Men's Boots - Questions & Answers

 

1. What are the best men’s boots?

The best men's boots are boots constructed utilising the 'Goodyear welt construction method,' or variation such as the 'Stitchdown' construction method. These boots are made to be extremely durable and can last for decades. Unlike cheaper shoes, they also become more comfortable over time, and due to their construction, they can be resoled and components can be replaced. In terms of cost-per-wear, they offer excellent lifetime value. 

2. What's the most comfortable boots?

The most comfortable boots have three important characterisics:

  1. Boots with full leather lining
    Full leather lining will aid air circulation and reduce sweaty feet. Avoid boots with synthetic lining. 
  2. Boots that are well-constructed 
    A well-constructed boot will often offer a cork footbed. Once the foot has moulded to the cork, the boots become extremely comfortable. Avoid rubber soles as they will flatten and not support your feet over time. 
  3. Boots that fit you correctly.
    Obvious as this sounds, but many men still buy boots like they're shopping for skinny jeans. Know your shoe size and fit. Try them on. Also know that leather does not 'stretch' as much as salesmen like to say. 

3. Why do guys wear boots?

Guys where boots because they provide good functionality and have been apart of popular culture styling since the 18th century.

Practical and comfortable, men's boots can be worn to work, in the field, or out about town. Their offer greater protection than their ankle-high cousins and are relatively more durable. 

Men's boots have long been associated with masculinity.  In the 18th century, men wore boots because they were associated with military, equestrianism, and social status. Today, men's boots continue to be worn as a social marker. In a 2016 GQ survey of over 200 women, for example, it was found that ladies still preferred their first date to be in boots.

4. What men's boots are in style?

According to a 2020 survey of 1,018 men via sub-reddit r/Goodyearwelt, the top five preferred boots are:

1. Service Boots

2. Chelsea Boots

3. Dress Boots

4. Logger / Woodsman Boots

5. Chukkas

The service boot was not only the the preferred boot, it was also the favourite piece of footwear, overall with 39.8% of men preferring it over all other footwear styles. 

5. What is the best waterproof men’s boots?

The best waterproof men's boots are those that are made from one-way water-permeable materials such as Gore-Tex or Dri-Lex, which repels rain but allows sweat to excrete to the surface for evaporation.

For men's leather boots, welted construction offers a very high degree of water resistance. The welt is a strip of leather that is attached to the leather upper and then stitched to the outsole. The layers that seperate the inside from the outside of the shoe provides the strong water resistance. 

6. Who makes the best boots?

What constitutes the 'best' boot is highly subjective and down to personal taste, with a little national pride sprinkled in. 

Americans will run off a long list of highly skilled local bootmakers, such as Whites, Alden, Chippewa to name but a few.

Canadians will smirk and let you in on a local shoemaker named Viberg.

Over the pond, the Brits will likely point their umbrella in the direction of Northampton, home of British shoemaking, and tell you to 'take your pick.' 

Unbeknown to many, bootmakers from Asia-Pacific are making a serious splash in the world of bootmaking.

Leading the charge is Indonesia, with bootmakers like Sagara, Santalum, Junkard and Onderhound producing some magnificent (and affordable) welted boots.

In Japan and Vietnam, Fugashin raises eye-brows for their attention to detail and craftsmanship - which makes sense when Japan is your biggest market.  

7. What boots are made in Australia?

  1. R.M. Williams. The most well-known and respected shoe brand in Australia. Most of their boots are welted and have a quality leather upper. Some boots are made abroad. Prices start from $595.
  2. Wootten. A Cordwainer and leather works out of Ballarat. Their boots are well-made and welt constructed. Prices from $740.
  3. Mongrel Boots. From Victoria. Chelsea boots made locally. Adhesive construction. Price around $159. 
  4. Rossi Boots. Currently located in Adelaide, SA. Making boots since 1910. Also specialise in Chelsea boots. Adhesive construction. Prices from $138.
  5. Blundstone. 150-years making boots, with facilities in Melbourne, Victoria. Focus is on Chelsea boot style. Adhesive construction. Prices from $220.

Australian-made welted footwear is very limited due to the decline of Australia's bootmaking industry since the 1980s. 

8. What are the longest lasting boots?

Welted boots are the longest lasting boots. Goodyear welted and Stitchdown construction boots are most popular in this category. Boots constructed like this are known to last for decades and a welted pair was even recovered and restored from the Titanic! The construction method means the sole can be unstitched and replaced when worn. The leather is usually of a higher-grade, and in the case of full grain leather, it will develop a fine patina as it ages. 

If durability matters to you, avoid mass-produced boots. The adhesive that holds them together does not have a long lifespan and the lower-quality leather means it does not age well. 

9. Are Goodyear welted boots worth it? 

A resounding yes! The lifetime value of a Goodyear welted boot is far more economical than cheaper-made boots. Due to their durability and ability to replace parts, the 'cost-per-wear' over a pair's lifespan is far more economical than having to buy cheaper pairs every 12-months or so. 

10. How do you break in a welted boot? 

A quality leather boot takes time to break in. New full grain leather is often stiff straight out of the box. The cork footbed has not yet moulded to your feet. We recommend not going out for long-walks during the first week. Wear them for short periods to begin with, around the house or office, until the leather has softened and the shoe starts to take shape to your feet. Apply a little shoe cream, to ensure the leather is hydrated and supple. 

 

 

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