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AE HM Boots @ $295 vs. Huckberry Rhodes Dean Boots

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    AE HM Boots @ $295 vs. Huckberry Rhodes Dean Boots

    I’ve been planning to buy the AE Higgins Mill Boots, now at $295. The Huckberry Rhodes Dean Boots seem like a nice boot for $187. Anyone have those? Hate to regret not “stepping up” to the AE’s later. (Sorry in advance for the bad pun.)

    #2
    Deans Boots are $154 right now. Tempting...

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      #3
      Look up pics of the Rhodes boot, they reveal poor construction and plastic looking leather. Get the Higgins Mill boots!

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        #4
        Took a leap - with one day sale, Dean Boots (captoe) came to $131, free shipping and returns if needed. That's less than my last pair of running shoes. Will see how it goes but expect I'll break down and end up buying the AE's...

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          #5
          I have the Rhodes cap toes. They are not terrible quality and I have been quite pleased with them for the price. Full disclosure: I am not a big boot guy and have only worn them a half dozen times or so.

          Another plus is Huckberry’s exquisite customer service. I originally purchased the plain toe and was not happy with the wrinkling of the leather. They gave me a pair of the captoe as an exchange (due to my request, I liked the style better after seeing the plain toe). They also let me keep the plain toe and asked me to donate them.

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            #6
            Originally posted by wh1 View Post
            I’ve been planning to buy the AE Higgins Mill Boots, now at $295. The Huckberry Rhodes Dean Boots seem like a nice boot for $187. Anyone have those? Hate to regret not “stepping up” to the AE’s later. (Sorry in advance for the bad pun.)
            At this point I probably wouldn't buy either. I'm done with AE after nearly a decade and maybe a dozen pairs. The quality is too inconsistent.

            As for Rhodes, I bought a rust color Felix chukka in "premium" calf leather. Right out of the box the vamps of both boots were badly creased as if the previous purchaser tried them on and sent them back upon seeing the creasing. I should have done the same, but figured they just needed some conditioning. I added a couple coats of Renovateur, which made them look significantly better until I tried them on. The creases came back immediately. The leather seems like plastic in that it lightens where it stretches--the creases were almost white. I added a coat of dark brown shoe cream and that improved things significantly, but I've had to reapply several times to keep them looking decent.

            If I had to choose one, I'd go with AE.

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              #7
              I just ordered the dark brown plain tow Dean boots on Huckberry’s Vet’s Day sale. I’m hoping the dark leather isn’t as bad for creasing, but I guess we’ll see. It’s supposed to be a decent boot otherwise. I was looking for a dark brown plain toe boot for business casual wear and took a chance on the Deans at $115 shipped.

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                #8
                I ordered and returned the Rhodes boot in cognac suede recently. (Mind you, I also ordered and returned the Higgins Mill in weatherproof chili. But I kept the Daltons that I recently ordered).

                I want to note three things about the Rhodes that may not be obvious from the product photos:
                1. It is not a full-length boot and doesn't have a very tall shaft. It is much closer to an ankle boot, although it does have a slightly higher top than a chukka. When I put them side by side, it looked much more closer in height to my Allen Edmonds Dundee than to the Higgins Mill that I returned.
                2. The tongue, which is all suede, is very floppy and loose, and I don't think it would provide much support when worn over time. It would flap about and get out of place. (I will say that, other than this, I didn't have any problems with the build or construction of the Rhodes).
                3. This applies only to cognac suede: it is much lighter than the product photos. The product photos make it look like a mid-brown suede, close to the sort of thing often called snuff, but with less orangish or reddish hues. However, in person it is much more of a light brown, and the underlying hues are consequently more yellow than they are orange or red. I don't know whether the other colors and styles are also lighter than the product photos. This is an unusual thing: I usually find that suede shoes end up darker than the product photos, especially with mid-browns.

                And here is a fourth thing that is obvious from the product photos, but bears a mention, anyway:
                4. The laces that they provide absolutely suck. They are boat shoe laces, not dressyish boot lace. However, they do provide a spare pair of laces that are much preferable. And, as it happens, when I returned the boot to Happy Returns, they refused to take either the spare laces or the shoe bag, so I got to keep both.

                As it happens, I'm not sure why I returned the Higgins Mill. I ordered a bunch of AE in the Rediscover America sale, and only kept two pairs and they weren't among my two favorites (the cherry suede Neumok and the walnut Dalton). I did like them. But as before when I've tried chili, I didn't find the color all that interesting. It's so much browner in person than on the product photos.

