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Custom White's Boots ... Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Whacky, Jan 15, 2011.

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  1. linafelt

    linafelt Senior member

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  2. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    I found mine to be generous in width, so much that the laces are fairly close together (about 3/4"). That said, my foot is narrow from heel to middle then goes wide, very much like the shape of this particular last. This is the first shoe I have ever tried where heel slip wasn't an issue.

    They do fit like a dress shoe so don't expect it to be a low cut semi-dress, totally different last, but it still has the arch support of the SD. I find mine to be far roomier and more comfortable than anything AE or Alden put out-by a wide margin....in fact, my 975's nor Leeds haven been worn since I got my Retro oxfords...I ordered another pair in brown last week.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  3. meso

    meso Senior member

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    Interesting! I'll have to see how they fit after breaking in. Initially I do find them rather tight. But yes, definitely a "dress" last rather than a "boot" last.
     
  4. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    I'm so glad to have brothers in arms with this shoe, I'm crazy about it. It was probably a risk for White's to produce something like this, so different than their other boots which is their base and potentially a total loss leader considering the price puts it in competition with companies known for high end dress shoes. But Alden, AE nor any of the Brit companies make anything like this shoe (beleive me, I've been through the drill) with the exception of some of the Loake or Trickers country shoes which are still pointy and tapered (toe crammers). It is rugged, comfortable, and awkwardly stylish (like driving a vintage Jag or Healey) but truly is a dress shoe. Considering how workplace styles have changed in the past 10 years (like distressed leather tan wingtips with a pin striped suits), I think these can pull it off with almost anything and truly show classic style.

    Sorry for the sales pitch, your shoes are awesome Meso.

    James
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Oh and as a side note, as I have mentioned before, I suffer from plantar faciitis and Achilles tendentious (years of wearing Ill fitting shoes and working on my feet long hours). On the days I wear my retro oxfords, I feel absolutely no pain whatsoever, in fact I stop and realize sometimes that something is missing-which is the pain. I don't feel the need to rip them off my feet when I get home and I don't cringe at the idea of a 14 hour work day. In fact, I find myself more productive on the days I wear these damn shoes because I'm not avoiding leaving the office for fear of pain with every step. These shoes have become a quality of life purchase, not just a style statement. They could be twice the price (don't read that line people from White's), and it would be worth it to me now.

    Now if they offered this shoe in #8 cordovan as a full long wing, my Alden's would hit eBay faster than a bullet.

    James
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  6. meso

    meso Senior member

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    It's a quality shoe. Love your description of being "awkwardly stylish" - that's just what I was looking for as well! I wanted to an oxford with a bit more heft to it, round toe, and a top quality build. I doubt it's a loss leader for White's tho. The number of overall orders is probably pretty low but it's pricey enough to make it worth their while.
     
  7. gregornz

    gregornz Senior member

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    I just got a stack of leather samples to go with my replacement BH'S!

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    RE the discussion of the distressed leather; the sample is darker than I expected... The lighter middle in this pic is from where I've bent it...

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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  8. Michael Pukas

    Michael Pukas Member

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    Had my my White's SJ rebuilt back in the spring. These were standard black SJ's w/ 1/2 at the back, full heavy lug sole. For some reason I ordered them w/ a double calastic toe cap. First got them over 11 years ago. I wore them a lot for the first couple of years, and then got tired of wearing them because they were so heavy and cumbersome, and I really didn't like the heel being that tall. I didn't care for the look of the heavy lug sole either. Sorry I didn't take before pics.

    FYI - these were measured for my feet and IIRC I ordered a size 8.5EEE. The return slip from White's says they are size 8EE, but that doesn't seem right to me. My foot is a pretty true 9 street shoe. Comparing to other shoes/boots I have, I'd say these are closer to a 9.5.

    Specs;

    complete rebuild - new toe, counter, vamp, pull strap - all brown leather and sole is new; only black leather is original
    single leather mid sole w/ 1/2 composite out sole
    curved heel, dropped 1/4" no half slip
    standard SJ brown leather
    dress toe cap
    double row white stitching

    The only other thing I would have liked to add was a rolled top.

    Even though they were broken in to my foot, they were pretty stiff when I got them back. After a few days of wear, they've relaxed quite a bit. With the new single leather sole and dropped heel, they are noticeably lighter and easy to wear for everyday use, all day long. Still very rugged boots.

