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A breathable boot?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

(Attached is a picture of my ideal boot style.).

 

I suffer from painfully hot feet (not neuropathy nor diabetes, fortunately); just unfortunate circulatory genetics, including sweating in 68*F (20* C). Lately I've been wearing my horrid sneakers more and more and hate it -- it ruins all of my effort at decent styling. I've spent about 60 hours so far researching (including heavily on this forum), but I feel like I've hit a dead end. So I thought I would quit lurking and post to ask you all (you've all provided great advice while lurking over the last  5 years -- thank you!). 

 

I would appreciate any feedback on any of the following. (And I'm happy to spend dozens of hours of research -- I just need some help pointing me in the right direction.)

 

My previous shoe has been a Corcoran 1500 10" black combat boot laced halfway up. But my feet bake in it. (Moreover, you all on this forum have convinced me of the virtues of rich brown shoes over flat black.)

 

-- Geox seems like a good solution, however they don't seem to offer any decent chukka/boot styles. (There is very little rain where I live, so that eliminates the problem with Geox.)

-- From advice seen on this forum, I'm keeping an eye on Merrell, Clarks, and even Rockport. However, (A.) I haven't found a similar style, and (B.) I'm skeptical of whether they are significantly more breathable than better boots.

-- Stylewise, investing in Red WIngs or White's would be ideal (from what I've gathered from this forum). But I fear that they'd end up roasting my feet and become very expensive paper weights.

-- Is it possible to have a good cobbler add ventilation inlets to, at least, the inner side of the shoe? How much of a difference do you think that would make?

-- Do you recommend that I abandon the hope of an 8" boot and focus on something else (non-sneaker)?

-- How breathable are good oxfords (like AE)? Do you recommend I abandon my boot hopes for such an oxford instead (given that it only entails losing a few inches of desired style)? Are there any AE (or alternatives) with the bigger shape of a boot?

-- I've read some recommendations here for suede chukkas for hot feet. Are they that much more breathable? They really aren't my style, but I would certainly consider them over wearing sneakers (like I'm currently forced to do). 

 

As seen in the pictures, I would prefer a cap toe, a large round shape, and a very deep brown (though I can, as learned on this forum, deepen a brown with darker shoe polishes). My style tends to be: dark jeans cuffed, textured button down shirts, skinny wool ties, and cardigans or blazers. 

 

 

Thank you very much for any advice. 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 16
If you don't mind losing the waterproof element, adding ventilation eyelets to a pair of redwings would be an easy job. The other option is a fabric boot, maybe something like Palladium (although they are an acquired taste).
post #3 of 16

you could possibly try a chelsea if you like the style. although I'm not sure if they would help with breathability at all. but they fit a little looser on your ankle and they have the elastic which could possibly help. something like this. http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF9032_1_40000000001_-1_

post #4 of 16
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManofKent View Post

If you don't mind losing the waterproof element, adding ventilation eyelets to a pair of redwings would be an easy job. The other option is a fabric boot, maybe something like Palladium (although they are an acquired taste).

 

A good suggestion. But I'm afraid I would prefer to wear a different, better-looking cloth shoe in that case (I particularly find their rubber duck toe off-putting). But I appreciate the suggestion -- thanks! 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManofKent View Post

If you don't mind losing the waterproof element, adding ventilation eyelets to a pair of redwings would be an easy job. The other option is a fabric boot, maybe something like Palladium (although they are an acquired taste).
 
Are AE shoes (whether those boots or their famed oxfords) highly breathable? I know they have a stellar reputation on this forum. But I've never worn one so I really don't know. If going the AE route, I think I'd rather just get a nice oxford from them. 

 

 

 

post #6 of 16

Im not sure if AE shoes are any more breathable than others. I own a few pairs of AE shoes and boots. But my feet stay pretty cool, i have no problem wearing any of my boots in the summer evan in 90degree weather. I will say I've been very happy with the quality of the footwear.  Also what kind of price limit are you looking for? and where are you located?  also i do find suede to be more breathable especially if its unlined. i can't think of any unlined suede boots tho. but if you got some money to spare you could try these http://unionmadegoods.com/product/alden-mason-indy-boot-in-dark-chocolate-suede-d3802h/ although there lines i believe

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatenc123 View Post
 

Im not sure if AE shoes are any more breathable than others. I own a few pairs of AE shoes and boots. But my feet stay pretty cool, i have no problem wearing any of my boots in the summer evan in 90degree weather. I will say I've been very happy with the quality of the footwear.  Also what kind of price limit are you looking for? and where are you located?  also i do find suede to be more breathable especially if its unlined. i can't think of any unlined suede boots tho. but if you got some money to spare you could try these http://unionmadegoods.com/product/alden-mason-indy-boot-in-dark-chocolate-suede-d3802h/ although there lines i believe

 

Thanks for the additional recommendation. I've come across that brand Alden in my research, and they seem like great shoes. 

