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    Entry/1st pair of boots in a covid world

    Hi All,

    (Please forgive me/redirect me if there's a thread which already touches on this subject!)

    Looking to get boots for the winter. Like many, don't know when I'll be commuting to the office again, but I still go to select places, mostly by walking. I live in Chicago, so winter is rainy/snowy.

    Most days I wear sweats; occasionally jeans and a sweater. Looking for something to withstand the elements, but also go well casually. I understand there's rarely "one boot" that'll meet all my needs. Ideally, I'd start my collection w/:

    1 casual/withstand-all-boot &
    1 leather boot (think nicer lace-up like a moc toe or something)

    I've ordered these Nikes below as a casual/do anything boot, and like them, but wanted to know - what do you all think about starting with these? Or instead of the aforementioned, going with something leather based and more traditional? The Nikes aren't usually my style, as they're more "streetwear" than I usually wear in my personal style. I do think they have a great balance of ruggedness, quality, and coolness factor, and can go fine with most of what I wear.

    Nikes: https://www.nike.com/t/xarr-mens-sho...earch_%7cPRODU CT_G

    Pics with jeans: https://photos.app.goo.gl/iJbB6wFxLr4oS5jz8

    Pics with joggers: https://photos.app.goo.gl/m9aL7zSgJiVkSsTe9

    So, should I replace these with something else, or get something IN ADDITION to the Nikes? I'm willing to spend around $200 for another pair of boots. Thanks in advance for any feedback!
    Oral B.

    #2
    Those Nikes are almost identical to the cold weather boots issued to me in the Army, haha. I'm always amused when my TA-50 issued gear is appropriated as a fashion item. But the military has always been a trend setter!

    Nonetheless, those boots are fine for trendy streetwear but they're probably not the best for the Dappered ethos.

    If you're looking for something that can be dressed both casual (jeans and a sweater) and smart (chinos, oxford, maybe blazer), I'd suggest the following:

    1) Black Chelsea's (here's a pair from Allen Edmonds)
    2) Service boots (here's a pair from Chippewa)
    3) Desert boots (here's a pair from Clark's)

    Your mileage may vary on price but these are just starting points. Meermin is a good spot to test these styles at a more affordable price point.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by garryowen47 View Post
      Those Nikes are almost identical to the cold weather boots issued to me in the Army, haha. I'm always amused when my TA-50 issued gear is appropriated as a fashion item. But the military has always been a trend setter!

      Nonetheless, those boots are fine for trendy streetwear but they're probably not the best for the Dappered ethos.

      If you're looking for something that can be dressed both casual (jeans and a sweater) and smart (chinos, oxford, maybe blazer), I'd suggest the following:

      1) Black Chelsea's (here's a pair from Allen Edmonds)
      2) Service boots (here's a pair from Chippewa)
      3) Desert boots (here's a pair from Clark's)

      Your mileage may vary on price but these are just starting points. Meermin is a good spot to test these styles at a more affordable price point.
      The Dappered ethos is exactly why I came here to get opinions - thanks for the recs! Chelsea's have been a longtime want of mine but just hard to justify while building my collection and not wearing any formal clothing!
      Oral B.

      Comment


        #4
        If I were to start over with one pair of dressy/casual boots for winter, I'd go with chukkas in a (mid to dark) brown tumbled/grained leather upper and danite/studded rubber sole. Depending on whether you wear more jeans/chinos/trousers, you could choose a smooth leather over grained for more formality.

        Here's an example from L&T. These are admittedly $350 but I don't see a grained leather variety from Meermin atm.
        https://www.skoaktiebolaget.com/coll...y-country-calf

        Comment


          #5
          Nothing wrong with those Nikes for slogging around in rain or snow, but I would wear them only to the most casual events, I think--i.e., hanging out with friends in a sports bar, grocery shopping, hardware store, hiking, etc.

          For a dressier option--I love my Carlos Santos, Allen Edmonds Stirling (discontinued, I think, but available in limited sizes--kind of like Hamilton or Dalton), and Wolverine 1,000 mile boots--they have a Chukka on sale for $250 right now. Also my JFitzpatrick button boots, but those are very pricy. He does have an entry level line now that starts a bit over $300, but will go on sale in the mid 200's if you get on his mailing list. I don't own those, so I can't give a personal recommendation.

