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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. tmchow

    tmchow Senior member

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    I've been a lurker for a little while, reading as much as I can (but 5000+ posts?!) and first post in this thread. I own a pair for Wolverine 1k's that I like but have been interested in White's due to the promise of a more comfortable boot, them being made-to-order, and the fact I'm in WA state so I'd be supportive a semi-local business. More specifically, I'm interested in the Semi-Dress boot.

    I'm relatively new to boots so forgive some of my initial newbie questions :)

    1. Does a boot "last" affect the height of the toe box? I've noticed some boots have a higher toe box than others.. While I really like my wolverine 1Ks, it's always bothered me that the toe box is a tad too high and too narrow. I'm in love with the Viberg service boots due to the shape of the toe, but $700+ is a tad pricey :)

    2. Is there any site that shows the different lasts that White's offers and example boots to visualize it?

    3. Lots of leathers to choose from, is there any consolidated place to compare boots made of different leathers?
     
  2. gregornz

    gregornz Senior member

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    Hi Tmchow

    A last does effect the shape of the toe, in that a last includes the shape of the toe. However it is possible to put different toes on different lasts, in cases where those variations are already available. One example of this is with the dress packer White's offers - that last (795 last) can be fitted with a regular or pointed toe. The rest of the last (arch, heel, etc) would be the same. Also, steel toes tend to be slightly higher, and maybe a double celastic would be higher than single celastic? A soft toe will become flatter as the leather stretches around the foot.

    Check out this link for some comparisons of the options availaible on White's boots.

    http://www.gulftrading.jp/html/page1.html

    If you change the page1 to page2/3/4 etc you'll see more aspects of the boots.
     
  3. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Welcome tmchow!

    Many here are current or ex Wolverine owners (myself included), and it has been joked that they are a gateway drug to better boots.
    The last is the most important option IMO as it directly affects the fit to your specific foot shape. Wolverine and Redwing have a one size fits all design with their last and either they fit you well or not (not in my case). White's offers several lasts and more important than esthetics is fit. If you have a wide flat foot, a pointed or bumped toe may be visually appealing to you but may not fit your foot well so you'll have toe rub or pinching. I love sleek shoes but my feet have changed with age and don't fit well in them anymore,hence I can longer wear Alden's (which kills me).

    It is worth your time and effort to work with a dealer who takes your measurements and discusses the last shapes with you in regards to your fit needs or complaints you have had with other boots in the past. Kyle at baker's is fantastic to work with and although it demands you curb your enthusiasm while going through the fit-try on process before even ordering your first pair (then the wait to get them), it's well worth it in the end.

    James
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  4. spurs61

    spurs61 Senior member

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    Thanks James and CityofChamps! The new smooth distressed were out again in the cold yesterday for 5 hours tromping and standing around sports fields. They're breaking in little by little and are perfect for more challenging weather conditions. I also like the 8" height of my new BHs - thinking that I will go for more this height (or maybe even higher).

    It's funny with my White's boots - I almost can't wait to put them on in the morning, even when I know I'll be on my feet a lot.
     
  5. spurs61

    spurs61 Senior member

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  6. spurs61

    spurs61 Senior member

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  7. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Yeah, I've gotten to that point too. Wore my black ones all day Thursday, tan ones all day Friday, and yesterday I was running errands and wore my Chucks...I was in agony within the first hour...those made it to the dump pile last night....I only have 1 pair of Merrill trial shoes left for weekend shoes (and those are pinky toe pinchy but so soft it really doesn't matter too much) as my 2 pairs of remaining Keen's are no longer suitable to leave the house/yard so I am kind of screwed. Went to REI on Friday looking for weekend beaters and nothing fit well in comparison to my White's and the one pair of Merrills that did were $150 for disposable made in China crap! I actually sat there thinking that the Baker's oxford's I have on order (made by Nick's) are only double the price for hand made in the US and rebuildable for life essentially....I walked out empty handed.

    I hate being enlightened.

    James
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  8. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Oh, and in the being enlightened theme, as I was sitting on the bench at REI waiting for the clerk to fetch my Chinese garbage, I was watching all the lemmings so excited as they walked away with boxes of disposable ill fitting shoes. The weather here has gotten cold very quickly so there was a run on Sorel boots, all made off the continent now. I still have my 23 year old made in USA Sorel Caribou's (although a Canadian company they did make some here-don't know who the sub contractor was) and felt sad that these very expensive PAC boots these people were buying will be trash within a couple seasons....another great company bites the dust!

