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Brown boots for grad student?

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    Brown boots for grad student?

    My current everyday shoes are about to die. I have only recently made any sort of attempt to be fashion conscious and have lurked here for a while, so bear with me. I am currently in graduate school, so there is no need for the shoe to be particularly formal. In fact, pretty much any kind of shoe that is not a sneaker seems to be considered formal by grad student standards.

    In starting the search for new boots, I found myself unsure as to what kind of boot would be appropriate for my environment: chukkas? dress boots? work boots? I know leather soles are preferred, but as a commuter, I have already eaten “it” several times walking on the sidewalk in leather soled shoes during winter, so I would definitely prefer a thin profile rubber or composite rubber/leather sole. I generally wear jeans (and on occasion, corduroy or khakis) with a button down shirt (or fleece in the winter).

    Despite my confusion as to what kind of shoe is appropriate, I do have a certain aesthetic in mind: a brown, finished leather boot which covers the ankle and has a rounded, but sleekly tapered toe. I hate wingtip brogues, but like quarter and half toe cap brogues. I would definitely like to avoid Chelsea boots. Likewise, I am not a huge fan of the workboot studs, but am willing to compromise there. Finally, the sole really can't be leather, but many of the rubber soled work-like boots have huge profile lugged soles, which I don't like. As for full height vs ankle, I would prefer ankle, but would be fine with a full height boot.

    My search yielded a number of results and was hoping to get some comments/feedback on their style, suitability to my needs, and durability. These are nice, and are a nice compromise between the studs and style (in my mind). These are nice as well, but I am not sure about the monk strap and somewhat square toe. I I know that most people here tend to think that Stafford shoes tend to be of lower quality. I don't think that imitation leather is a good idea. These have been debated on this site a bit, but they are I was hoping to avoid such obvious studs. The overall boot looks pretty good though.

    I also found a couple of chukkas which meet what I am looking for a bit more. Most were a bit too clunky for what I wanted. These Timberlands look pretty nice, but are out of my price range. this pair. , and these look pretty good as well.

    I know that I am a bit all over with styles here, but that is a function of me not knowing what is really appropriate and just going on overall shape of the boot.

    Edit:I suppose I should note that I am also considering cowboy boots, but those generally seem out of my price range unless I look to ebay (I am not a huge fan of no returns on shoes purchased online).

    Edit: I didn't even know that Caterpillar made boots:


    I have these and have received many compliments on campus



      I would say that the general opinion of this board is the Safford boots are of surprisingly good quality considering their price. I checked out the Safford Wingtip boots, and if I didn't already have a pair of the Allen Edmond Daltons, I would have bought them.

      Stacey Adams and Steve Maddens tend to look really cheap. I would those.

      I do like the Safford and Florsheim boots you linked. I would recommend one of those



        If you're going to go with Stacy Adams, I recommend going for the $170 Brockton (Goodyear welted & decent leather) over the $100 Madison. I own a pair of grey SA Madison boots. Great beater boots, but they're just that: beater boots. Do keep in mind SA's run narrow and about a full size small.

        H&M clothing is questionable in quality. Do stay away from all H&M footwear. You're better off saving that money and putting it toward a quality boot.



          What's your budget on this pair of boots?



            Let's say 100 firm and it would be nice if we could find them for <75 (however I realize that it's unlikely).



              Ryan's follow-up question is clearly the most important one in my mind, as the answer would largely dictate what I might recommend.

              [EDIT: never mind, it looks like you were answering that question as I typed my initial post! With $100 as your ceiling, I'm afraid I'd better bow out of this conversation, as I don't know of anything worth recommending at that price point.]

              Also, what are you in grad school for (i.e., what are you studying/what degree program)?



                Environmental engineering



                  Florsheim Vance.

                  Plain toe chukka, rubber sole with a fairly discreet sole/heel profile, which is similar to a leather sole/heel boot. $120, was $90 at JCP this week.



                    I'm going back on my initial reluctance to recommend anything, but I need to preface this before I post the links. Obviously, the boots I have in mind are classic work boots, with the larger eyelets/speed hooks/studs you specifically mentioned in your post. They (at least the captoe ones in my first link below) would also appear to be out of your price range, but the retail price is a bit deceptive.

                    Chippewa makes a bunch of boots, of varying quality and style. But they're responsible for the L.L. Bean Katahdin Iron Works captoe boot, which is essentially a lower-cost and slightly lower-profile alternative to the Red Wing Iron Ranger. To get an idea what these boots -- which definitely are work boots -- can look like "dressed up" or with jeans covering the speed hooks/lugs, take a look at some of the photos in this thread:


                    If those boots are of any interest to you, they're readily available from various locations online. They're $180 new from L.L. Bean ( ), but can be had for around $100 elsewhere.

                    Alternatively, some of Chippewa's "Classics" might fit the bill:

                    Beyond those, Cause Moe's suggestion looks like a fine one. If you're in the market for a chukka, that's a good compromise between quality/durability and price.

                    In general, ultra-shiny split-grain leather, cheap kidskin, and faux leather are defnititely not something you want any part of, especially if you live in an area where frozen precipitation and salted sidewalks are frequently part of your commute.