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Custom White's Boots ... Thoughts? - Page 90

post #1336 of 6039
Quote:
Originally Posted by AT83 View Post

Hi Everyone, 

 

I've been lurking on this forum for several months trying to decide what to do with my boot situation.  I have some Made in China Danner Hikers from 2001 that are pretty nearly worn out. They also seem slightly short on my left foot, I think they always were but it is becoming less tolerable as the GoreTex bootie hardens with ages and falls down into the toe space.  My left foot small toes have been very sensitive lately, even in shoes that I have had for years.  I Brannock a 10.5D on the left and a 10D on the right.  Shoe sales folks tell me I am slightly wide in front and slightly narrow at the heel with a low rise though the instep.

 

I was hoping to get some Made in USA boots as replacements.  I live in the city now and do considerably less outdoors stuff than I used to.  I need a boot that is mostly for errands fall through spring in Chicago but can go off road a couple times a year when needed.  My first thought was RW Beckmans but they felt very strange to my feet.  The Iron Rangers felt pretty good but the sole scared me off.  All I could envision was slip sliding my way through winter and the couple times a year I go off road.  My next thought was Danner Explorer boots.  More practical, bulky and less stylish but they aren't available locally and the 10.5D ones ordered in seemed very narrow in the toebox.  I continued my search and began reading about Whites SD and Wolverine 1K boots.  My local Nordstroms brought in a size 10 1K boot and I thought it seemed rather loose despite the laces, particularly towards the top, being nearly together. With leather stretching out I decided that I would likely need the 9.5 1K.  I also dislike the idea needing to take an expensive boot to the cobbler immediately to add a rubber outsole for winter/offroad traction.  With that thought in mind the Whites boots seemed like they would come with the sole I wanted straight from the factory for little additional dollars over the 1K's.  I traced my feet, mentioned my recent toe sensitivity and sent a letter to bakers.  When bakers called they said that with the toe issues and foot shape that I was a perfect candidate for the swing last.  They just happened to have a return on hand and offered to send it to me to at the very least confirm the size for a special order.  Over the phone I got the following details about the boot.  

 

White's Semi Dress - Dress Brown Leather - Swing Last - No Celastic Toe - Cream Liner - Antique Hardware - Close Trim - 10D

 

Out of the box the the right foot seemed very happy in the shoe although the left seemed unsure of the arch ease.  I understand this takes more wears to get used to.  Plenty of room in the toe box.  I know right away that I dislike the look of the non celastic toe.  Usually the toes of boots and shoes are my favorite part and I just hate these.  My real questions from this post are as follows.  Hoping that those who have experienced the White's process before can shed some light.  

 

Fit:  Neither heel seems to register against the back of the boot.  This seems like heel slip to the extreme.  My feet don't have the same contours as the boots along the achilles.  I have tried to force my heels back as much as possible but I think my feet are settling on the arch support rather than into the heel cup.  Is this an indicator of the wrong size or will this very stiff part of the boot loosen up in time and allow my heels to seat in there properly?

 

Finish:  I was told that these boots were close trim.  Seeing pictures online I think they are some strange hybrid of Standard and Close.  There are two lines of stitching visible on the bottom of the shoe.  From the top the second line is not through the dress brown leather, only the sole leather and in some places is covered by the dress brown leather.  There are places where the sole and the dress brown leather show chew marks/cuts from the stitching.  I really dislike this. There are few pictures where you can really see the stitch down.  I would be really disappointed to do a custom order with close trim and wait 2+ months to have it look like this.  Is this what the standard trim normally looks like?  Would a proper close trim look better?

 

 

I do intend to call Baker's to set up the return and see what they say.  I am hoping to get some feedback here as well to help me decide if I still want to do a custom order.  

Thanks for your help in advance.  

I would most certainly return this; the stitching doesn't look right at all.

post #1337 of 6039
Quote:
Originally Posted by AT83 View Post
...

Out of the box the the right foot seemed very happy in the shoe although the left seemed unsure of the arch ease.  I understand this takes more wears to get used to.  Plenty of room in the toe box.  I know right away that I dislike the look of the non celastic toe.  Usually the toes of boots and shoes are my favorite part and I just hate these.  My real questions from this post are as follows.  Hoping that those who have experienced the White's process before can shed some light.  

 

Fit:  Neither heel seems to register against the back of the boot.  This seems like heel slip to the extreme.  My feet don't have the same contours as the boots along the achilles.  I have tried to force my heels back as much as possible but I think my feet are settling on the arch support rather than into the heel cup.  Is this an indicator of the wrong size or will this very stiff part of the boot loosen up in time and allow my heels to seat in there properly?

 

Finish:  I was told that these boots were close trim.  Seeing pictures online I think they are some strange hybrid of Standard and Close.  There are two lines of stitching visible on the bottom of the shoe.  From the top the second line is not through the dress brown leather, only the sole leather and in some places is covered by the dress brown leather.  There are places where the sole and the dress brown leather show chew marks/cuts from the stitching.  I really dislike this. There are few pictures where you can really see the stitch down.  I would be really disappointed to do a custom order with close trim and wait 2+ months to have it look like this.  Is this what the standard trim normally looks like?  Would a proper close trim look better?

