- Sep 28, 2014
- Reaction score
Very detailed. Nice write up.Hi everyone, been lurking for a while and this is my first post. I'd like to start off by thanking everyone here for providing so much useful info and amazing pictures that were invaluable in picking out my own pair. Here is long post of my initial impressions of my new MP boots.
White's Military Police Service Boot
MP Leathers: Dark Brown Waxed Flesh
Toe Cap: Vintage 4-row Toe Cap
Sole: Commando Mini Lug Half Sole
Celastic Toe Box: No Thanks
Hardware: All Antique Eyes
Logos / Embossing: No logos or embossing
Placed order with Baker’s on 12/5/19 with Black Friday pricing. Had gone back a forth for a week or so with Kyle with various questions and his sizing recommendations based on my tracings and measurement I sent in. Kyle was extremely helpful and knowledgeable which is super reassuring when you are buying boots that are $450 even on sale. For reference, I don’t know my brannock size, in sneakers I usually wear a 10D with insoles, have Thursday Captains in 10D (my first pair of real boots which I realized later were definitely too large but I still wear), Thursday Presidents in 9.5D which fit well, and Thursday Diplomats in 9D which fit ok. When Kyle recommended an 8.5C I was quite surprised at what sounded very small. I inquired about a try on pair to make sure, but they did not have C width sizes for try on. After confirming my measurements a 2nd time, Kyle was confident in the 8.5C and assured me that if they didn’t fit, Baker’s would make it right. Based on his sterling reputation around these parts, I went with his suggested size. Spoiler alert: he absolutely lived up to his reputation and the sizing was spot on. Overall, the ordering process was great and though I was nervous about spending $450 on a boot I had not tried on (or even actually seen in person), Kyle made me feel confident I was in good hands. If you are planning on ordering a pair of White’s, I HIGHLY recommend going through Baker’s rather than White’s directly, more on this later.
This is the part where things got tough. When I ordered, Kyle estimated an 8 week wait. Understandable, given the nature of the boots and the busy time I ordered during. No big deal. Order was placed 12/5. On 1/21, just about 7 weeks after order, I received an email from Baker’s that they had received my order from White’s, but that the boots were missing the cap toe so they were sending them back to the factory to be rebuilt correctly ASAP and they estimated an additional week or two. Two weeks later, on 2/3 I checked in to see if they had any update. To my disappointment, they told me they received my boots about a week earlier, but that they had QC issues so Baker’s had ordered a complete new pair to be built and estimated another 2-3 weeks. Frustrating to have to wait even longer, but better to wait longer than get a sub-par boot. Finally, on 3/4, I received my tracking info from Baker’s. My boots were on their way to me. The only problem was that I was leaving the country the next day for a trip, thankfully they were being delivered to my office so there would still be someone to receive the package. They were delivered on 3/10, almost 14 weeks from my order. Then it was another 10 days until I was actually able to get my hands on them.
At this point is where I will discuss a topic that has come up often in relation to White’s... Quality Control. I understand the argument that they make work boots so some degree of QC issues are to be forgiven, however, if they want to get into the fashion boot business, then criticism of cosmetic issues seems more than fair. It really should not be too much to expect the QC folks to catch the fact that the order was for cap toe boots and they were built plain toe. Thankfully the Baker boys were on top of things and caught not only that, but then the additional QC issues after the rebuild. They didn’t specify exactly what the QC issues were the 2nd time and I didn’t ask, but I sure am glad I bought through them and not straight from White’s as it seems that White’s QC process could use some improvement. I’ve seen extensive debate here and on Reddit over what constitutes QC issues significant enough to warrant complaint and it is a tremendous relief that I had Baker’s to act as an additional set of eyes deal with this instead of having to worry about it myself. I don’t quite understand how they can charge lower prices than White’s direct while actually adding value, but I am so thankful that they do. Again, if you are ordering White’s, Baker’s seems like the way to go.
The final product:
These boots are FANTASITIC. It took quite some time and few attempts, but in the end, I received a beautiful pair of boots. The leather is thick and consistent, and smells amazing. They have very straight, even stitching throughout the uppers and soles. The lasting and cap toes are also very straight, even, and symmetrical. Just for the sake of full disclosure, there were a few loose threads, a welt trimmed a bit unevenly on the inside of one boot, and some glue around the soles. These are extremely nitpicky imperfections that don’t bother me in the least bit, and I actually think they contribute to the character of a hand built boot. Despite White’s issues with QC, when they get it right, as they did with this pair, they really knock it out of the park.
As I had mentioned, I was nervous about what seemed like a small size, but of course, Kyle was spot on. The boots are the snuggest fitting that I own, but they don’t feel tight, more like they are lovingly hugging my feet. My toes don’t feel cramped in at all, and the soft toe seems to provide some extra comfort when I wiggle my toes. After wearing them around the house for a few days, the leather is still rather stiff and I think will take some time to soften up, but they are quite comfortable, no hotspots or lace bite. The arch support is noticeable but not too extreme. It’s pleasantly, well... supportive. The boots themselves are pretty heavy, but don’t actually feel too heavy on foot, they just feel sturdy. Unfortunately, not much walking around to be done in my apartment, and with current coronavirus shelter in place restrictions, it’s going to be a while before I can start putting some real miles on these, but I can’t wait to do so.
Thanks for reading all this. Hope there is useful info in here for someone.