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stephenaf2003

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So, I know this is a loaded question, but I'm wanting to buy my first ever pair of higher end boots, at least relative to my past history. Have never really owned any boots more than $400.

However, with so many brands and colours I'm kind of overwhelmed to say the least. Any recommendations on potential a good blog or thread to read? I've browsed a solid 50 pages here to get ideas, but just too many options and a lot of little intricacies you guys mention on boots don't really register for me.

If I went with something in shell color 8, would this be most versatile? Or should I do something in brown?

I'd like to spend less than a thousand dollars, prefer shell or something recommended for winter wear. Doable at that price point?
Unfortunately, the problem you pose won’t be eliminated by reading a blog. There just are very many choices to choose from, especially at that price point. Choose any one, (or perhaps one each:-D) from the makers below and you’ll be pleased.

For me though it only comes down to a few makers at that price; at least for shell. Carmina can’t be beat for high end styling. If it’s shell you want they have the 2nd most colors readily available. Alden won’t deliver the beauty, anything other than color 8, or black due to their iphonesque approach to color; but will deliver a quality boot. Crockett and Jones has shell boots stock now on their website for under a grand, and have been mostly my boot of choice. Allen Edmonds has a shell boot that many like, readily available. Ron Rider out of Richmond also produces a quality shell boot in that range. And the last one I personally would consider is Trickers. If you like their unique styling, they would by far offer you the most choices in shell. The quality of Trickers is also great.
 

RogerP

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So, I know this is a loaded question, but I'm wanting to buy my first ever pair of higher end boots, at least relative to my past history. Have never really owned any boots more than $400.

However, with so many brands and colours I'm kind of overwhelmed to say the least. Any recommendations on potential a good blog or thread to read? I've browsed a solid 50 pages here to get ideas, but just too many options and a lot of little intricacies you guys mention on boots don't really register for me.

If I went with something in shell color 8, would this be most versatile? Or should I do something in brown?

I'd like to spend less than a thousand dollars, prefer shell or something recommended for winter wear. Doable at that price point?
Why do you prefer shell for winter wear? Very water resistant, but shows up waxy water spots and lumpy welts too often for my liking (for foul weather wear). Zug, then CXL, then grain are my preferences for a boot that will see a lot of exposure to water.

A grand will buy you any number of awesome boots from multiple manufacturers.

I'd say mid brown is better than color 8 or any burgundy shade for versatility. And a fairly sleek derby as a style of boot is probably best for versatility as well - think Galway or Thorpe in terms of overall design - can dress up or down with ease.

One workable approach would be to identify exactly the features you want - design, materials for upper and shaft, outsole - and then just have Vass make you a pair. Staying under a grand, Bonafe and Zonkey Boot are also excellent choices.

But whatever you buy, make sure you sort out fit well before placing an order. If this is a one-time higher-end boot buy for you, you don't want it all going south because the boots just don't fit. Come to think of it, you might be better served buying ready stock from a vendor with a decent return policy than pursuing a custom order.
 

jischwar

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So, I know this is a loaded question, but I'm wanting to buy my first ever pair of higher end boots, at least relative to my past history. Have never really owned any boots more than $400.

However, with so many brands and colours I'm kind of overwhelmed to say the least. Any recommendations on potential a good blog or thread to read? I've browsed a solid 50 pages here to get ideas, but just too many options and a lot of little intricacies you guys mention on boots don't really register for me.

If I went with something in shell color 8, would this be most versatile? Or should I do something in brown?

I'd like to spend less than a thousand dollars, prefer shell or something recommended for winter wear. Doable at that price point?
If you are willing to go up to $1k, I'd strongly suggest checking out Vibergs (www.viberg.com). Their main focus are service boots, but also have a selection of chelsea and side-zip boots. Their selection of leathers is unmatched in my opinion with choices that will fit your "winter" criteria.
 

Sdig14

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Thanks everyone. A lot of brands mentioned were ones I had looked at in the last month or so, i.e. Carmina, AE, Alden, Viberg, Ron Rider and Grant Stone. Also looked at Rancourt and a couple others.

I realize I am in a tough spot. I am clearly not knowledgeable enough to know exactly what I want in a boot to spend $1,000 since I just have not owned enough pairs to know exactly what I like and feels good on me. On the other hand, I have graduated from the cheaper boots and feel like while I could spend $300 on a pair of boots to try different styles to find out what I like, if I do that a few times I would have saved enough for a $900 pair.

Life is hard.
 

Vocans

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So, I know this is a loaded question, but I'm wanting to buy my first ever pair of higher end boots, at least relative to my past history. Have never really owned any boots more than $400.

