I tend to think that zippers would look busier than leather panels. I suppose the simple fact is that there are only so many ways to make minimalist boots and elastic is one of the most minimalist available.
Question for the crowd: I've been looking back on many fits in SWD over the years and I keep getting drawn to fits that are referred to as "workwear". Previously in my life I have been drawn to western wear which seems to share a lot of similarities with workwear. As many times as I see fits that I like, I also see people complaining about how it's an annoying fad or passe'. What are your opinions of workwear? Is it overplayed?