    James
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  9. Gio87

    Gio87 New Member

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    Aug 23, 2014
    As far as Heel slip goes.. I just received a pair of SDs in British Tan from Bakers sized as 11EE with a "heel clamp" or tightened heel. I have a wide foot but my Heel is fairly narrow so after Josh measured me up at the shop he made the reco. I tried on a standard 11EE at the shop and it felt sloppy, the ones I received are perfect. You might want to ask about this if (when) you order your next pair.
     
  10. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    That is awesome to hear!! I am afflicted with the same duck feet as you and sent my 11E SD's back for this modification several weeks ago (still waiting). I got my tan SD's in 10.5E which are much better as the whole boot is smaller, but thinking they too may need the heel liner if the slip continues after break in.
    Thanks for sharing this,

    James
     
  11. revrend

    revrend Well-Known Member

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    Portland
    This is kind of a confusing subject. As I've heard it secondhand, Horween grades their leather to order specifications. There's no objective definition for "seconds" for example. So, it's hard to say for sure whether the quality of the leather used by Wolverine, Viberg, Nicks, etc. is different. One thing that I know to be absolutely true about Nicks compared to Wolverine is the thickness of the leather used. Assuming the hide surface appears fine, thicker chromexcel is likely to "better" in that it probably is more likely to resist the surface break (that often looks like loose grain) that is so common with chromexcel.
     
  12. spurs61

    spurs61 Senior member

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    For the heck of it, I looked on the Horween website and found this on Chromexcel:

    Quote: From this it is clear that there are different weights - explaining the difference between my Alden Indys and my White's chromexcel. As well it notes that that there are "many variations" of Chromexcel, whatever that means exactly (besides the obvious "cementable" and "waterproof" versions).
     
  13. revrend

    revrend Well-Known Member

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    There are different "recipes" based off the original chromexcel process. Cavalier is a common chromexcel variant.
     
  14. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    It may have been on Horween's website or another when originally researching the material that it said it was designed for gaskets in tanks. Which makes sense as I have a friend who restores prewar cars and talks about leather gaskets. I guess it being oil impregnates and super squishy/flexy would make it an awesome gasket material.
    I told that story to my boss who bought my Alden Norweigan toe bluchers in Chromexcel off of me (with mini-lug sole...it hurt getting rid of those), and he calls them his tank shoes now-lol!
    James
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  15. Gio87

    Gio87 New Member

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    No problem James. Glad it helped! Talk to Kyle or Josh at Bakers. Tell them you want the same spec as Jason from Omaha. I spent three hours in their shop while in the area on Business and really happy I did. I would have normally gone with a 12.5 EE if I was ordering blind. Ended up walking out with the 11EE with the Heel Mod.

    When you are paying top dollar it is nice to know you can get the service, fit and long term satisfaction to go with it.

    BTW - good pick on on the British Tan. I wasn't crazy about the color when they first arrived (a little orange for me) but they are starting to mellow and I think they will look awesome in a year or so.

    All the best,
     
  16. Morgenholz

    Morgenholz Active Member

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    Sep 7, 2014
    I have two pair of Bounty Hunters and two pair of Farmer Ranchers, all on single midsoles and 700 soles with standard heels. BH feels about a quarter size roomier than the FR in all dimensions. For reference, I wear 8D in White's/Wesco.
     
  17. gregornz

    gregornz Senior member

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    Yeah, I'm just looking at the White's catalogue here, and it says that White's boots are made with 7-8oz leather, while the hathon boots in the same catalogue are made with 6-7 oz leather. I guess some hides are naturally thicker than others, and Horween tans them all, then sells the heavier ones as a higher price, and that they are 'better' quality.



    These are 14 inches :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  18. chicken1616

    chicken1616 Senior member

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    Sep 28, 2014
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    Colorado
    Speaking of tightened heels, White's e-bay site has a pair of boots up for bid with a tightened heel. Not my size, but nice to know what it means now! I have pair of Hathorn electrical hazard boots. The leather is supposed to be thinner, but doesn't feel thinner. It does feel much stiffer(less supple) than the smooth leathers on my SJ's. BTW, I have now sold 14 pairs of boots, and have 4 more to go. I am keeping a few pair for various reasons, but they will be "specialty" footwear. I am whole hog in on the high arch business.
     
  19. tmchow

    tmchow Senior member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome and the various replies everyone.

    Is the best way to do this to measure my feet according to the Baker's website and send my measurements to Kyle and work with him that way? Or find a dealer in person to work with?
     
  20. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Jeez Gregor, I am also seeing double midsole on those?!?!! You could fall asleep standing and wouldn't fall over in those!

    James
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

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