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Leather boots  RSS feed

 
Destiny Hagest
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Location: Little Belt Mountains, MT
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I have long been on the hunt for the perfect mid season leather boot - something that has traction, is water resistant (so no laces), relatively tall, can be repaired, and doesn't look half bad. I wear my chore boots with my dresses, because I hate buying shoes, because I have giant feet.

So there, the whole big explanation. I want to hike in these boots, do chores in them, and wear them with a sundress to do the grocery shopping. And I want to buy them one time, and take them to the leather shoe repair guy in town when they get torn or worn out.

I bought these Keen boots last fall, and so far so good - though they're tall and leather, the material inside is nice for not making my legs all sweaty in the summer.



They're a slim fit, so I like the way they look, but I can still fit a thick pair of socks in there in the fall. These are also my go to early season hunting boots now (primarily game birds, depending on the amount of snow we've had). Overall, they fit the bill for now. My only concern is the design of the sole - it seems that eventually it's going to peel away from the bottom of the boot, and I'm really hoping that's something the boot repair guy in town can fix.

Other than that, they're keepers - extremely comfortable, and I love the material. I'm not sure how 'buy it for life' they really are, only time (and a trip to the shop) will tell, but so far I'm a fan.

But I'm curious, what are your go-to leather boots? Everyone has different requirements from their footwear. Me personally, I don't need a steel toe, and it gets damn cold in the winter here, so I don't look for that, but high boots are great for getting into the mud and keeping brush from clawing at my calves.

However, sometimes I do lament not having shorter leather boots, just for those extremely hot days, and honestly, the ridiculous looking tan lines I tend to get on long hikes or in the garden.

I try to stay away from synthetic materials, and I generally hate tennis shoes - they collect burs like nobody's business, and never last, and aren't the easier to repair. I've been keeping my eyes out for some shorter leather boots, even with laces would be admissible.

What are some of your favorites?
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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Danners for me. Can't say enough good about them. They just act right, did many years at a time.

You know there's a sole configuration that's repairable and one that's not? I forget the names, but on the one, the sole is flat, and it's glued + sewed to the bottom. The other is cast or molded in place, so that the plastic/rubber wraps up around.

Learned that the hard way. :/
 
Destiny Hagest
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Mike Cantrell wrote:You know there's a sole configuration that's repairable and one that's not? I forget the names, but on the one, the sole is flat, and it's glued + sewed to the bottom. The other is cast or molded in place, so that the plastic/rubber wraps up around.

Learned that the hard way. :/


That's what I was worried about - this one wraps around the edge of the boot. I'm not sure it can be repaired either.
 
Destiny Hagest
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These Danners sure are nice, but man they are expensive!



But I suppose if they last forever, that makes them worth it
 
Jay Peters
Posts: 75
Location: Montreal, QC mostly. Developing in Southern New Brunswick, Canada.
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hi hi,

not sure this really fits your mandate BUT the classic LL Bean bean boots are killer. I have a pair lined with shearling and I put in a felt insole keeping me warm beyond -20 C. They are my winter boots, not so mid-seasony but the unlined variety could be. I would certainly wear these to do all the things you're talking about..haven't paired them with a dress yet mind you



PROS -

Guaranteed Forever:
no questions asked. They are still honouring this as of a couple years ago though I haven't had to do so yet...in 5 years...2 years ago a friend found a pair in his parents basement and the leather uppers were dried out and cracked. He mailed them back and they replaced the uppers completely at no cost (shipping one way I believe)

Durability:
As I said above, I've had mine 5 years and they're still doing great with semi regular maintenance really just Dubbin and occasionally some vinegar mixed with water to get out the salt...and that's on some of the most recklessly/heavily salted city streets of North America as a pedestrian.

Water proof:
OK so the lower is molded rubber up to the ankle and the leather upper is lace up. I regularly step in slush puddles that go above the rubber line (with abandon some might say..) and have never got wet feet as a result.

Origin:
Made in USA not all bean products are, but these are - even though its not easy to track the components of the boot, this is in itself a plus to me..knowing that someone is making a living wage to manufacture things I buy is important to me. There's also this : http://www.llbean.com/customerService/aboutLLBean/sourcing_and_labor_rights.html


$$$: very decently priced if you are paid in USD. I'm not, so it hurts a bit, but made in canada is even harder to find (new, though I've found some great like new used workboots made in Quebec in likely the 70's...)

CONS-

LOOK: not everyone's style for sure...

SOLE/GRIP: the sole can be slippery after 5 years...I have a very intense wear pattern on the soles of my shoes though..basically most of my weight is concentrated in the centre of the ball of my foot and so that spot has worn to the point of looking like a bald tire but like a tire, these boots spend lots of time on pavement. Its most problematic on ice and shiny wet floors.

EDIT: I fully expect to have these boots for the rest of my life.

hope that helps!

j




 
Cam Mitchell
Posts: 108
Location: W. CO, 6A
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Mike Cantrell wrote:You know there's a sole configuration that's repairable and one that's not? I forget the names, but on the one, the sole is flat, and it's glued + sewed to the bottom.

I think it's called Goodyear welt construction.
I bought boots with this specifically in mind, though I prefer mine with laces, 8-10" high.

