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Thread: Winter boot starter kit

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    Winter boot starter kit

    Hi All,

    I recently moved to Chicago, and winter is here. Looking to purchase a few good boots (ideally 2) to start with, while not breaking the bank, but also something of good quality for normal wear. My work calls for business casual; jeans for Fridays and the weekends. Looking for suggestions of good all-terrain/versatile boots I can wear with slacks/chinos, and then something causal yet durable for jeans. I want to be as transitional and effective with my money and choices as possible. For instance, ideally I'd have a good leather work boot, a nice Chelsea boot, and duck boots or the like for the nasty days. Open to all suggestions - thanks!

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    I also live in a place where winter usually hits hard--here is my boot line-up. I'd recommend any of these if they fit your needs

    Chippewa service boot--work style boot; not super refined but nice enough; very sturdy with a very tough vibram sole. Very nice with jeans. I do wear mine with casual chinos but would not wear them with anything more dressy.

    Allen Edmonds Normandy--another work-style type boot; also very well made (I mean, it's Allen Edmonds); looks MUCH nicer in person than pics on website suggest. I think they can be dressed up a bit with the extra flat laces provided by AE but they are not a dress boot.

    Bean Boot--a classic for a reason; great for snow and slop and keeping feet dry. I use these almost exclusive for being out for extended periods in snow or steady rain.

    Timberland Premium six inch boot--I do not do heavy duty work in these but they are great for mucking around in the yard, etc. Quite warm too. Have always keep my feet dry and have held up well. Not everyone's style obviously.

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    If you want a little bit more of a hiking boot vibe (and a little more comfort for longer walks) a company named Foresake makes sneaker boots similar to the Danner ones that were on the site's front page yesterday for a more affordable price. The Danner ones are probably worth the money if you can spring for them but the Foresake trail boot looks like a retro hiker and is about $50 cheaper. I wear them in DC on rainy or snowy days as I don't want to wear out the soles on my real hiking boots by wearing them around town. Plus the Foresake boots get much better traction on wet tile, which if you ride the Metro (DC's subway system) all the stations have tile floors. My real hikers are great on natural rock but kind of slick on wet tile and wet concrete. The Foresake ones give me better traction on those surfaces.

    If you want something a little dressier than the Normandy - and cheaper - Jack Erwin makes a wingtip boot called The Carter that looks pretty nice online. Have not seen them in person so I can't vouch for the quality of the leather etc. but Jack Erwins are usually perfectly acceptable with regard to that stuff.
    “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    I am very happy with my leather Jack Erwin Chelsea boots that are $220.

    I also purchased and returned two different pairs of To Boot New York Chelsea boots in the same range (on sale 50% off). Not happy with them. The leather seemed cheap.

    I also have some much less expensive suede Frye Chelsea boots that were only about $80 at Nordstrom Rack that I am happy with--I got them on a whim because they were so inexpensive. The suede is nice for that price. Although the rubber soles are cheap and almost for sure glued on. People who don't know anything about good shoes like them.
    Intentionally overdressed for almost every occasion.

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    I am very happy with the Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill Boot. I work in a business casual environment and they fit great in the general vibe of the city (elevated blue collar).

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    Junior Member J.M.S.'s Avatar
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    Have you tried looking at brands like Thursday Boots, Ibex, Redwing, or Frye. Those are the ones I would consider.

    I have purchased some Church's but they have a different fit. The top of the shoe is higher off my foot than other brands.

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    Thank you all. Here are some of the ones I've narrowed down:

    https://dappered.com/2019/02/steal-a...-boot-for-125/ - casual/all around boot

    https://www.amazon.com/Timberland-We...382a138ef6449f - really like the price point and style of these here

    https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Fox-Bo...language=en_US - excellent price point and look (wish that fox logo wasn't so apparent), but also worry about the quality due to the price

    https://thursdayboots.com/products/m...ion=mens-boots - This might be the best all around bang for my buck. Versatile to go with slacks/chinos/jeans, can handle most weather, and will get better with age. Good price point I'd be comfortable with.

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blan2819 View Post
    ...boots (ideally 2) to start with..., ideally I'd have a good leather work boot,...and duck boot
    this is probably a good way to go. just remember there are large differences between actual occupational saftey boots, mens fashion work boots, mens fashion dress boots, and boots made for standing in 8" of ice slush.

    they're all important, but they don't overlap as much as many shoe marketing people would like suggest.

    Any of the real mid westerners or northeasterners will always wear their real snow boots when it gets real shitty out. many who have to commute on public transit and wait in weather conditions outside for their ride, might even leave a pair or two of shoes at work, and wear their winter boots in and out of the city center.

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