D. Lewis '36 pattern Flying Boots

D. Lewis '36 pattern Flying Boots

Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

July 6th, 2010, 9:45 pm #1

I had a very interesting email today from Derek Harris of Lewis Leathers (formerly D. Lewis) after he had seen a post of mine on here. Lewis's have a company archive and also try to obtain examples of company products including flying suits, boots, flying helmets etc. The jist initially was Aviakit, and the C type helmet produced by them (a part of Lewis').

Derek says, "I thought you may be interested to know that the Aviakit label can be seen in flying helmet dating as far back as the 30's. I work at Lewis Leathers (originally D Lewis Ltd) who produced a lot of flying kit during the 1920's -1950's and we collect these items for a company archive we are building, in fact, we recently posted a small blog article on the use of the Aviakit name on our website which you can see here:http://www.lewisleathers.com/139.html..."

Derek went on to say, "Finally, you may be interested to hear that we are re-issuing a very faithful version of the 1936 pattern flying boot for the Autumn, complete with D Lewis Ltd labelling..."

I asked if he would allow me to post that nugget here which he thought was fine, following up with some illustrations.



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Joined: September 7th, 2008, 5:53 am

July 7th, 2010, 3:46 am #2

Look to me like it is missing the famous Toine's seam. Also, the tongue looks too tall. I hope they do them right....

People would pay a hefty premium for ones that are gnat's ass remakes....

Cheers,

Smith-Smythe
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Joined: November 16th, 2003, 5:40 pm

July 7th, 2010, 3:53 am #3

The tongue (vamp?) looks about right to me but yes, the way it's attached to the upper seems wrong, looks like it's sewn over top. Is the pic of the boot at the bottom of the ad an original product, because it looks great, maybe it's the angle but the large pics of the repro make the toe look the wrong shape, too tapered, not 'square' enough.

Cheers!
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

July 7th, 2010, 9:36 am #4


Not bad, the tongue part looks right to me. But these will probably be quite expensive, and when period private-purchase pairs can be obtained, sometimes I wonder if it's best not to release a less-than-perfect product?

But not a bad job; probably the best modern repro of these I've seen.

If anyone has size 7-8 size shoes, I <em>might </em>be prepared to sell my 36 patterns...
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

July 7th, 2010, 9:48 am #5

Ive not got a pair of '36 Pattern myself, but dont forget, Lewis Leathers are recreating their former company (D. Lewis) civilian purchased boot, and not the government contracted RAF issue boot. It might have been that lewis made them for the RAF, but in my experience, Government factories who make similar items in bulk and at cheaper cost are usually slightly different. But I'll pass on your comments.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 7th, 2010, 12:01 pm #6

Not bad, the tongue part looks right to me. But these will probably be quite expensive, and when period private-purchase pairs can be obtained, sometimes I wonder if it's best not to release a less-than-perfect product?

But not a bad job; probably the best modern repro of these I've seen.

If anyone has size 7-8 size shoes, I <em>might </em>be prepared to sell my 36 patterns...
I would argue that these are the best repros I've seen. Note the correct vamp. The only instance I know of where this feature is correctly made. The only issue I had was the heel was too tall and I had this reduced by my local cobbler. Correct leather, off-white wool lining, leather sole, pull tabs, buckles, and construction.

The vamps on current footwear and other repros are a simplification that reduces sewing time. Does the complex vamp make a better boot? Of course not. Could they have gone with the overlap sewn technique used today? Sure. The old style was more skill oriented and produced a more polished finished product, IMO.



Last edited by AOC553 on July 7th, 2010, 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

July 7th, 2010, 12:03 pm #7

Ive not got a pair of '36 Pattern myself, but dont forget, Lewis Leathers are recreating their former company (D. Lewis) civilian purchased boot, and not the government contracted RAF issue boot. It might have been that lewis made them for the RAF, but in my experience, Government factories who make similar items in bulk and at cheaper cost are usually slightly different. But I'll pass on your comments.
Also note the leather; it's different to the AM type. This looks pebbled, which matches mine
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Joined: November 16th, 2003, 5:40 pm

July 7th, 2010, 12:34 pm #8

I would argue that these are the best repros I've seen. Note the correct vamp. The only instance I know of where this feature is correctly made. The only issue I had was the heel was too tall and I had this reduced by my local cobbler. Correct leather, off-white wool lining, leather sole, pull tabs, buckles, and construction.

The vamps on current footwear and other repros are a simplification that reduces sewing time. Does the complex vamp make a better boot? Of course not. Could they have gone with the overlap sewn technique used today? Sure. The old style was more skill oriented and produced a more polished finished product, IMO.



These were excellent.

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Can't remember who was behind them but I don't think they ever got past the prototype stage. IIRC the price was to be around 300 quid.



Cheers!
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

July 7th, 2010, 1:33 pm #9

I would argue that these are the best repros I've seen. Note the correct vamp. The only instance I know of where this feature is correctly made. The only issue I had was the heel was too tall and I had this reduced by my local cobbler. Correct leather, off-white wool lining, leather sole, pull tabs, buckles, and construction.

The vamps on current footwear and other repros are a simplification that reduces sewing time. Does the complex vamp make a better boot? Of course not. Could they have gone with the overlap sewn technique used today? Sure. The old style was more skill oriented and produced a more polished finished product, IMO.



Is that modern Chris or old? I mean, the Hawkins ones I have seen looked better than the ones shown before, but the ones you have posted look really good. Who made them?
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

July 7th, 2010, 1:34 pm #10

These were excellent.

[/IMG]

[/IMG]

Can't remember who was behind them but I don't think they ever got past the prototype stage. IIRC the price was to be around 300 quid.



Cheers!
Joel, were those the ones some chaps said were going to be sold on the forum a long time ago? They look really good.
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