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Everyday boots?

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    Everyday boots?

    So, I am looking at upgrading my style and decided to start from bottom(mainly because i'm working out right now and don't want to start buy fitted clothes yet). My office clothes consist of BR tee w/straight jeans and cheap slip-ons or samba/nike cortez/puma speedcat, which is also the outfit of 99% of the company (except sales dept). That was also my outfit in college and i'm tired it.

    Okay, so after this brief intro, i'm looking at getting leather boots (cap toe/oxford shoes are also on my wardrobe upgrade list, but for day-to-day use, I feel more comfortable with boots). For reference, my shoes consist of black cheap lumiani slip-ons which on the outside have held pretty well for the last two years of almost daily wear (yeah, i know it's bad), but on the inside are in bad shape (hole in can see the cardboard, heel is sort of shredded as well; some lumiani chelsea boots which dont' fit too well (barely wear those)and the sneakers mentioned earlier.

    I am looking at getting two leather boots for everyday wear (probably one wingtip and one chukka, no dbs please), but i'm getting lost at the "glue vs welted" "leather vs rubber sole" stage because I read stories (on sf/aaac) of glued soles falling off, rubber sole not being appropriate for "dress" shoes, and it gets me confused as to what to look for. I want boots that are durable (I live in silicon valley, so no snow, freezing, salt to worry about, just some rain), versatile ( right now I only wear rigid wash jeans, but want them to fit with grey or darker cords when I'll get some) and affordable ($150/pair when on sale, could hit $200 if it's really worth it). I've seen the blog posts on the hawley, gaffney, UO ones, which look nice, but realistically speaking how long long would those last me w/ proper care and worn every other day (commuting and going out, otherwise in the office). Actually a better question is when do you consider a pair of shoes "bad"? (i.e. too many creases/scratches, worn insole, hole in shoes, no more sole...)


    P.S. wow, so much going into my post, hopefully it's clear otherwise let me know


    Rubber soles wear faster than leather (in my experience), but are better for inclement weather. If the rubber sole is a slim dainite, "executive" style, etc (something not commando lug sole), it should be rather inconspicuous. I actually prefer rubber soles as I think they don't scuff as easily. Unfortunately, I haven't found too many shoes with rubber soles that I like, heh.

    Welting refers to way the sole is attached--while Goodyear welting, the most common on American and maybe English shoes, is praised for being "recraftable"..although AFAIK most decent shoes can be resoled multiple times.

    My personal preference is for Allen Edmonds factory seconds (call customer service to query a search for styles in your size). I believe return shipping is free for the holiday season, if you find a problem with fit, qualitity, or whatever.

    I've tried on the Gaffney and some UO boots and wasn't too impressed by the leather quality. Not bad for during or right after college internships, but I think slightly lacking in refinement for most business casual office settings. For maximumum versatility, I think most would advise you go for a minimalistic detailed boot in brown.

    If nobody else in your office is stylin', then you're allowed more leeway. Dress appropriately.



      Agree with the minimalistic detailed boot in brown.

      There are a few threads on this:

      I think you can get away with nearly anything from the sounds of your office environment, so get what you like. I have a pair of gaffneys that I wear as casual boots and not for work, but it sounds like if you wore them to work you'd be way ahead of the rest.

      I wouldn't take styleforum opinions too seriously, they're a little idealistic for my tastes, and think that every shoe you buy will last you forever and you'll have it resoled 8 times in that period. For most of us that's not realistic (I don't have a rotation of 40 pairs of shoes and am not paying $800 a pair) so it's a compromise. If I get 6-8 years from my gaffneys I think they served their purpose and I won't be disappointed with what I paid for them. Also, the sole probably won't wear down in those years to the point where I would resole them, so when they get beat -- I'll get something else.

      Anyway - enough with my rant. I think most boots would work for you, and some favorites are listed in those threads



        It sounds like your work environment is pretty casual so I wouldn't get hung up on the sole. Make sure it is goodyear welted, though. If you treat your shoes well, even cheaper ones will last you for a handful of years. Set aside a little of your shoe budget for shoe trees and proper leather care products (a conditioner of some sort and a polish for touching up scuffs). Those will increase the life of your shoes greatly.

        Try the Gaffneys. They may not be perfect but seem high quality for the price.

        "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



          I just used some of my Christmas gift money to buy the Chippewa Classic 6" lace-up boots. Goodyear welting, Vibram soles, made in the US, and classic workwear styling were just too good a combo to pass up for $125. They've got a pretty low-profile tread so I think they could work fairly well for business casual, especially if stuff like sneakers is already acceptable. I hope to receive mine soon, but here's the Style Forum review that convinced me to get them:




            Thank you very much BroSharp, Ben, Greg-S, and BenR for your comments/suggestions. Looking at the options, I love Hawley, ll bean hawthorne, sebago hamilton for daily use and maybe the gaffney for my weekly photogaphy excursion (as in not worrying about stepping in muddy, wet ground and still look good). I'm not a fan of classic workwear styling, so the chippewa not for me.

            I guess a combo of 1 pair of wingtips like the hawley and 1 pair of less detailed ones like the hawthorne would be nice, both dark brown, but different shades. Love chestnut (as in AE daltons) but seems hard to pull off as a first pair.

            I am a bargain hunter, so i'll have to wait for some sale on those shoes (if any) to get them, but now I have at least some models to look for.



              clarks mali beeswax...or the distressed suede. digga-done.



                Love my Gaffneys, breaking in my Eastland Seneca's but they're really nice so far. I've got an old pair of Chippewa boots that are my serious snow boots. They're built like a tank.



                  I'm a big fan of my Sebago Hamiltons in brown. I like the stacked heel, it looks nicer IMO than a full rubber heel, and the vibram sole is nice and grippy without looking gigantic. I've had foot pain for years but these are by far the most comfortable shoes/boots I've ever worn. The leather is soft, and the boots are lined so they keep warm. Best of all, in my rainy, flood-prone city, the waterproof Hamiltons keep my feet dry! Can't say enough good stuff about them!






                      Forgot I picked up these boots about two years ago at Banana Republic and recently saw them in a store (but not on their website).


                      They're really comfortable and have worn nicely since I purchased them. The sole's rubber which is arguably more durable for an everyday boot (since you'd likely encounter rain, snow, etc). They're about $160, but with all the discounts at BR, can be had for more like $100. If I recall correctly, that's what I picked them up for.