          My Jack Erwin Chelsea boots aren't bad either. Not as good as the others above, but not bad.

          Links below if you'd like to check them out.

          https://www.herringshoes.co.uk/carlo...uimaraes-grain

          https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/m...hoCF9QQAvD_BwE

          https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/m...hoCF9QQAvD_BwE

          https://www.wolverine.com/US/en/1000...0-mile&start=1

          https://www.jfitzpatrickfootwear.com.../jf-line-boots


          https://www.jackerwin.com/collection...30331274592342


          Last edited by mebejoseph; September 30, 2020, 02:09 PM.
          WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

          Comment


            #6
            Also, if you are looking for a good value, check out Herring's house brand. They are most all goodyear welted. I have a pair of Herring shoes and I love them.

            These boots are on sale right now for $217 and are very sharp with GY welt and Dainite rubber sole. Customer service is excellent.

            https://www.herringshoes.co.uk/herri...ts/conker-calf


            But if the description doesn't specify full grain leather, be sure to ask them--some of their shoes are corrected leather and I prefer to avoid that.
            WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

            Comment


              #7
              Here's a few ideas:

              - Huckberry still has a few models and sizes of their Rhodes Dean Boots on sale. Those look like pretty nice starter boots to me. https://huckberry.com/store/rhodes/c...n-boot-cap-toe

              - Clarks Bushacres are about the best deal in all of bootdom. They can be found as low as $30-40 during sales. I have two pair I picked up at thrift stores for like $5 a pair. And since Bushacres (and CBDs, for that matter) tend to look better the more worn and beat up they are, they are a perfect thrift item.

              - Don't overlook Thorogood for a great American heritage work boot. Very comparable to Red Wings at lower (sometimes much lower) prices. Still union-made in the USA. Their moc toe work boots start at just over $200 most places and can dip below two bills if you find a good sale. I have a pair of Dodgevilles, which are basically Thorogood's version of Iron Rangers, that I found at Nordy Rack for around $150. The Dodgevilles are currently sold out, as best I can tell, but will hopefully be back this fall/winter.

              - I recently saw Danner Bull Run moc toe boots at REI for $140 during their Labor Day sale. That's another Made in the USA boot to watch. I believe that they run closer to $180 at full price, which is still a good value.

              - As I mentioned above, Nordstrom Rack is a great place to score a deal. Besides Thorogood, I've seen Red Wing, Wolverine, Danner, and Allen Edmonds boots there for crazy prices. Worth checking the website regularly.

              - Have you seen Urban Shepherd boots yet? https://www.urbanshepherdboots.com/products/originals These boots look fantastic! Traditional style, yet still different from your standard issue service boots and moc toes. And best I can tell, they are a real deal family shoemaking business in Portugal. I think there is a pair in my future.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post
                Here's a few ideas:


                - As I mentioned above, Nordstrom Rack is a great place to score a deal. Besides Thorogood, I've seen Red Wing, Wolverine, Danner, and Allen Edmonds boots there for crazy prices. Worth checking the website regularly.
                Indeed, right now you can get this Frye Blake-stitched boot for $140.

                https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/p...t?color=COGNAC
                Last edited by mebejoseph; October 1, 2020, 08:45 PM.
                WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
                  Nothing wrong with those Nikes for slogging around in rain or snow, but I would wear them only to the most casual events, I think--i.e., hanging out with friends in a sports bar, grocery shopping, hardware store, hiking, etc.

                  For a dressier option--I love my Carlos Santos, Allen Edmonds Stirling (discontinued, I think, but available in limited sizes--kind of like Hamilton or Dalton), and Wolverine 1,000 mile boots--they have a Chukka on sale for $250 right now. Also my JFitzpatrick button boots, but those are very pricy. He does have an entry level line now that starts a bit over $300, but will go on sale in the mid 200's if you get on his mailing list. I don't own those, so I can't give a personal recommendation.