 

I'm right now in the break-in process (been wearing the boots fairly consistently for 2-3 weeks) with a pair of 8" Dress Brown Smoke Jumpers on the swing last. Here's my take:

 

Fit: the arch ease system definitely takes breaking-in...both of the boot and of your foot (see here for an interview with Rob Smith of White's about the break-in process..among other things). I have high arches but tend to walk on the outside of my heels and arch. The arch ease system corrects that to some degree (which is good) but put quite a bit of pressure on the outside of my heel during the early part of break-in. It's all part of the process of the arch taking the imprint of your foot...and your foot becoming attuned to the shape of the boot. All of which means: if you have a strange stride, or pronate (or, like me, supinate) White's boots are going to (literally) put you through your paces.

 

Now in week 4 of break-in the boots are just awesome: I feel like my ankle is supported in a way I've never felt with other boots; my stride is stronger, and I'm less likely to walk on the outside of my foot (which is good for ankles, knees, hips, and probably everything else).

 

I haven't had the heel fit issue you're talking about though. There was some early pressure on the achilles tendon, but this went away pretty quickly. Keep in mind that Dress Brown is a thick leather and will take significant break-in. If you're concerned about it, you might consider a softer, more flexible leather like CXL.

 

Finish: I'll admit, that trim looks somewhat strange--the vamp leather looks like it's been cut pretty rough. In general, though, it looks like typical standard trim (and definitely not close trim). But not ideal, I agree. On my boots, which are standard trim, the cut of the vamp leather is much cleaner (take a look at photos in this thread for other examples).

 

If you're interested in a custom order, here's what I'd do in your position:

Size the boot according to what Kyle at Baker's recommends (provided you've given them a good tracing). For me, this was exactly the same size as my Wolverine 1K boots (11.5D). If you don't like the wider sole with double-stitching, go for close trim. If you're looking for leather that's less stiff than the dress brown, go for CXL (same as the Wolverine leather).

 

Hope that helps!

post #1338 of 6039
I'd also say to go with a single celastic toe--classic look and keeps its shape much better than without.
Edited by kbjack - 3/10/13 at 1:13am
post #1339 of 6039

just out of curiosity, what made you decide to go with a half slip and a non celastic toe?

post #1340 of 6039
That is standard trim, not close and it looks fine. No problem there. I don't care for non-clastic toe boxes either, but some people love them and they do have a u inquest look and feel.
post #1341 of 6039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Itzaina View Post

Anybody have any cxl suggestions for treating nicks here and there?

I was thinking a light coat of Obenauf leather oil after a long week?

 

A deer bone will completely smooth out any dings as long as there's no cuts or rips.

post #1342 of 6039
I agree with just brushing the crap out of it. I have never had a problem hiding scuffs and scratches on cxl with just a brush
post #1343 of 6039

Hi guys, I'm wondering on the look of steel toe box on semi-dress. Does it differs from celastic? Pics would be great. Thanks!

post #1344 of 6039

I have 2 pairs of SJ's with steel toes, and the look is not a whole lot different from a celastic, maybe slightly bulkier.

post #1345 of 6039

I want to get a pair of brown baker oxfords but I'm having trouble deciding between brown smooth and brown chromexecl.

 

Does anyone know how these two leathers compare in terms of color, quality, stiffness, ect?
 

post #1346 of 6039

The brown smooth is much thicker and more durable, more utilitarian in it's look, but it still feels very soft and supple. It is the leather they use to make their work boots with. I personally don't think it would look as good as an oxford leather because it is so heavy duty, but this leather will last much longer then the chromexcel.

 

The chromexcel is a fancier look, you will achieve that worn in look much faster with this leather. You can get a much better shine with it because it has a natural shine, but it get's scuffed easier too. It has a more refined look to it, but it will wear out faster.

 

If I were getting white's oxfords I'd go rough out leather. It has a more casual look, but it's the same durable leather as the smooth leather.

post #1347 of 6039

Thanks for all the replies, they have me feeling better about a custom order.  I spoke with Josh at Bakers and the shoes are going back.  They served their purpose on getting a test fit and we agreed that 10C on the swing last would likely correct the fit issue.  They did spook me a bit with the finishing of the edge, but it sounds like an actual close trim would be what I want.  

 

For my custom build I'm considering the following leathers.  If anyone would like to reply with aged pictures or comments on theirs that would be great.  Please not that I have read every post of this thread and the similar ones at FedoraLounge and IronHeart.  I like the brown CXL color when new but when oiled and worn a bit I think it's more like the SemiDress brown and that's too dark.  

 

Brown CXL

Natural CXL

British Tan 

Classic Brown 

or stepping up in cost 

Brown Horse Hide

 

I'm also thinking about the sole, one of the reasons that I considered a custom white's boot over just buying the locally available 1K boot and going to the cobbler.  It would be a standard single leather sole, cuban heel and normal height.  

 

Vibram 430 minilug

Vibram 700 Composition

Vibram Composition Half Sole

Commando Mini Lug Half Sole

 

Thanks again for all the replies here to my first post.  

post #1348 of 6039
Are these boots heavy? How do they feel for day to day wear?
post #1349 of 6039

you get used to the weight, but they are heavy as hell when you first handle them.  

post #1350 of 6039

I put each of the SD's on the kitchen scale before heading out to UPS this morning.  Each boot weighed in at 2 lbs 7 oz.  

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