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Nick's Boots

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by cathpah, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. sleepy94

    sleepy94 Well-Known Member

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    This may be hard to believe but these are handmade work boot prices and that's what you are getting. An incredibly well made workboot made with work boot leathers. Whites offers French calf and a other exotic leathers so you could go that route. My two favorite boots have been my nick's oxfords and my various whites. I'm on my feet a good part of my day so aesthetics while important to me comes second to fit and comfort. All the shoes that I have tried at a lower price point have left my feet sore and my back aching. Once the work boot trend is over I'll gladly be having my nicks re-soled.
     


  2. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    I'm not trying to stir the pot or throw stones at Nicks at all. I have yet to receive my first pair and I bought them site unseen on the recommendation of Kyle at Baker's (he hasn't steered me wrong yet) so I am speaking from no experience whatsoever with the brand, and I am excited to get mine based on all that I have read. But the pictures on that website that was posted earlier showed leather that had been pulled sideways during the welting process which led to those creases at the toe, that is a QC issue in my book and they shouldn't have left the factory as firsts. If that is acceptable to some people, then I make no judgement, but I would have sent them back.
    I agree that compared to the price of their competitors, White's and Nicks are bargain for a custom made product, and errors in production are going to happen based on all the variables involved (including even relative humidity in the factory and hide storage areas). But I believe that a standard must be met in any form of production and it's up to the company to determine if that standard is acceptable to be released for sale. Although not a boot maker, I am in a specialty trade and if I let product leave my shop with the slightest flaw I would be taken to task for it....they pay for my expertise, they expect to get it. I demand the same from whomever I choose to give my hard earned money.
    Now let me fall off this soap box,
    James
     


  3. ahonobaka

    ahonobaka Active Member

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    Probably not the right thread for this but I'm interested in hearing any leather experts view on the topic of creasing/wrinkles...It's said that loose grain will crease with wear, whereas "higher quality" leather will retain it's shape. Is this "higher quality" just aesthetic, or is this a perceived quality in durability as well? Everything I hear about Nicks is that they outlast other brands and have more durable leather, but they also seem to have the most common creasing and crinkles around the welt. Is this necessarily the trade off inherent with leather (durability vs. aesthetics)?
     


  4. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    And I agree with you 100% I too came to white's, and now Nicks for comfort and fit after years of frustration with poor fit and poor quality from off the shelf companies (including Redwing, Chippewa and Wolverine). And I agree that esthetics are second to fit (hence why I got rid of my Trickers and all but 1 pair of Alden's) but fit and finish is important, as is style otherwise these forums wouldn't exist with people posting pictures of their individual make-ups. We all love good looking, quality made goods, that's why we're here.

    James
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014


  5. sleepy94

    sleepy94 Well-Known Member

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    exactly! I've worn danners, really high quality work boots, 3 pair of redwings, also well made and good looking, frye well made and good looking but none come close to the comfort I've experienced with both Nicks and White's. what I'm saying is that the quality is not going to be what say a saint crispin is. So if that is the standard then yes these work boot makers fall short of that standard but what they do provide is hard wearing leathers that are meant to handle the abuse of real manual labor and this has been proven over the last several decades as the old lumberjacks and smoke jumpers will attest. Do these salt of the earth folks need their footwear to be flawless with absolutely perfect leathers? No but making $20 an hour at the saw mill or fighting fires means that if you pay $450 for a pair of work boots they better damn well last. this by no means excuses faulty craftsmanship and these companies take pride in their work and stand by their products. long before you could read about Nicks on this forum you could find all you needed to know on the hunting and firefighting forums.
     


  6. gfloridafan93

    gfloridafan93 Senior member

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    I wasn't trying to say that the creases had to be perfect and the boots had to be flawless. I'm just saying that after looking through the whites forum and pictures of nicks boots, some of the pairs looked pretty flawless after a few years of wear, and some looked like $100 boots. Not that I think appearance is everything, but for $450 they need to look better than some of these I am seeing. That's all I'm trying to say.
     


  7. dtpdta

    dtpdta Active Member

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    A lot of the stock leathers Nick's has are very durable but they can be a little prone to creasing apparently. The creasing does not affect the durability. Their durability is a big reason forest firefighters consider Nick's the greatest boots.
     