                I'm really interested to compare chili and coffee side by side. Ostensibly, chili is much redder, but I imagine that in person there isn't all that much difference. Chili is likely a bit darker, I suppose. Anyway, I'll soon find out, as I just today ordered a chili weave Strand and a coffee Cornwallis (and a bourbon McAllister). I'm going a bit mad with shoe purchases lately. Working from home all the time is resulting in insufficient entertainment and I have no real reason to buy suits or sports coats right now. Plus I prefer shoes.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by srlclark View Post
                  I ordered and returned the Rhodes boot in cognac suede recently. (Mind you, I also ordered and returned the Higgins Mill in weatherproof chili. But I kept the Daltons that I recently ordered).

                  I want to note three things about the Rhodes that may not be obvious from the product photos:
                  1. It is not a full-length boot and doesn't have a very tall shaft. It is much closer to an ankle boot, although it does have a slightly higher top than a chukka. When I put them side by side, it looked much more closer in height to my Allen Edmonds Dundee than to the Higgins Mill that I returned.
                  2. The tongue, which is all suede, is very floppy and loose, and I don't think it would provide much support when worn over time. It would flap about and get out of place. (I will say that, other than this, I didn't have any problems with the build or construction of the Rhodes).
                  3. This applies only to cognac suede: it is much lighter than the product photos. The product photos make it look like a mid-brown suede, close to the sort of thing often called snuff, but with less orangish or reddish hues. However, in person it is much more of a light brown, and the underlying hues are consequently more yellow than they are orange or red. I don't know whether the other colors and styles are also lighter than the product photos. This is an unusual thing: I usually find that suede shoes end up darker than the product photos, especially with mid-browns.

                  And here is a fourth thing that is obvious from the product photos, but bears a mention, anyway:
                  4. The laces that they provide absolutely suck. They are boat shoe laces, not dressyish boot lace. However, they do provide a spare pair of laces that are much preferable. And, as it happens, when I returned the boot to Happy Returns, they refused to take either the spare laces or the shoe bag, so I got to keep both.

                  As it happens, I'm not sure why I returned the Higgins Mill. I ordered a bunch of AE in the Rediscover America sale, and only kept two pairs and they weren't among my two favorites (the cherry suede Neumok and the walnut Dalton). I did like them. But as before when I've tried chili, I didn't find the color all that interesting. It's so much browner in person than on the product photos.

                  I'm really interested to compare chili and coffee side by side. Ostensibly, chili is much redder, but I imagine that in person there isn't all that much difference. Chili is likely a bit darker, I suppose. Anyway, I'll soon find out, as I just today ordered a chili weave Strand and a coffee Cornwallis (and a bourbon McAllister). I'm going a bit mad with shoe purchases lately. Working from home all the time is resulting in insufficient entertainment and I have no real reason to buy suits or sports coats right now. Plus I prefer shoes.
                  My Dean boots have landed, so I think it would be fun to compare my first impressions to yours. Mine are the brown calf leather, plain toe ones.

                  1. They look about right to me for this style of boot. I measured the upper height at 4.75" from the welt For comparison, my Thorogood Dodgevilles, a fairly averageish service boot, are 5" and my Clarks DBs are 4.25". The Clarks look more squat because they are much wider.
                  2. Tongue seems fine to me. Not very stiff, but par for the course compared to my other boots. I agree that the construction looks great, but is definitely more "high top oxford" than heritage work boot, if that makes any sense. For example, my afore-mentioned Thorogoods have a wide toe box, Chromexel upper, gusseted tongue, Goodyear storm welt, and machined speed lace hooks whereas the Deans have a narrow toe box, calf leather, nongusseted tongue, Blake welt, and stamped speed lace hooks. These are for the office, not the job site.
                  3. The brown is pretty much point on from the picture. But we're talking about dark chocolate brown here, so there's less room for variance I presume. The leather feels high quality, but definitely looks corrected and nothing very special. But again, its dark brown, so I'm not expecting super duper character or patina or anything anyway. The upper is quite stiff, but its supposed to soften after a few wears.
                  4. 100% agree! The leather (?) laces are awfully terrible and not congruent with the boots' sleek, dressy lines. And even if they did look good on the boots, they are weird and rubbery and pretty much suck. The waxed cotton laces, however, are perfect. I switched them out immediately. I don't love the speedhooks. They are kind of wide and close together, making them a PITA to lace. Huckberry should have stuck with eyelets for a boot like this.

                  So I'm going to keep these. I like them, especially for the price I paid. I do think that the dark brown leather is a little more forgiving of the imperfections that other people have noted on these boots. I don't think these are very comparable to a boot like the Higgins Mill. The Deans skew heavily towards the dressy side with a few vestigial rugged touches, kind of like an elbow patch sportcoat. I'd be loath to go stomping around the woods in these. But they'll look great with a nice pair of khakis and an..uh..elbow patch sportcoat.

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