    These pics are after 1-2 days wear, without treating the new leather. Since I've given them a light coat of Huberd's and they've become much darker. I now like them better darker, as I like a little less contrast between the leather colors.



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    After I had worn them for a couple of days, I started to notice that I was walking on the outside of the left heel. Once I took a closer look at them, I could see why - the left boot was canting inward drastically. It appeared to me that when the new heel was built up, it wasn't compressed evenly. I contact White's and they had me send the boots back to be inspected. They rebuilt the left boot heel. It's much, much better now, but not completely perfect. I don't notice any difference in how each boot feels when walking, so I didn't pursue the issue any further. Still not sure why this happened. This can't be from my wear pattern on the boots, as everything below the black leather is brand new, and this wasn't present in the original boots even after years of me wearing them.

    [​IMG]

    Overall, I'm very happy with the outcome. I think the way the welt was stitched to the outsole caused it to become a bit bulbous as it meets the upper around the front and sides of the boot, which I find unappealing. I wanted my SJ's to be a bit lighter physically and aesthetically, more refined, easier to wear, with a lower heel. I have a very high arch, and contrary to popular belief, I don't agree with the idea of "arch support" and don't like White's Arch Ease concept - I don't want any in my shoes, and the original SJ's had way to high of an arch. The lowered heel is much easier to walk in and the arch is much lower, making them more comfortable for me. When I had talked to one one White's rep's about the rebuild w/ a lower heel he said, "oh, you just have to wear the boots more and your feet will become accustomed to the high arch." Well, of course, our feet will become accustomed to anything we subject them to for extended periods of time, whether or not it's the best thing for our feet (just look at Chinese foot binding, for example). I digress - again, very pleased w/ the rebuild, and Lynette and Jennifer at White's were extremely nice and helpful during the whole process.
     
  9. chicken1616

    chicken1616 Senior member

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    Just out of curiosity; how much $ was the rebuild?
     
  10. Michael Pukas

    Michael Pukas Member

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    about $265 for the complete rebuild. The dress toe cap added a few extra $$.
     
  11. cwmi

    cwmi Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the second ones look great. I just ordered up some built up pretty much the same except I went with #8 CXL and distressed. Hopefully it meshes well together.
     
  12. chicken1616

    chicken1616 Senior member

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    Thanks again for all the info. There was a pair of boots hanging out at Drew's (THE Baker's alternative site!) for a while that your description helped me pull the trigger on. They are a 14B 8" Smoke Jumper in Red Dog smooth on the #38 Swing last, block heel, heel 1/4" lower, 700 Vibram sole, black leather lining. It fits my foot PERFECTLY, which I kind of thought it would. The SJ last gives me toe rub. On my SJ I have been going with a really wide width (F) and insoled it up with Spenco Polysorb Walker/Runner(new model). It actually works extremely well and I will continue to do it on my work boots. I don't think the arch is quite as high on these new ones, which concerns me a little. We will see. By the way, these high arch boots have destroyed my Plantar Fascitis in a fairly short time. I think I am going to be selling off some of my other footwear. It is kind of hard to wear anything else now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  13. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    I hear ya brother!

    Your no longer rubby toed, plantar affected, duck footed comrade,

    James
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  14. LouieBailie

    LouieBailie Senior member

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    yea I like horsehide jackets to wear over horsehide boots/shoes

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  15. meso

    meso Senior member

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    So when are you going to post a WAYWT pic, Louie?
     
  16. spurs61

    spurs61 Senior member

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  17. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Hey Spurs61,
    What last is and width is that? I see it's a non celastic toe, but it seems pretty generous across the toe box versus most SD lasts I see.

    And my girlfriend in college was a huge Fugazi fan. My tastes were more classic rock, jazz and classical but I enjoyed listening to her records (yes those 12" black things of which I have way too many).

    James
     
  18. linafelt

    linafelt Senior member

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    These look great. A classic black workboot. It was exactly this sort of build that first put White's on the map for me..
     
  19. Bingham

    Bingham Senior member

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    Aug 27, 2010
    Any idea how long it typically takes for Bakers to turn around on a repair? The pull straps on one of my boots tore and I sent it back a few weeks ago- I know they received the boots September 23, but haven't heard anything from them since.

    I realize that it hasn't been that long- just wanted to know what the turn around time for others has been.
     
  20. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Not the gospel, but Kyle told me when I asked about doing mods on my first pair of white's, that their turn around is about 2-3 weeks currently if they do it in house, longer if it has to go to white's.....waiting is the hardest part.....

    James
     

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