Field Notes: HAVEN Catalyst Boot


For Fall / Winter 2021 we debut the HAVEN footwear program, with the goal of building footwear that combines luxury level craftsmanship with technical performance to provide exceptional comfort, quality, and utility. This exciting entrance also allows us to offer a complete wardrobe, with full control from design ideation to sampling and iteration to final production. For the first model in this program, we create the Catalyst Boot, a versatile and utilitarian 3-season boot.

Looking for the utmost quality, we look to Onè Di Fonte, a small town in Northwestern Italy that is world renowned for its production of high-end performance footwear. The design draws inspiration from the Canadian military combat boot, a classic silhouette that is well known for its functional characteristics and timeless, rugged aesthetic. Using the best of both modern and traditional production techniques the Catalyst Boot merges high performance outdoor footwear with premium materials and finishing only found in luxury goods.


For the uppers we choose durable Kudu suede sourced from UK based tannery Charles F Stead and Co Ltd. Established in 1890, the family company has a storied history and global reputation for producing some of the finest leather and suede available. Kudu leather comes from a species of wild Antelope from Africa and is a versatile mid-to-lightweight leather with an extremely soft hand that is also immensely strong, and ages gracefully thanks to its malleable composition.


The suede is carefully outlined and cut using a hydraulic press and steel dies. During this process the leather is carefully inspected to ensure consistent texture, tones and quality. Specialized craftsmen then sew, shape and craft the uppers by crimping the back counter and front of the boot, installing the full leather lining and fastening eyelets. At this stage, the custom YKK Excella™ medial zipper is installed. Finally, the bottom of the upper is then carefully brushed and sanded, ensuring a completely flat and uniform base for the application of the midsole.


Developed for hiking and long distance backpacking, we utilize Vibram’s New Winkler outsole which provides lightweight grip and stability. Combining it with an Italian made Zeppa NG5 midsole and heel counter to provide lightweight comfort, stability and high-traction performance often seen in technical outdoor mountaineering boots. Protective tape is applied to the upper and glue is applied to the sole and bottom of the uppers and fixed with a specialized hot press. Any additional glue is then carefully cleaned and finally the shoes are put in a fridge at -16 degrees to chemically seal the glue. After a final inspection and cleaning, the debossed leather insoles are installed and the shoes are laced and packaged.