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Dress Boots for the Chicago Winter

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Artem, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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    I remember 20 below zero days with a foot of snow and 50 mph winds coming off the lake all to well. There are a few things I miss about Chicago but the winters aren't one of them.
     
  2. CalTex

    CalTex Senior member

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    I doubt he will want to do overshoes, if he is anything like me in undergrad. I don't like to carry extra crap with me unless it's necessary. However, when I am in NY I do not spend much time outside so regular rubber soled boots do just fine.

    The boots I was referring to are by Allen Edmonds, The Bayfields. Unfortunately they are now discontinued so my search continues.
     
  3. Patek

    Patek Senior member

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    I disagree with this post. I do not find black shoes very versatile or good looking. Of my 30+ pairs of shoes, I think I have three pairs of black shoes and they hardly get worn. Browns are much easier to pair and on the plus side, they do not show salt and snow marks as much as black.

    If you are lucky, the Brooks Brothers cordovan boot goes on sale for around the price of those AE (if you can wait for the after Christmas sale). I have a pair and they are one of my favorite boots and are made by Crocket & Jones which is a very respected and quality shoe maker.

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatSortOrder.process?IWAction=Load&Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=523
     
  4. CalTex

    CalTex Senior member

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    Found them

    http://www.landsend.com/pp/mens-allen-edmonds-bayfield-captoe-boots~228873_-1.html


    +1
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  5. Twotone

    Twotone Senior member

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    I lived and worked in Moscow for five years and quickly learned to leave two pairs of dress shoes in my office -- one oxblood and one black. I wore heavy duty boots outside the office during winter. Compared to Moscow winters (-20 for weeks), Chicago will feel like a spring day. Overshoes are a good back up plan.

    I would not spend $350 on AE "dress" boots -- Chicago winters will beat the crap out of them. Get some sturdy high-top ones from your local Army/Navy store (or LL Bean) and spend the reminder on nice office dress shoes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  6. Artem

    Artem Well-Known Member

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  7. Artem

    Artem Well-Known Member

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    After looking around some more, I've narrowed my search down to these three:

    Steve Madden Evander 2:
    http://www.zappos.com/steve-madden-evander-2-brown-leather

    Johnston & Murphy Knowland:
    http://www.amazon.com/Johnston-Murphy-Mens-Knowland-Boot/dp/B0050S6W7C/ref=pd_sbs_shoe_2

    Banana Republic Swift Chelsea:
    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=416150002&tid=bramz1r&kwid=1&ap=14

    I love the J&M brown brogued boots; it's a shame that the black ones aren't brogued. The shape, color, brogueing(sp?)... everything about those is beautiful.
    The Banana Republic ones are very sleek and nice as well.
    And I like the Steve Maddens, too. But I'm concerned that the black ones will be very plastic-looking, if that makes sense.

    I can't decide which of these to get. I might even get one in brown and one in black. I guess it comes down to quality because the price is approximately equal.

    What are your opinions?
     
  8. atoms

    atoms Senior member

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    I think it would be wise to focus a little more on construction and a little less on looks. Some boots are crafted for your purpose, others not so much. Of the three, I believe the J&M will have the highest quality build but I'm not sure if they'll actually keep your toes dry in the slush. I would'n't spent $5 on the Steve Madden's and have no experience with BR shoes. They all look fairly deadly having no traction and all.
     
  9. Artem

    Artem Well-Known Member

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    I won't be climbing mountains in them. I just need for the soles to not get ruined from sidewalk slush. The Steve Maddens are decent quality for the money from what I've read and have the best traction of the three. Banana Republic clothing is of decent quality in my experience, but I've never owned their shoes. I assume the same holds. The J&M are also of good quality from what I've read.
     
  10. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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    You worry too much about soles. I wear leather soled boots in water and mud all the time. You need to concern yourself more with the uppers and welt. None of those boots you have listed will do well in slush water and snow. You are setting yourself up for failure and if you insist on doing it anyway you'll learn the lesson the hard way. Not climbing mountains? OK, but you would be way better off with a good pair of mountaineering boots. At least you would have traction and warm dry feet. You're talking about footwear that'll be used in an extreme environment. It doesn't matter if that environment is in the back country of the Rockies or in an urban jungle. There are some cases where style goes out the window in favor of comfort and survivability. Chicago winters is one of those environments.
     
  11. atoms

    atoms Senior member

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    All we're trying to say is that your feet are probably going to get wet in any of those shoes. The water will seep through the seams and leather. I only mentioned the soles for traction. And I'm not over playing it. Step on some smushy slush with the soles of those shoes and you're in for a ride.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  12. Artem

    Artem Well-Known Member

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    What would you guys recommend then that will do okay in the snow and can be worn to an office? A separate pair of shoes or overshoes would be very inconvenient to carry around with me in addition to what I already carry.
     
  13. Death24xASecond

    Death24xASecond Senior member

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    You have already received advice from plenty of people here. I spent a year at UChicago, during the great blizzard recently, in fact. You aren't likely to find *any* "dressy" boot that is also built to withstand the Chicago winter. I don't know where you work, but I would hope that your higher-ups are not unreasonable people. You may feel the need to impress, but don't take it to silly lengths. Just get a pair of boots that are actually intended to withstand Chicago-type winters and stop worrying about looks.
     

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