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boot advice

literasyme

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My trusty hiking boots have finally, after ten years or so, sprung a leak, and while I'll probably have them repaired, this is as good an excuse as any to finally get a pair of boots I can wear with grown-up clothes without the massive aesthetic sacrifice my old ones entailed. I live in Toronto, so need something that can take a degree of abuse -- looks like this winter will be much like the last one, with tons of precipitation. Snow-covered sidewalks, occasional forays into over-the-ankle depth snow with the dog, slush, salt, and all on a near-daily basis. Ideally I suppose that would mean getting at least two pairs, but for now, one will have to do. I've picked out a few options, and would particularly appreciate feedback from people who own the same boots, and have used them in similar conditions. Here's the shortlist: Tricker's Grasmere
Tricker's Stow (Burnished Espresso, but with a Dainite sole)
Tricker's Malton (only available in their classic Tan 'C' Shade, which I find a bit too orangey. Is this actually a Veldtschoen boot? looks like a storm welt to me.)
Alfred Sargent Kelso (I'm certain that this is the same as this Shipton & Heneage, but it also looks an awful lot like this, considerably cheaper, model from Hoggs. Someone in another thread mentioned that Hoggs are made by Sander & Sander, and I don't like those [judging from what's available on Pediwear]. Does anyone know whether AS also make boots for Hoggs?)
C&J Coniston Interesting illustrated story here by a guy who actually uses these as his work boots on a horse farm:
Barker Harrison (Not a huge fan of Barker, but these claim to be waterproof and are a good deal cheaper than the rest...)
I'm not looking into Cordovan boots, nor am I considering the C&J Snowdon -- neither are quite in my budget at the moment. A couple of specific questions: how much of a difference is there between Scotch Grain and Zug Grain leathers? Is Zug much tougher/more uncomfortable? And is there a payoff in durability? How much more water-proof are Veldtschoen boots than merely storm-welted ones? If you wear your boots out and about in unpleasant weather, do you polish them after every outing? Or can the country leathers make do with less intensive TLC? And are both actually hardier than regular calf? Whenever someone asks these types of questions, I sense a divide between the North American board members, who tend to advise against wearing any "nice" shoe in bad weather, and the Brits, who seem to think country boots are made for precisely this sort of purpose. I'm going to assume that the latter is indeed the case, and that the point of buying a pair of boots like these is precisely that you don't need to get overshoes to protect them. With that general premise in mind, could I solicit some advice and anecdotes? Thanks!
 

literasyme

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Just to keep this from falling off the front page unanswered, I'll give it a little bump...
 

why

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theyre just wingtips that go upmthe ankle

not a fan
 

literasyme

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That's sort of the point of brogue boots, no? Not exactly a newfangled idea...
 

Composer_1777

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I would look at some brands like redwing or timberland. I'm not feeling the wingtip boots. None of those seem worth the money, all u need to do is buy a can of scotch guard to make any leather water-repelent, cost like 6 $ or something?
 

literasyme

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Sorry, guys, but I'm not looking to replace my old boots with utility vehicles just like them. I'm looking for a classically styled boot that can take some abuse but can also be worn with flannels and a sportcoat, if maybe not a pinstripe suit.
 

DocHolliday

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I wear my boots in all sorts of bad weather. They've held up fine to rain, snow, etc. Salt's the devil, though, and I try to avoid it.

If you're thinking sportcoat and flannels, I'd rule out most of the ones you've listed. Have you checked them out in person? The wingtip gunboat style tends to be very round-toed and clunky -- real clodhoppers. Unless you're going for some sort of slim/clunky contrast, a la Get Smart, they're going to look off with elegant tailored clothing. I tried a pair of clunky wingtip boots from AS and even my heaviest tweeds looked silly with them. Maybe they'd have been more at home on an English estate, but not parading around a city. A sleeker last makes a big difference, as does a less beefy sole.

