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chicagoan2016

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@sambam said as much back in 2019 here...

However it was only supposed to be on the Main Street boots... which are IMHO not really worthy of being called White's but opinions can differ...

I was unaware the cork made its way into the MP... if so, the "All Leather Legend" appellation is no longer really applicable... is it?

I hope the cork has not further made its way into the heritage boots... that would be hugely disappointing...
View attachment 1465614
In my opinion, the only "cork" that should ever be anywhere near a pair of White's look like this:
View attachment 1465620
It's a crying shame White's have to use cork. I wonder if @sambam could confirm the existence of cork on models like Bounty Hunters?
 

wordfool

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The MP is listed as $589 boots, almost the same price range as Nick's boots. In my opinion it doesn't reflect good on White's but I am a newbie.
The MP is in the same price ballpark as the SD and BH/SJ, but they're all slightly different beasts and arguably (IMHO) there's a bit of a "fashion boot" premium on the MP. I own all three, paid about the same for all three (give or take 10%) and my SDs and BHs are definitely more boot for the money.
 

chicagoan2016

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The MP is in the same price ballpark as the SD and BH/SJ, but they're all slightly different beasts and arguably (IMHO) there's a bit of a "fashion boot" premium on the MP. I own all three, paid about the same for all three (give or take 10%) and my SDs and BHs are definitely more boot for the money.
Thank you for the feedback, I hope the cork didn't make its way into the BHs, I have several pairs of AE Boots (Dalton, Sullivans etc) which I consider sort of fashion boots. I will most probably stick to BHs in White's.
 

Jimk4003

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Is that a fair comparison? The MP is a step below the sort of construction for which White's work boots (SD, SJ etc.) are best known -- it even comes in a different color box! Yes, the MP is still built like a tank compared to the likes of Red Wing or Wolverine, but it's not built as tank like as some of the arch-ease lasted boots that I'd consider true "work" boots.
I think it's a fair comparison insofar as the video is comparing the 'casual' offerings from the two companies. If he'd compared, say, a Nick's Hot Shot to a White's MP, I'd agree that wouldn't be very fair.

The video does also state there are fewer differences between the two companies work boot lines.
 
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Jimk4003

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For some reason, 'using cork' feels like White's is trying to cut corners : )
I'm not as fussed about the cork as some other people seem to be.

There's a Nick's factory tour on YouTube that shows Nick's adding a thin rubber slipsole between the layers of leather to prevent the midsoles squeaking as you walk. Viberg used to do something similar before switching to cork as part of a sustainability push.

Perhaps the cork in the White's is there for similar reasons? Not sure how effective it is mind, as I've had to return a pair of MP boots before for excessive squeaking. Go figure.

I was slightly more concerned that half the rows of stitching on the cap toe are purely decorative. That's a high-stress, high-flex area of the boot, and only having two rows of lightweight stitching holding the toe of the boot to the vamp seems an odd design choice. To be fair, the vamp liner should add a bit of structural integrity, but even that's a double-edged sword, as it would make any repair harder without having to stitch through the liner. I'd have preferred to see all four rows of stitching actually used as structural elements.
 

Jimk4003

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The MP is listed as $589 boots, almost the same price range as Nick's boots. In my opinion it doesn't reflect good on White's but I am a newbie.
The Nick's Americana (the model torn down in the video) is listed at $549, so actually a little cheaper than the MP.
 

Mghart

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For some reason, 'using cork' feels like White's is trying to cut corners : )
Edward Green uses cork in their footwear, they seem to make some decent shoes and boots. I don't really see a problem with cork as most GYW manufacturers use it. Way more important variables in my opinion, especially with things that are more visible as evident with stitching inconsistencies.
 

paulraphael

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Cork sounds like a smart idea to me, for a midsole layer. It's light, shock-absorbing, and conforming. It insulates. I'd see it as a feature, not a bug, if it the overall design was durable.

I'm confused by the idea of Nick's switching from cork to rubber for "sustainability." Cork trees are endangered, and natural cork is becoming rare and expensive. It's one reason we're seeing less of it in wine bottles.
 

ghdvfddzgzdzg

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White's Oxford, swing last, 9.5A arrived today.

First and foremost, I'm very relieved these fit.

I originally tried these in 9.5A on C461 per White's recommendation. They fit well through the widest part of my foot, but the shape of the toebox crushed my pinky toe into the toe next to it. It was painful to wear and White's offered a new pair since it was their fitting.

They offered going up a width or a length, but I couldn't imagine either relieving my pinky toe, so I ended up asking about the Swing. They went for it and here we are.

