Custom White's Boots ... Thoughts? - Page 105
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I got them in Feb 2011. They are black cherry water buffalo with the swing last and a 700 half sole. I wasn't in love with the swing last when I first got the boots. It is wide and makes for a substantial look, especially with double-row stitching. But after I broke them in and got it used to it, I like it just fine now. It is definitely a very roomy toe box.
More than anything I think the swing last and double stitching makes for a more casual boot. At first I thought I would wear mine in a business casual setting with khakis and a sportcoat, but I found it didn't work for me. I think the standard last and a close trim is needed for that. So my SDs moved into a "jeans" role. Luckily my dress code at work has moved much more casual and I wear jeans almost every day now.
A month of wear:
A year of wear - you can see that the buffalo takes on a lot of wrinkles and texture. You can also see the thinness of the leather by looking at the tongue. The leather has scuffed rather significantly, but I have also allowed them to patina. The only treatment I give them is an periodic brushing and wiping with Obenauf's. I've never used any polish or cream. I haven't done any actual labor in these boots, but I think the buffalo has stood up well. I have no doubt it will last a long, long time. But as it is a thin leather, I wouldn't recommend it as a true work boot.
After shoveling snow this past winter. It's actually a terrible picture, but shows these boots can take some abuse!
My SDs are very comfortable. I've done an 8mile urban hike on cement and my feet felt great. I've also done 2-3 mile hikes on dirt/grass/mud. They aren't the perfect hiking boot, though. The ankle is too low (not enough support) and the traction on the 700 sole is minimal. But none of that is the boot's fault. I'm close to adding some SJs with 100 soles for that purpose. (Details to follow...this thread really helped me come up the specs I wanted.)
My SDs will remain the perfect casual, around town boot.
The "brown smooth" and "brown dress" feel like the same thickness to me. I can't be sure though so I'd ask Kyle at Baker's this question. They both feel the same on wear. I don't think the smooth leather is too thick for urban wear -- hey it's a unban jungle out there!
Yes, I did decide to go with the standard height heel on this particular pair since the boots I'm trying to emulate are a little more rugged and workmanlike. I did want to nail the aesthetics, so we'll see how that goes. I do have a pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots, which have a high heel -- so I think I should be fine.
Here are my Austens:
Thanks guys, really helpfull. I'm getting closer and closer to the right configuration...
This thread is so full of win ! I'm new to the forum, actually found it while doing researching White's. I scored my first pair of White's off of Ebay. I picked up a pair of Semi Dress in dress brown leather, antiqued hardware , standard heel, and leather midsole. I took a chance buying them second hand off of the bay and probably overpaid but the chance did pay off. They weren't even broken in, paid $227 for them. The original owner custom ordered them , although the only difference I see is the sole has single stitching instead of double. Can't figure out why he sold them. Only thing I saw was the stitching had a few flaws.
Today is my second day wearing them and for the most part I really like them. I usually walk at lunchtime and walked about a mile in them with no issues. I am getting a slight pinching on the top of my foot just behind my big toe. The leather of the vamp is pinching agains the throat line. Don't know if this will go away once they get completely broken in. It seems to be getting better.
I do plan on having some things changed though, I want to go with either a single midsole with a commando sole or a double mid with #430 Vibram. I can't do that until I find a replacement for these while they are gone...so I'm already saving and planning on having a pair custom made.
Hello all White's enthusiast! I'm new here, created an account just for this thread :)
At this moment i don't own a pair of White's yet, but I am saving up for one!
I am still very confused about all the custom options such as Different kinds of leathers, soles and liners.
But the thing i'm most confused about is "last". You guys mentioned semidress, smokejumper, bountyhunter and some other terms that i am not familiar with.
I am keen to learn! Looking forward to all your advices :)
When you guys talk about the break-in period for White's boots taking a while, which parts of the shoe are you referring to? Is it the vamp/forefoot or just the soles?
I'm between sizes (TTS and -.5) and would need quite a bit of stretch across the vamp in the brown dress leather to go down .5 from my TTS, which is what Baker's is recommending based on the tracings I sent in. The TTS pair fits well in the forefoot but the arch is hitting too close to my toes. Anyone have advice they could share?
I have three pairs of White's boots. I also own two pairs of Wescos and some various Red Wings. The materials and construction on the White's blows the rest away.
Left to right: Smoke Jumpers, Bounty Hunters, Original Packers
Whites_all.jpg 169k .jpg file
Here is a look at the heels. I think there is some confusion in how these heels are referred to. The Smoke Jumper and Bounty Hunter heels would be best described as "logger heels". I believe all of White's boots have this heel except the Packers. The Packers have what would be best described as a "Cuban heel" that would be found on most cowboy boots. Here are a few comparison photos. All are the standard height.
Here is the Bounty Hunter and Packer heels
BH_packer_heel.jpg 136k .jpg file
And here is the Bounty Hunter and Smoke Jumper heels
BH_SJ_heel.jpg 176k .jpg file
Something to consider if you get the double leather midsoles and Vibram 100 lug sole is that the stack of the sole material is too thick to sew through, so the midsoles are sewn on, and the lug sole is glued and screwed on. This was mentioned early on in this thread. I called White's to discuss this and they said they have had zero issues with soles separating using this construction. I went with the double midsole because I liked how it looked, no other reason.
SJ_sole.jpg 140k .jpg file
And finally, since these are handmade leather boots, the sizing isn't as consistent as say a pair of Nike athletic shoes produced on machines by the thousands. I think if you get a pair, you should be prepared to accept the fact that you may need to vary the thickness of socks you wear to adjust the fit. I'm not saying they will be off a full size, I'm just saying leather is a natural material that can stretch differently from hide to hide, and how the craftsman assembles the boots. The Packers are a size 10 B, the Bounty Hunters are 9.5 D, and the Smoke Jumpers are 9.5 E. All fit me as I wanted, but I wear heavy dress socks with the Packers, light hiking socks with the BH, and very thick wool socks with the SJ.
Top view of the three
top_length.jpg 212k .jpg file
side_length.jpg 228k .jpg file
I received the Packers in December of 2009, the BH in March of 2010, and the SJ in Feb of 2013.
The Packers are the standard smooth black. The BH are Smooth Red Dog vamp and heel and Brown Bullhide shafts with white lining. The SJ are black rough out vamp and heel, and smooth brown shaft. All I do on the smooth leather is put on Obenauf's LP and brush them every now and then. I put a little Obenauf's on the black rough out, but not enough to completely flatten the nap.
This is definitely one of the best White's thread on any forum.
Arch length varies from person to person and must be accommodated by the shoe/boot for proper fit. One way to achieve a shorter arch length is to decrease the overall shoe length. If there is also sufficient length for the toes, wearing a shorter size shoe that has the correct arch length is the right solution. Sometimes a custom shoe must be constructed in order to achieve proper fit. From your shoe tracing White's can tell how long your arch length is as well as the overall length and width of your foot. If the people there tell you to go down a half size, they are probably going to be right, but only by wearing the boot will you know for sure. I hope my SDs will be what I need since I am having them custom made to fit. I have some doubts, but if all goes well and the fit is as good as I'm told it will be, I definitely will order more. (But not as many as Bl@ster!)
Love those boots of yours, Andy! What is your "normal" shoe length/width, and why do you think you wear a much narrower width in the Packer, other than the sock thickness?
Edited by Okal - 5/9/13 at 7:51pm