Of the ones you've listed, I like the Coniston the best, and think it the most versatile.
 

rs232

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I can't really help you, because I'm very polar in boot choices (ie I'll either wear a balmoral, or a hiking boot). If you do decide to get a hiking boot though, I'd really recommend the Alico "Guide":
It's a tough mother.
 

literasyme

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Thanks, Doc -- that's useful. I saw boots from the Tricker's Country line in the UK last summer, and was amused by their almost comical width and roundness; if a shoe can make Aldens look sleek, it has to be seriously blobby... I suspect the Conistons would indeed be the most versatile, but they'd also, naturally, be the ones I'd be most wary of abusing (despite that horse-farm guy's photos). Some feedback on the Barkers would be useful -- has anyone seen those IRL?
 

academe

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Originally Posted by DocHolliday
I wear my boots in all sorts of bad weather. They've held up fine to rain, snow, etc. Salt's the devil, though, and I try to avoid it.

If you're thinking sportcoat and flannels, I'd rule out most of the ones you've listed.


Surely it depends on what kind of sportcoat and flannels? If you wear tweed, herringbone, patterned jackets, etc. most of those shoes would look just fine. Also your choice of colour palette will influence how appropriate they look - neutrals (e.g., shades of grey) and earthier tones would probably look best.

Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Have you checked them out in person? The wingtip gunboat style tends to be very round-toed and clunky -- real clodhoppers.

This is more true of the Trickers brogued boots, and probably less so of the AS or Barkers. It also depends on the last, as there are several different lasts which run from "chunky" to sleeker. Generally the "country" line lasts are heavier. You might be able to find a brogued boot from a non-country line that is more sleek.

Originally Posted by DocHolliday
I tried a pair of clunky wingtip boots from AS and even my heaviest tweeds looked silly with them. Maybe they'd have been more at home on an English estate, but not parading around a city. A sleeker last makes a big difference, as does a less beefy sole.

Surely this is a matter of personal preference, style and your comfort level? One's perception of "silliness" is very subjective. I'd leave it to the OP to try the boots on with whatever ensemble he comes up with, and go from there. What may look silly on you may suit the OP to a tee.

Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Of the ones you've listed, I like the Coniston the best, and think it the most versatile.

+1

I definitely think the Coniston would be the one to go with, as it is the most versatile. It's also made on a slightly sleeker last, and won't look like a "gunboat" on your feet, if that's something you're worried about.

I'd concur that British-made shoes and boots should be able to take some amount of "weather" with aplomb, with no need for the overshoes. The storm-welted, Dainite-soled versions in particular are designed for nasty weather, and the overshoes seem like even more of an elaborate and ugly waste of time. I don't polish my shoes every time I'm in the rain or snow. I just wipe them off with a damp cloth to remove any salt or dirt that they may have picked up. I rinse them with fresh water if it looks like the salt is particularly heavy. I polish them perhaps once every week or two.
 

Salsalocust

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As my PM stated to the OP, a great thread with plenty to get your teeth into from an aesthetic point of view.

For anyone who has not actually tried on a Tricker boot or country shoe.... you need to!
They will not "affect" every person the same way in terms of chunky or "blobbiness"
(hate the term)

Also consider their non-lace boots (eg Henry) that will clone the job of the lace ups. Again most people will immediately go for the commando sole, which for some will make them feel like thet are driving the SUV around the city (bad,bad
) but three other soles are available. Contact David directly at Tricker's in the new year of PM me if you like


Well that was almost healthily free of spam!!!!.... just fell at the last hurdle


Merry Christmas!

Graham
 

crazyquik

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Thought about a chelsea boot?

Or a paddock boot?
 

ManofKent

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I own the Barker Harrison's (albeit in a discontinued mahogny/dark tan). They're sleeker than many boots (certainly than the Tricker's) if not sleek. I've worn them in heavy rain without problems, but not waded in them. They're fine on frosted pavements, but the Dainite sole isn't stunning on actual ice - maybe a commando sole would be better. In terms of care, I polish fairly regularly, but not after each wet wear and haven't had any issues.

It's worth looking at Cheaney - they're country shoes and boots are nice to my eyes - better than their city shoes.

As regards Hoggs - they do sell shoes made for them by Alfred Sargent and Trcker's but I think most of them that don't explicity name the maker are Sanders & Sanders.

http://www.hoggs.co.uk/categories.html
 

voxsartoria

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Conniston. It's a nicely shaped boot, and will be the most versatile.


- B
 

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