                  My Jack Erwin Chelsea boots aren't bad either. Not as good as the others above, but not bad.
                  I think you're right about the Nikes - will just be my mainstay "do whatever and don't care about" boot for inclement weather, and then I can continue to search for another boot which will be more dressier. The links you provided and the recommendations about Nordstrom are great resources, thank you.
                  Oral B.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post
                    Here's a few ideas:


                    - Have you seen Urban Shepherd boots yet? https://www.urbanshepherdboots.com/products/originals These boots look fantastic! Traditional style, yet still different from your standard issue service boots and moc toes. And best I can tell, they are a real deal family shoemaking business in Portugal. I think there is a pair in my future.
                    Thank you! And these Urban Shepherds indeed look fantastic - perfect mix of work boot feel, yet still sleek.

                    Oral B.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post

                      - Have you seen Urban Shepherd boots yet? https://www.urbanshepherdboots.com/products/originals These boots look fantastic! Traditional style, yet still different from your standard issue service boots and moc toes. And best I can tell, they are a real deal family shoemaking business in Portugal. I think there is a pair in my future.
                      They do have some good looking boots, don't they?

                      I like these:

                      https://www.urbanshepherdboots.com/c...backroad-brown

                      WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If you like those Urban Shepherd Boots take a look at Chippewa Aldrich and Brentwood boots. They have similar styling, are made in the USA and can frequently be had under $200. Sierra has a few sizes right now for $115.

                        https://www.chippewaboots.com/footwe...in-usa/1901M25
                        https://www.chippewaboots.com/footwe...in-usa/1901M29
                        https://www.chippewaboots.com/footwe...in-usa/1901M26
                        https://www.sierra.com/aldrich-boots...processed=true

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have to second the Clark's Bushacre, particularly the beeswax-finished model. I had those for years and, although the style didn't agree with my narrow foot, their utility couldn't be beat. I put them on regardless of weather and knew they could take a beating. I got them at Nordstrom Rack for around $40. I'll also second NR for the other brands mentioned. I've seen (and bought, in some cases) Wolverine 1Ks, Red Wing Iron Rangers and Beckmans, Frye, Allen Edmonds there at very reasonable prices. You do have to hunt around a little but it can be worth it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            For a Chicago winter the Clark's don't seem ideal - that I don't think that crepe sole is going to get good traction on ice and snow. Maybe they have a version with more of a tread? In that case they'd work. You definitely want something with a tread for Chicago. I have the Chippewa Service boots and they have a nice tread, and I have the Thorogood moc toe work boots (steel toed version, fully shop floor safety approved) for work and they are very nice and have a tread. I've worn them shoveling snow and they do OK on ice and snow and are supposedly waterproof though I haven't really tested how waterproof they really are. In inclement weather I usually don waterproof breathable hiking boots of some sort. IMO neither the Chips nor Thorogoods are dressy enough to wear with a suit though, if that's what you're going for (but then neither are the Clark's for that matter). I think full grain leather brogues with a sole that has some tread would be ideal for wearing with a dressier outfit.
                            “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mark4 View Post
                              For a Chicago winter the Clark's don't seem ideal - that I don't think that crepe sole is going to get good traction on ice and snow. Maybe they have a version with more of a tread? In that case they'd work. You definitely want something with a tread for Chicago. I have the Chippewa Service boots and they have a nice tread, and I have the Thorogood moc toe work boots (steel toed version, fully shop floor safety approved) for work and they are very nice and have a tread. I've worn them shoveling snow and they do OK on ice and snow and are supposedly waterproof though I haven't really tested how waterproof they really are. In inclement weather I usually don waterproof breathable hiking boots of some sort. IMO neither the Chips nor Thorogoods are dressy enough to wear with a suit though, if that's what you're going for (but then neither are the Clark's for that matter). I think full grain leather brogues with a sole that has some tread would be ideal for wearing with a dressier outfit.
                              Yeah, you're right. Clark's aren't the best for ice and snow. I do find the Bushacres, which have a synthetic sole instead of crepe, do better for traction than CDBs. But they are both unlined and not very waterproof. Probably more of a three season boot in a place like Chicago. I would say that CDBs/Bushacres dress up to about business casual-level, but I wouldn't wear them with a suit.

                              Comment

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