Most helpful positive review
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
These are the boots...
on December 2, 2013
So now that I've had these boots for about a month, I figured it's time for me to weigh in.
These are high quality boots. The leather just feels legit. I've got some other very nice leather boots and shoes and these boots surpass them all in leather quality. The leather is thicker, yet supple. The entire boot feels well-constructed. The stitching is top notch. The soles should last forever (c'mon, they're Vibram!) and if they don't they could easily be replaced. I've gotten compliments from both hipsters and true-blue working class dudes alike. The verdict is in: these boots are the real deal.
About the fit. I went back and forth for a while... "should I order my size or a half-size down?" Reviewers here and at other sites say to order a half-size down. I generally order a 9.5 and the thought of ordering size 9 just made balk. Size 9? I can't remember the last time I wore a size 9. So I decided to get my standard size 9.5 and I was not disappointed. They fit just fine. For most dress shoes and boots I wear a size 9.5. Frye boots and shoes, size 9.5 fits me great. Nike sneakers I wear a size 10. So I guess if you're thinking your sneaker size... a half-size down would work. If you're used to wearing nice boots and shoes, I recommend just getting your normal size. With normal weight socks they fit fine, with a thicker wool socks they'll a bit tight but will certainly break in further with time.
The break in. When I first got these boots, they fit great and felt nice. The only part of the boot that was a little stiff was the ankle -- it took about a week or two to truly break in the ankle. My ankles were sore for a little while but now I've got no problems. With thicker socks, my pinky toes hurt a bit but I imagine that the more I wear thicker socks the better the boots will wear in. I think I've worn these boots every day since I purchased them and I definitely plan to wear them again tomorrow.
The boots are a very beautiful reddish brown leather, but they are not waterproof. As I bought these to help me brave the oppressive Chicago winters, I wanted to waterproof and condition them immediately. I used Sno-Seal. Sno-Seal is beeswax-based and will definitely darken the color. Make sure to both clean the boots beforehand as well as heat them; I used a hairdryer to heat the leather, worked the Sno-Seal in, and heated more to promote absorption. I'm happy with the results. They've darkened but are beautiful and now are waterproof. Water beads right off.
I couldn't have asked for a better work boot. I looked at other brands and they just don't compare. The price is steep, sure, but you're not just paying for a brand... you truly are paying for quality. Take care of these boots and they'll last a lifetime. Whether you do white-collar consulting work like me that takes you all over the city on a daily basis, or you're a straight up blue-collar workhorse who will really give them some scrapes, you're just really going to love these boots. This is true American-made quality.