  8. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    I agree with you. And I do understand the counter-point of wear them hard and who cares what it looks like. As I had mentioned on the White's forum, I am in a strange grey area. I have worn work boots for years for work, and I have worn high end dress shoes for work for years (along with the array of everything in between). I am now at a point where I want something that can do both. No I'm not wearing my White's/Nicks with a suit, but wool trousers, sport jacket and tie and going from office to job site and need to be able to do both with just a wipe down in the break room before going back into the office.

    I think the lines between office and field are being blurred as many business are demanding more hands on from their office staff and bringing more field staff into the office (do more with less staff). Companies like White's, Nicks and Wesco are aware of this as their product lines expand offering tough wearing oxfords and low cut boots with dressier leathers and slimmer profiles, but they need to be aware that the particular market they are going after has tastes that are used to the finish of SC/Lobb/Trickers/Alden, and although we will forgive a bit of elegance for ruggedness, we won't settle for mediocre finish work.

    We're in a hybrid work world now with savvy consumers and tight wallets and these companies are in a great position to fill a void, but they have to prove themselves a cut above the competition.

    James
     


  9. meso

    meso Senior member

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    It's a bit dangerous to expect the finishing of Lobb from Nick's or White's!
    You guys know that Nick's and White's get their leather from the same sources right?
    There aren't that many games in town... Seidel, Horween.
     


  10. b-ewing

    b-ewing Senior member

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    Honestly, I think you're being a bit over expectant of what these bootmakers should produce. You're like a Tiger Mom!
     


  11. misterjuiceman

    misterjuiceman Senior member

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    Having the same source doesn't matter much. Horween supplies low-end and high-end brands alike: http://horween.com/101/on-leather-quality-and-properties/
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014


  12. ahonobaka

    ahonobaka Active Member

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    ^Very informative, thanks for posting as I hadn't seen that! A few highlights (although we can all read):

    -Break can be loosely defined as the physical and cosmetic character leather exhibits when the grain side of a piece of leather is creased or folded back against itself. Break is generally considered to be an important factor in footwear, as the vamp (the area over the forefoot and toes) is folded and creased against itself during each step.

    - The grain is always eventually forced outward and the visual and structural result is break.

    -“Good” break presents as tight creasing, and exists across a broad spectrum. Every piece of leather will break differently given the inherent natural qualities of the hide.

    -The thicker the leather the larger the potential creases. This is not a normal concern for footwear, which rarely uses leather above 5.5 oz (2.2mm). (NOTE: Nicks use 7.5-8oz)

    -The photos provided show "good / or acceptable" break, and they all look like exactly what you're trying to avoid ;)
     


  13. meso

    meso Senior member

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    Well, exactly my point. Some of the things people say on this board makes it sound like a certain manufacturers might use a leather that is less likely to crease. They all are dealing with the same tanneries. White's will make a boot out of anything you want.

    That link is great, thanks! Hadn't seen it.


    I'm really kind of baffled by the discussion on this board that makes it sound like break is a sign of cheapness. It's just not. High quality full-grain leather still breaks.
     


  14. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    I am taking the point to an extreme for the sake of argument, companies like Lobb fetch what they do because they are in a class of their own. But I still think that a hand made product that is priced accordingly ($450 is not pocket change to many of us) should be held to a high standard for finishing work. Both pairs of White's I own were beautifully made and do show signs of small "flaws" due to the nature of being hand welted (some slight puckering around some of the toe stitching and some rough cutting under the arch), but they are uniform and handled well and speak to their hand made nature.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And they absolutely nailed it on my Retro oxford.
    [​IMG]

    I can live with the "wavy" welt as it is a hallmark of them being hand made, I guess I'm hoping that my forthcoming nicks can match this finishing quality and from all I have read they should exceed it.

    Back to the pair shown in that link, neither of my White's look like that, and I would have not been happy with them having waited 8-10 weeks and paid full price.
    [​IMG]

    Now if Nicks were to specify that any boot with 7oz leather or heavier will have that sort of puckering at the welt, then it's known going in and I wouldn't complain at all, I would know what I was getting when I placed my order. But it's the hit or miss that's an issue to me.

    Now into resolving that type of issue. If my Nicks comes with wrinkling at the welt like that, is there a way to relax the leather or smooth it out myself? Deer bone, oils, Obernaufs, magic eraser (hey they are magic)...thoughts?
    James
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014


  15. jrosenthal

    jrosenthal Senior member

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    Hey Sleepy, can you post some pics of your Nick's oxfords? There is a serious lack of pics for Nick's oxfords on the web so the more the better. Did you order them directly from Nick's or were they a Baker's oxford made by Nicks (as i was told to specify when i ordered mine)?

    James
     


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