Originally Posted by bumgardner
I have owned a pair of Whites semi dress boots.for over a year. I have worn them pretty much every day. Excellent quality and after break in they are real comfortable.
Same here. One year, almost, of wear in regular rotation and the soles have barely started to scuff. Also, I went a half size down. I'm a standard 12D in most athletic shoes and an 11.5D in Red Wing 877 and Rugged Classics. Probably could have gone down a full size size thinner, dress socks look better, IMO, than the thicker one worn with Red Wings and similar rugged boots. And, yes, they are pretty heavy and the Cuban heel isn't for everyone. My dad even said they looked like something his grandfather wore. Easy on and off with the lace hooks. So much so that I'll wear them when traveling some as they aren't a big hassel to take off/put on at TSA checkpoints
Fortunately, Imogene & Willie is in town and I was able to try them on before purchasing. Wish I had gone with the Vibram sole and will have that put on if I ever wear them out enough for a restoration/rebuild. Lots of comments on them especially with the white double stitching.
Out of the box the best quality boots I've ever owned. Leather is supple and I had no break in period. The did tell me that the Arch Ease would take some getting used to and it did. I finally put a thin pair of insoles in them, White's does not recommend that, a couple of months ago and it's really improved the comfort for me.
The pair referenced earlier that sold on eBay had seen some use in a year. These boots gain character with age and there are some great pics on the forum of some with some use.
I did some Google searching and finally purchased mine from a Red Wing Shoe Store in Bismark, ND. lotsOfBoots.com is the website on my receipt. Called them up and asked if they had what I was looking for. They were selling the Semi-dress for $342 plus reasonable shipping. Cheaper than I'd seen anywhere else. The store didn't stock them but rather placed an order for me directly with White's. Sounds like you could make a custom order through the store as well - heel, leather, etc. The only option I considered was the sole. They shipped right from the factory in just a couple of weeks if I remember correctly.
There is an eBay seller "whitesriver" that always sells a variety of White's. Unique leathers and soles (even crepe).Looks like they are affiliated with White's and maybe are selling factory overstocks and such. Consistently great deals if you can find your style and size. Send them an email inquiry of check their listings regularly and maybe they can hook you up. The smoke jumpers are bad a$$. 28 listings as of now.
I'm not affiliated with the store or eBay seller in any way. Just sharing my purchase experience and where I'd go if I were to do it again. Happy hunting.