However, with so many brands and colours I'm kind of overwhelmed to say the least. Any recommendations on potential a good blog or thread to read? I've browsed a solid 50 pages here to get ideas, but just too many options and a lot of little intricacies you guys mention on boots don't really register for me.

If I went with something in shell color 8, would this be most versatile? Or should I do something in brown?

I'd like to spend less than a thousand dollars, prefer shell or something recommended for winter wear. Doable at that price point?
Agree with what others have said so far. All the brands mentioned make fantastic shell boots and all use shell from Horween so I would focus on which style best fits your tastes and current wardrobe first. Decide if you want a plain toe, cap toe, moc toe like an Indy, wingtip boot, split toe, etc. And if you can't find exactly what you're looking for, you could always go with a maker like Enzo Bonafe and design your own from scratch.

Both color 8 and brown are versatile so it's hard to go wrong either way. I will say that color 8 (also known as "king" in Alden thread speak) is the color most people think of when they think of cordovan boots or shoes and it's for good reason, in my opinion.

Another consideration is sizing. If your feet are standard D width then any of those makers should stock shell boots in your size. However, if you're an unusual size, your options become more limited without paying exorbitant MTO fees to do custom widths. Alden and Allen Edmonds (and of course a maker like Bonafe who does a lot of custom work) can easily accommodate wide or narrow widths.
 

Sdig14

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Agree with what others have said so far. All the brands mentioned make fantastic shell boots and all use shell from Horween so I would focus on which style best fits your tastes and current wardrobe first. Decide if you want a plain toe, cap toe, moc toe like an Indy, wingtip boot, split toe, etc. And if you can't find exactly what you're looking for, you could always go with a maker like Enzo Bonafe and design your own from scratch.

Both color 8 and brown are versatile so it's hard to go wrong either way. I will say that color 8 (also known as "king" in Alden thread speak) is the color most people think of when they think of cordovan boots or shoes and it's for good reason, in my opinion.

Another consideration is sizing. If your feet are standard D width then any of those makers should stock shell boots in your size. However, if you're an unusual size, your options become more limited without paying exorbitant MTO fees to do custom widths. Alden and Allen Edmonds (and of course a maker like Bonafe who does a lot of custom work) can easily accommodate wide or narrow widths.
Thankfully, I have pretty average feet. No abnormalities. Size 9 and standard width.

So I definitely have the options being able to simply return stock items if they do not fit the way I want them to. Only issue is being in Canada, most brands do not offer free shipping on returns there and back, so it is an additional cost. But in the long run, not that big of a deal unless doing it many times.

And yes, I like idea of building from scratch, just think I need to experiment with a couple lesser priced versions of designs I like in order to know what I want. Because when I read some stuff in this thread about blind eyelets, speed hooks, various parts of the boot, soles, etc....I realize I need to experiment a bit because all I really know about boots is what designs I find I like the look of. I like clean or cap toe, do not really like wingtips much at all, and prefer the boots shorter than tall. So need to continue the journey and try some out!
 
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Sdig14

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I like the Viberg brogue boot in dust calfskin. It is a cool grey/brown tone and I think I could pair with a lot of things. But do not think I will start with something that expensive.
 

Sdig14

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The other more affordable option I like is the AE Higgins Mill in brown tumbled leather. I like the look of it. As I have never tried much for boots before, can anyone comment on fit of these? My feet are close to normal width, slightly wide. Usuallu 8.5 US is best length, but if it fits narrow I usually go up to 9 in dress shoes. But I feel boots usually have more room and I can do 8.5.
 

madhat

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The other more affordable option I like is the AE Higgins Mill in brown tumbled leather. I like the look of it. As I have never tried much for boots before, can anyone comment on fit of these? My feet are close to normal width, slightly wide. Usuallu 8.5 US is best length, but if it fits narrow I usually go up to 9 in dress shoes. But I feel boots usually have more room and I can do 8.5.
They fit wider, but which boots are you sizing down for? They are generally taken TTS, but depending on your previous experience 8.5D may work. It's definitely a win from AE. Try to grab on sale or check for seconds.

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Sdig14

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They fit wider, but which boots are you sizing down for? They are generally taken TTS, but depending on your previous experience 8.5D may work. It's definitely a win from AE. Try to grab on sale or check for seconds.

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Thanks for the help. Haven't tried any of them before, but they're on sale now. I'm usually 8.5 in dress shoes but I size up to 9 if last is narrow. I bought a pair of Thursdays and they fit huge, I think tried all the way down to 8 before I found a fit. Don't love them as after wearing a while I find the footbed already getting a bit hard.

Do those sits like shoebank or places similar ship to Canada? I thought I read some were US only.

I definitely like that style and they seem well built and a good option to try. And definitely a quality start to see what I like and can refine my taste later.
 

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