

How the Line Came to Be

Finding the right manufacturing partner was key. We needed a shop that could keep up with our orders and match our level of quality without missing a beat. We didn't hold back, picking the best materials for every part of the boot. Over 80% of our internal build materials are sourced locally here in the United States through partnering with smaller vendors.

Although this approach provides us with full control over our build process, it does come with its set of challenges:

Quality Control: Making sure each boot lives up to our standards is crucial. Dealing with factories far away can make it tricky to keep a close eye on everything, which is why we rely heavily on clear communication and trust. Even upon completion and prior to dispatch to our customers, we've set up a detailed 15-point check for each boot to ensure top quality before it goes out to you.

Material Sourcing: Finding the right upper leather for our boots means looking worldwide, which can sometimes mean dealing with unpredictability in quality and supply. We spend a lot of time choosing suppliers, running production orders, and carefully inspecting the leather that we take in.

Logistics and Timing: Working with teams in different time zones and getting everything shipped out on time means we've got to be on top of planning and flexible enough to adapt when things change. Our MTO delivery timeline is fairly quick with our standard timeline to completion at 7-9 weeks. Currently, we have had to reset our timeline given high demand to 9-11 weeks, but we do look to bring things back to normal in the near future as we move through orders.

What Makes Our Hand-welted Line Unique?

We take tremendous pride in curating a collection of the best and most unique leathers, a task that has taken us countless hours but has been worth every minute. We've made some great connections with some of our favorite tanneries, like Gallun Leather, which lets us come up with our own special leather finishes. Our selection has everything from calf to bison, boar, and goat, giving you endless choices to choose from. 

Boot Style

Our hand-welted line, currently is comprised of three styles:

The Garrett, a cap-toe boot also known as a Jumper Boot. The Garrett has a clean and simplistic pattern which is complimented by small design choices such as the backstay design and rolled top. 

The Eastman, a plain toe Boondocker, pays tribute to the classic boondocker pattern reminiscent of trench boots, affectionately known as "boondockers." This boondocker style was known as the official work shoe of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.

The Danville, a true hand-sewn Moc-toe boot. The "moc toe" style is derived from "moccasin toe," which means the boot features a toe box designed with a noticeable seam encircling the top, resembling the look of a traditional moccasin. This distinctive seam is hand-stitched, not only enhancing the boot's visual appeal but also its strength and longevity.

Last Selection

Our hand-welted line offers two lasts designed to fit a wide range of sizes. Whether you've got wider feet or need a specific fit, our lasts are crafted to make sure most of our customers can find a boot that fits well.

The Morris Last increases the volume in the toe box while embracing the polished look of our Wayne last with its soft, almond-shaped toe box and an oversized D width, making it an ideal choice for those with wider D and E foot widths. The Morris last has a normal instep and when compared to the Porter Last, the length of this boot is slightly longer due to its given toe box shape. 

The Porter Last is designed with a round toe box and narrow heel and is a true E width, accommodating those with wider D and E foot sizes comfortably.

Please see our sizing guide for more sizing information

Taking the Fitting Experience to the Next Level

We know finding the right size can be a hurdle, which is why we offer a try-on service. We'll send you a variety of styles and sizes to try at home, helping you find the perfect fit without any stress. Currently this service is available for the Porter last in sizes 7-14D with additional sizes to be available for the Morris last in the future. 

 An Open Invitation to our Community 

We're here to help you create boots that are as unique as possible. Got ideas or questions? Please feel free to reach out at or give us a call at (202) 596-9536.


Special thanks to our friend, Chris Wells, for his help in authoring this article.