The right feels about perfect and the left feels a little too tight in width, but I think both will break in alright.

I do wish there was a better way to experiment with sizing. I know I'll want a semidress at some point and will need to decide if I should stick with Swing or roll the dice on the 55. Maybe I'll make it out to Spokane before then.
hmmm as a guy who needs pinky toe room but a tiny heel, the 38 swing is sounding better all the time. the lady at white's offered to give me a "bump out" in the pinky toe area when building the my 55-last SDs but i declined; i probably should have gone for it.

In NC that would be illegal as it would be considered a concealed weapon and the only allowed concealed weapons are guns. Maybe add a holster?
huh i had no idea about that here in NC. fun!
 

chicagoan2016

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Cork sounds like a smart idea to me, for a midsole layer. It's light, shock-absorbing, and conforming. It insulates. I'd see it as a feature, not a bug, if it the overall design was durable.

I'm confused by the idea of Nick's switching from cork to rubber for "sustainability." Cork trees are endangered, and natural cork is becoming rare and expensive. It's one reason we're seeing less of it in wine bottles.
Love the comparison to features and bugs! ( I work as a Software Engineer)
 

Jimk4003

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I'm confused by the idea of Nick's switching from cork to rubber for "sustainability." Cork trees are endangered, and natural cork is becoming rare and expensive. It's one reason we're seeing less of it in wine bottles.
It was Viberg that switched to cork from rubber.

Cork isn't endangered. Cork is the bark of the tree, and the trees harvested for cork are able to regrow their bark over time. You don't have to kill the tree to harvest the cork. Useful information here:


I think wine makers moved away from natural cork because it's failure rate is pretty high, particularly if the cork dries out over time, leading to corked bottles that taste like vinegar. Wine snobs were initially a bit snooty about artificial corks and screw tops, but settled down when they realised that it meant less spoiled wine.

Rubber, on the other, isn't that environmentally friendly. Natural latex is, but natural latex isn't hard wearing or heat resistant, and probably won't be used in its unaltered form in hard-wearing boots. Vulcanised rubber is much more durable, but requires the latex to be heated and have various chemicals added, such as sulfur, which is an energy intensive process. The alternative is to use synthetic rubber made of petrochemicals.

In both instances, a lot of energy is used in production, and they leech chemicals into the soil as they decompose.
 

wordfool

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It was Viberg that switched to cork from rubber.

Cork isn't endangered. Cork is the bark of the tree, and the trees harvested for cork are able to regrow their bark over time. You don't have to kill the tree to harvest the cork. Useful information here:


I think wine makers moved away from natural cork because it's failure rate is pretty high, particularly if the cork dries out over time, leading to corked bottles that taste like vinegar. Wine snobs were initially a bit snooty about artificial corks and screw tops, but settled down when they realised that it meant less spoiled wine.

Rubber, on the other, isn't that environmentally friendly. Natural latex is, but natural latex isn't hard wearing or heat resistant, and probably won't be used in its unaltered form in hard-wearing boots. Vulcanised rubber is much more durable, but requires the latex to be heated and have various chemicals added, such as sulfur, which is an energy intensive process. The alternative is to use synthetic rubber made of petrochemicals.

In both instances, a lot of energy is used in production, and they leech chemicals into the soil as they decompose.
Yeah, it was cost and failure/taint (as high as 5% for some restaurants) that led to the slow decline in the use of real cork by wine producers (I worked in the wine biz for many years). Screw caps are much cheaper and virtually free of problems, although of course being metal and plastic they're not the most environmentally-friendly of solutions (synthetic corks are, and always have been, garbage and relegated to the cheapest, high-volume plonk). From what I've heard, pure cork is having something of a renaissance in the last few years in the wine industry as a more environmentally-friendly option (f you ignore the fact they nearly all have to be shipped from Spain/Portugal) and as manufacturing has improved to help reduce contamination problems. And of course, natural corks always have been, and always will be, associated with a "better" kind of wine!

As for shoes, I've nothing against cork in soles. What is slightly alarming, however, is if materials like this creep in to a product that has not traditionally used them. Firstly, it makes one wonder what else has changed under the skin that we don't know about. And secondly it suggests cost cutting, which is a slippery slope. Having said that, however, I have no idea if cork has always been part of the MP's sole and, if not, whether the choice to incorporate it was based on solving a legitimate problem or just a way to reduce costs.
 
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js0930

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I have a pair of Red Wings as well, basically 875s but in a different leather with cork midsoles and they’re on their 5th sole. Not sure I really see it as a durability issue, especially for MPs. They aren’t a work boot.
 

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