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Custom White's Boots ... Thoughts? - Page 120

post #1786 of 4480

Congrats man - sounds like a job well done, enjoy em!

post #1787 of 4480

I would generally recommend the dress leather over the CXL for the long term boot.  CXL is amazing in the right application but ages very quickly (too quickly IMO) for boots.  The upshot, CXL will look better after 2 months, dress will look better after 2 years.



Originally Posted by kenucklehead View Post

Hello Everyone. I was hoping for help with leather choices. What I want is a durable, darker (but not super dark) brown cowhide. I've gotten several samples from White's but so far, the only one I've seen close to what I'm looking for is the Brown Chromexcel. Photos on Baker's and White's show a classic brown, a dress brown, brown smooth. I plan to use it in combination with the distressed brown. I've gone through several photos in this thread already but alas, I'm still unsure.


Can anyone post comments and photos of your choices and comments regarding your choices? Whatever help you can provide would be appreciated!

post #1788 of 4480

Thanks for the response. How heavy is the dress leather in comparison. From the name itself, it sounds like it would be thinner? How durable a leather is it?


Originally Posted by tigerpac View Post

I would generally recommend the dress leather over the CXL for the long term boot.  CXL is amazing in the right application but ages very quickly (too quickly IMO) for boots.  The upshot, CXL will look better after 2 months, dress will look better after 2 years.



post #1789 of 4480
^ it is a thinner leather but I agree with tiger that if taking longer to look worn is what you are after then dress is best. You can get them lined for a heavier feel.

Saying that, CXL will certainly last as long and if waxed and brushed when necessary you can keep them looking healthy, and the patina is very nice!

Depends how you'll use them maybe?

Distressed smooth, classic Brown and British tan are also nice coloured hardy leathers.

Happy picking.
post #1790 of 4480
Originally Posted by slide13 View Post

My new White's showed up today and I'm really pleased with them. I sized down 1/2 from a previous pair and was afraid they might not fit but they fit great. My build:


British tan leather

cream leather lining

all antique eyelets

Vibram 269 sole

brown edge

standard trim

standard heel

standard last

Love the sole, I wanted the versatility of rubber but liked the sleek look of my old single leather soles. The tapered waist of the 269 sole makes for a perfect compromise. The British tan leather looks even better then I had hoped.

Anyway, on to the pics.

@slide, if you're reading this, pls post some evo pics of these boots! I'm contiplating this build and would love to see how they've aged. Thx!
post #1791 of 4480
The British tan is outstanding, and that build is darn near perfect. I would like to see current pics too. Has there been any water spotting or staining issues as other folks have described? That is the only complaint I have heard about the British tan leather.

post #1792 of 4480

 Wow , that British Tan looks incredible !  Can't wait to see how they look aged.


 I've finally made my decision and will be sending my measurements off to Kyle probably tommorow and ordering online then as well.  I was really undecided between brown Bison, brown HH , natural CXL and distressed smooth.   My wife just picked up some Wolverine 1000 miles in brown CXL so after seeing how nice the CXL was I am deciding to go with CXL.  I work in an office so they won't be getting much abuse. I wanted more of a medium brown since I already have a pair of White's in dress brown. 

 Those of you with CXL , did you get your lined or not ? My current boots are not lined and with the CXL being thicker It seems as if the boot would just be too thick and heavy if it was lined.

post #1793 of 4480
I'd suggest getting them lined for added durability. CXL is pretty stretchy stuff. I am very happy with my lined black CXL smokejumpers; built like tanks and have experienced none of the overstretched issues that I have with unlined CXL footwear
post #1794 of 4480

Personally I'm at the 6 week wait mark.  I ordered through Bakersand am waiting on Brown CXL SD with lowered cuban heel and medallion cap toe.  Bakers told me the wait would be long since smokejumper season had started so I'm hoping September.  For what it's worth in the durability standpoint I believe Bakers told me the Dress would be most durable followed by CXL and then HH.  Not surprisingly this is kind of the reverse order of how they look at first.  Since I plan on wearing them for mostly around-town and not actual work boots I went middle-of-the-road with the CXL - a little dressier looking leather than dress brown but not as durable.  I figure if I take care of them like I care for my allen edmonds shoes I should have boots for the next decade

post #1795 of 4480
Ok, decision time: medallion or standard cap toe?


post #1796 of 4480

I certainly don't think chromexel exceeds CHROME TANNED horsehide in durability. Vegetable tanned horsehide is another matter and clearly inferior, but White's uses chrome tanned horsehide for the tops of its boots and vegetable tanned cowhide for its soles and shanks, as I understand it. Chrome tanned horsehide used to be very common. particularly in Europe, and it is still very popular today. It has fantastic characteristics. Shell cordovan is still one of the most highly prized leathers because of its great characteristics, including durability and beauty. I have had many item made from horsehide, and cordovan in particular, and they can go for years of hard use and still look like they are a month old. Horsehide is not good for some uses because it does not take a rigid form well when chrome tanned and is not at its best when vegetable tanned. That's why companies like White's use the chrome tanned iteration when building the tops of the boots and the vegetable tanned cowhide on the soles, heels and shanks. Chrome tanned horsehide also does not tool well, so it is not a favorite for uses where fancy tooling is nice. For such things as holsters, knife sheaths, many saddle and other tack pieces, and places where cowhide is better suited, horsehide may not be the best. but for the tops of boots, jackets, coats, pants, and a variety of other uses, no leather is superior to horsehide. In gloves there are many materials that can be used, depending on the purpose. Goat skin, deer skin, and calf skin and other more pliable leathers are usually the best to provide dexterity. For working gloves, the toughness of thin goat skin is hard to beat. For archery gloves, cordovan tips on the string fingers are wonderful because of the slickness than provides a good release and the durability that causes the rest of the glove to wear out when the cordovan still looks almost like new, even though it has been the most highly stressed and abraded. Although this link is about holsters, it does discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of horsehide versus cowhide to some extent. http://www.holsters.org/which.htm


Having received my horsehide SDs, I can attest to the high quality of the leather used by White's. While I'm sure the oiled cowhide leather is designed to be the toughest of all the leathers for the boots White's produces, partially because of its thickness and tanning process, I can't imagine that the chromexel can be as durable as the horsehide. However, chromexel is a very nice leather in my experience and is a good alternative for those who prefer its characteristics. I would not hesitate to buy a pair of chromexel boots if they were readily available in my size, but I would probably choose a different leather for any custom order I made. BTW, Russell Moccasin Company has used chromexel in its boots for many years and reports good things about it. Because most of the Russell customers tend to be hunters, their boots generally see heavy use, and the chromexel seems to hold up well in those harsh conditions. My Russell's are built with other leathers that I think are more durable than CLX. Unless it is supplied to them, Russell does not use horsehide in their boots, to my knowledge.



post #1797 of 4480



For sure the standard cap toe! It looks fantastic without trying to turn a work boot style into a dress boot style. Even the women in my life agree who aren't big fans of the idea of a work boot, but think the standard cap toe looks great on the SDs.



post #1798 of 4480
Cheers, Allan. I was hoping youd chime in;)
post #1799 of 4480
post #1800 of 4480
Originally Posted by EastWestApparel View Post


Thx man! I assumed youd say this much, but i can see why you use it on your sd cap build.

Now I'm deciding to either go with your build on the double leather sole with the 1/4 drop block heel, or the single midsole and 269 outsole with the standard heel... Decisions decisions
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