 

I'm American but have been living in Chile for a number of years now. I return to the U.S. regularly to visit friends and family so can purchase most anything (although I often miss "seasons" of clothing due to the periods in between). I would be very willing to spend $600 on a good pair of boots IF they have stellar breathability/ventilation. But that's a pretty difficult guarantee to obtain. So I'd rather experiment with some cheaper options. 

 

For example: 

-- Perhaps the extra 4" of my current boots vs. chukkas adds a lot of heat?

-- Perhaps cobbler added inlets (inner side of shoe) could reduce heat?

-- Perhaps the quality leather + leather soles of AEs makes for some good breathability (especially in oxfords vs. chukkas/boots)? 

 

So I'm trying to fish for info from all you wise folks at these forums (and good god are these forums filled with knowledgeable people!)

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking about doing Red Wings  . . . plus about 30 ventilation holes (on the inner side). The holes *shouldn't* be very noticeable to anyone else (think: tiny holes). And they would probably undermine the construction a bit, but I want them to eventually look worn and saggy (see 3rd picture) so I hope it won't matter. 

 

Does anyone know if I can hard polish these (pictured) to eventually result in worn hard polish (see 3rd picture)? 

 

Many thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #9 of 16

Breathable AE oxfords (from what I've heard, not firsthand experience):

http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF5505_1_40000000001_-1_

http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF4112_1_40000000001_-1_

 

Maybe inspiration for an MTO? I do think chukkas will be more breathable and cool than tall boots - at least, that's been my experience. I've heard people here say shell is uncomfortable in hot weather but I've never felt that way.

post #10 of 16

@GringoInChile i believe that last picture is shell cordovan. at least from the look of it.

post #11 of 16

I would echo the recommendation on chukkas, even though it is not your first choice. Go unlined. 

 

The red wing iron ranger you picture wears quite warm. I have a pair. I also own the original Wolverine 1000 mile which feels lighter and cooler, although some people find the White Pine version more breathable. Captoes are going to be thicker and less breathable, all things equal. There are also Italian style hiking style boots made on vibram outsoles that are lighter. I suspect weight of the soles also contribute greatly to sweat and breathability. 

 

Also, a pair of unlined rancourt boots might work, such as this, especially if you size down and wear thinner socks.

 

At the end of the day, I would just really encourage you to abandon tall boots. In your last statement from the original post regarding your style, I think a wingtip oxford might be a good choice instead of boots. 

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker View Post
 

I would echo the recommendation on chukkas, even though it is not your first choice. Go unlined. 

 

The red wing iron ranger you picture wears quite warm. I have a pair. I also own the original Wolverine 1000 mile which feels lighter and cooler, although some people find the White Pine version more breathable. Captoes are going to be thicker and less breathable, all things equal. There are also Italian style hiking style boots made on vibram outsoles that are lighter. I suspect weight of the soles also contribute greatly to sweat and breathability. 

 

Also, a pair of unlined rancourt boots might work, such as this, especially if you size down and wear thinner socks.

 

At the end of the day, I would just really encourage you to abandon tall boots. In your last statement from the original post regarding your style, I think a wingtip oxford might be a good choice instead of boots. 

 

Fantastic feedback, thanks. Good (albeit sad) to hear that Iron Rangers wear warm. 

 

Those Rancourt are quite good looking. But now I'm concerned that they too would be too hot . . .

 

Do you happen to have any feedback about how, versus your boots, oxfords (like Allen Edmonds) fare in terms of heat? 

 

I do prefer boots (as in these pics, they add more beautiful leather bulk when moving/sitting), but oxfords will only be a small step down (and a HUGE step up from having to wear sneakers). My problem with chukkas is that they tend to lack the shape of a boot or, to a lesser extent, even oxfords; instead chukkas tend to be a bit pointy (elf-ish?) that poorly suits my small feet + tall muscular frame (a big reason why I prefer cap toe: it adds more "bulk" to the foot).

 

Overall, it's not worth extreme discomfort in footwear when I can maintain style from the ankle up. But it would still be nice to have footwear somewhat complementary to my style and body. And so I sincerely thank you guys for taking the time to make some recommendations. 

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatenc123 View Post
 

@GringoInChile i believe that last picture is shell cordovan. at least from the look of it.

 

Sidenote: I had found a cool thread on this forum (here) about how you can gradually darken the color of shoes with darker polish (even giving it a richer, layered look). That is why I asked about whether that leather would be suitable for hard polishing and thus be able to gradually darken (preferring a very very dark brown to a true cordovan, so kind of a poor choice of comparison pics).  Unfortunately, Striker shot down my Red Wing hopes by testifying that they run pretty warm. 

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

I wonder if this Merrell could be hard shined to have a semi-passable oxford look (while also being "boot bulky" for my underproportioned feet).

 

 

post #15 of 16

I can see why you would want to go for boots given a tall stature but there is no need to go for bulbous toes regardless, just nothing too pointy, which means most American trad brands should fit, as would UK country style boots from Trickers. Trust me, you have a problem that I would love to have. I am very short and yet my feet are larger than average and that is a worse problem. Clown shoes on a midget makes donald duck look like a runway model. I have several boots but I still prefer a lower cut. 

 

Dun go for the merrell whatever you do. 

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