I too like Danners, just pick the right construction.
Danner will also rebuild them if you like when they wear out.
 
Steven Kovacs
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I'd love something with no heel rise. I've recently started wearing minimalist dress shoes (the Hawthorne Chukka by Soft Star) and can't see going back to shoes or boots with heels - the minimalist shoes are so much better for my back. Does anyone have suggestions for boots with no heel?
 
Cam Mitchell
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Location: W. CO, 6A
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Steven Kovacs wrote:Does anyone have suggestions for boots with no heel?

http://www.russellmoccasin.com/minimalist-thula-thula/
Way pricey, but from what I hear, really good quality.
I'd love to get a pair of boots from Russell, but haven't done so yet.
 
Roberta Wilkinson
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Steven Kovacs wrote:I'd love something with no heel rise. I've recently started wearing minimalist dress shoes (the Hawthorne Chukka by Soft Star) and can't see going back to shoes or boots with heels - the minimalist shoes are so much better for my back. Does anyone have suggestions for boots with no heel?


Yes! Partner and I both have a pair of Lem's Boulder Boots, which we're really happy with. http://www.lemsshoes.com/mens-boulder-boot-timber They're not "Buy it for Life" but probably buy-it-for-2-to-5-years depending on how much you wear them and on what kinds of terrain.

I also just got a pair of handmade knee high boots from Jeff at Makwa Moccasins. He consulted with me and provided a sole type that can easily be removed and replaced when it wears through, which he said he would do for me for $25. As long as I'm reasonably kind to them, I'm pretty sure I will have them forever with just occasional re-solings. https://www.etsy.com/listing/221879333/new-plainsman-boot-moccasins.
 
Cam Mitchell
Posts: 108
Location: W. CO, 6A
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Roberta Wilkinson wrote:Yes! Partner and I both have a pair of Lem's Boulder Boots, which we're really happy with. http://www.lemsshoes.com/mens-boulder-boot-timber They're not "Buy it for Life" but probably buy-it-for-2-to-5-years depending on how much you wear them and on what kinds of terrain.

I also just got a pair of handmade knee high boots from Jeff at Makwa Moccasins. He consulted with me and provided a sole type that can easily be removed and replaced when it wears through, which he said he would do for me for $25. As long as I'm reasonably kind to them, I'm pretty sure I will have them forever with just occasional re-solings. https://www.etsy.com/listing/221879333/new-plainsman-boot-moccasins.

Oooh, I like those Lems. Not a bad price too. Like Keens, but better.
How are they in winter in wet and cold?

I also love that there are people like Jeff at Makwa Moccasins (not just giant corporations) still making custom, quality footwear.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Here I am in the Netherlands, so American brands are not sold here. But we have Loints! They have life-long guarantee. If you need a new sole, you can send them to the factory for repair. I couldn't find a photo of the higher boots, but I know they are there too. Hope this photo will do.
 
Roberta Wilkinson
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Cam Mitchell wrote:How are they in winter in wet and cold?


They're not really a winter boot, more of a light hiking boot. I really like the lightness and flexibility for my picky feet that prefer to be barefoot, but you could definitely boost the insulation by adding some thick wool socks. They're probably not for COLDcold weather though. They don't come super rainproof, but can be Scotchgarded to add protection. That's what partner did.
 
Todd Parr
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Roberta Wilkinson wrote:
Steven Kovacs wrote:I'd love something with no heel rise. I've recently started wearing minimalist dress shoes (the Hawthorne Chukka by Soft Star) and can't see going back to shoes or boots with heels - the minimalist shoes are so much better for my back. Does anyone have suggestions for boots with no heel?


Yes! Partner and I both have a pair of Lem's Boulder Boots, which we're really happy with. http://www.lemsshoes.com/mens-boulder-boot-timber They're not "Buy it for Life" but probably buy-it-for-2-to-5-years depending on how much you wear them and on what kinds of terrain.

I also just got a pair of handmade knee high boots from Jeff at Makwa Moccasins. He consulted with me and provided a sole type that can easily be removed and replaced when it wears through, which he said he would do for me for $25. As long as I'm reasonably kind to them, I'm pretty sure I will have them forever with just occasional re-solings. https://www.etsy.com/listing/221879333/new-plainsman-boot-moccasins.


I just ordered a pair of Lem's Nine2Five shoes. If I like them, the Boulder boots will be next. Thanks for posting about them.
 
steve bossie
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i too like danners and they have a danner pull on ladies wellington boot thats waterproof. sounds like they would be the ticket for you!
 
Devin Lavign
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What I would really like is a pair or two of Sodhopper boots/moccasins. http://www.sodhoppers.com/ One of the benefits of Sodhoppers is they are custom made to your feet. You make a mold of your feet and send it to them and they build the boot around it. Down side is they are a bit pricey due to this as well as take a bit of time.

But for now I make due with store bought boots and none have ever really wowed me enough to sing praises of here.
 
Rosa Nutkana
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Yep, the Keens in the original post have been my go-to boots for the last 4 years. I'm on my third pair. The first two times, the zipper crapped out down at the crease that used to form around the ankle; however, in the new design, the uppers are lighter, preventing the crease. I love these boots
 
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