thanks for the input @Neognosis. i brought my boots to the cobbler today for some rubber. I have dressier brown boots I won't rubber but these I want to wear daily. There is a ton of construction, causing a lot of fine gravel and metal shavings on the sidewalk, as well as broken glass in my area and I walk about 2.5 hours a day, all told. I think my "city walking" is probably rougher than people imagined when I initially asked the question.
I will post pics when they're done. I just hope the feel of the boot isn't dramatically different.