So I Just came back from vacation, and had a large, white box with the words "White's Boots" waiting for me.
I finally received my custom Semi Dress boots.
I was initially aiming to get a versatile boot (in color and style) that could be worn for a number of occasions. I think I managed to successfully create that boot.
These were the specs I asked for:
-Brown Semi Dress leather
-Single Leather sole
-90 degree block heel w/ Brown edge coloring
-Heel lowered by 1/4"
-Close trim w/ the single row stitching
-Antique eyes and hooks
-Black leather liner
So These are my initial impressions:
-Immediately comfortable - This caused me the most hesitation when I initially felt like purchasing. These boots cost an awful lot of money for normal people, and I did not want them to be painful to wear. However, they felt amazing from the first second I put them on. Totally stunned me, and I was pleasantly surprised. The arch ease system is absolutely great, and my feet feel wonderful wearing these boots.
-Sizing - I didn't want to take chances, so I traced my foot and sent it to White's. Historically, I have been a standard 11D in pretty much every show I have ever worn. Gym shoes, dress shoes, flip flops, you name it. These White's custom boots carry the stamp of ' 10.5D ' on the inside. So I assume my trace, and traditionally an 11D foot was a 10.5D for White's. Either way, they fit absolutely perfectly!
-Excellent craftsmanship - I don't have much to compare these boots with, as I have never owned Alden, RW, or any other expensive boots. However, I went over the boots with a fine eye, and the details are great. The leather is fantastic. No blemishes, smooth and strong. The stitching is rugged perfectly aligned. The seams are tight, and the lining is impeccable. Clearly a high end boot that will wear well.
-Leather - The brown semi dress leather is a fairly standard choice for the semi dress model. It was soft right out of the box, and the color can easily compliment a wide variety of styles.
-I'm really happy with my custom choices - I'm glad I chose to lower the heel 1/4", and went with the block heel. The standard White's heel, the cuban heel ,or whatever you call it was just a little too risky for my style. However, every picture I saw of the standard block heel seemed way too bulky. The lowered heel really makes this boot compatible with my traditional style, and keeps the boot from looking clunky without sacrificing comfort.
Also, I'm very glad I chose the close trim option with the single row of stitching. It doesn't seem to suffer any lack of strength, and keeps the boot looking somewhat dressy and less like a super hardcore work boot.
-The laces kinda suck - While they seemingly compliment the entire boot well, they also seem to be in a different league as far as the quality is concerned. They aren't terribly by any means, but compared to the rest of this boot.....
Now, some might debate my next move, but I went ahead and applied Sno-Seal to the boots (whilst brand new and after the pictures below) as I live in the midwest and will wear these in a lot of both rain and snow. The Brown Semi Dress leather was great as the leather absorbed the Sno-Seal well, and had no noticeable color change. It was very simple and I'm glad I did it.
Here are the initial Pics
(The scuff on a few of the pics was done by me after I accidentally kicked my chair.)