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 Boots! Let's discuss em...

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Benjamin Button

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Age : 37
Registration date : 2008-10-09

PostSubject: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:45 pm

I used to wear Doc's all the time as influenced by my older brother growing up. Loved the sturdy construction and once broken in, they fit like a glove. So about three weeks ago I bought myself a good ol' pair of Doc Martens for the first time in about 5 years. After a week, something seemed different about em and they seemed to lack that "je ne sais quoi" about them that I remember. I come to find out that these UK classic boots are now made in a factory in China (I have nothing against the Chinese, just the crappy corporations that take the soul outta their products by outsourcing the labor/materials to another country). Sad

This led me to start doing some research and if I cant return these Chinese Doc's, I'll be selling them on Craigslist. But now I am looking for a really great quality, classic American made dress boot for daily wear. Something I can tramp through the winter pounded streets of Manchester, NH with, and also make an impression while at the office and with clients. I want something hand crafted, with quality leather. A boot that needs to be broken in to mold to the shape of your foot, and something that will last me the better half of a decade and that I can bring to a cobbler to have it resoled if needed. I want something that my boy can look at and see it ooze with quality, and remember that "old pair of boots my old man used to wear".

So far I have narrowed it down to a pair of Red Wing Gentleman Traveler's. (style No. 9014 in black). We have a Red Wing store that's been in Manchester for years and years and I have never set foot in, (no puns). I don't mind spending the $$$ on boots like these if I know they are built to hold up and last the way shoes used to be made.



Anyone have any good experience with Red Wings, or other brands of similar build quality? I have heard good things about Whites as well.

-Adam
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LL

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Location : KCMO
Registration date : 2007-12-29

PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:00 pm

White made good stuff in the 70's and 80's, not so much anymore.

Here's the Last Company Standing that approaches their products with the "make the best thing possible, then price it afterward" philosophy, as opposed to a consumer survey to determine price points & then having the cost accountants design the product to hit the point:

https://www.westcoastshoe.com/wesco/

Buy the best and cry only once. Cool
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kilted1
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Age : 56
Location : North Georgia, USA
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:03 pm

I can absolutely attest to the quality of Red Wings boots ... they are pricey but worth every penny. I can't attest to them being repaired by a cobbler, usually the only real 'failure' of these boots in the construction environment damages them beyond repair, and by that time the boots really need replacing anyway. The failure isn't because of the quality of the boot, but the extremes to which I've pushed them. Over the years I've tried to tell many guys to take better care of their feet in construction and buy a boot which won't hurt their feet ... they rarely listen ... I don't know why. I can't tell you how many guys I've seen hobbling around in cheap Walmart 'workboots' which last a couple of months. I've had a pair of Redwings last over five years in a heavy construction environment.
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Benjamin Button

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Age : 37
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:10 pm

kilted1 wrote:
I can absolutely attest to the quality of Red Wings boots ... they are pricey but worth every penny. I can't attest to them being repaired by a cobbler, usually the only real 'failure' of these boots in the construction environment damages them beyond repair, and by that time the boots really need replacing anyway. The failure isn't because of the quality of the boot, but the extremes to which I've pushed them. Over the years I've tried to tell many guys to take better care of their feet in construction and buy a boot which won't hurt their feet ... they rarely listen ... I don't know why. I can't tell you how many guys I've seen hobbling around in cheap Walmart 'workboots' which last a couple of months. I've had a pair of Redwings last over five years in a heavy construction environment.

That's great to know Kilted...from what I have heard, these things can last quite sometime. Red Wing supplied the boots to the troops during WWI and WWII.

LL, that is a great link. Seem to have the philosophy that I am looking for. Some of those boots are pretty interesting in an S&M sort of way, haha.

Thanks!

-Adam
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 53
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:11 pm

I wear these Justins at work because they're durable, comfortable, have the steel toe and safety sole (required) and last 2 years working in concrete.
http://www.vanderbilts.com/product_detail.aspx?id=731


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Dock
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Age : 106
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:21 pm

I work "semi outside" for a living. Many times I'm at car auctions looking at cars in 10 degree weather or I'm using one of my blowers to clean snow from my lot. I've tried dozens and dozens of pairs of boots. I will only buy Sorrel boots from here on in as they're incredibly warm, waterproof and durable. If they have a draw back it's that they're a bit heavy. Still though, they can't be beat...
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jhuggett
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:33 pm

Adam, you strike me as a man with style and as such look no further than fluevog.

http://www.fluevog.com/

They do have some rather wild styles but I find their more conservative stuff perfect. Stylish quality that sets you apart from the crowd.

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Justpipes
The Duke
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Age : 58
Location : Randolph County, NC If you don't know, you wouldn't understand.
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:43 pm

Redwings and Georgia Boots have always been reliable for me.

Georgia Boot Company

Redwing Boots
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Handsome Dynamite

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Age : 27
Location : Hamburg, NY
Registration date : 2009-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:06 pm

I wear Chippewa engineer boots nearly everyday. I think Chippewa is a great company, and most of their boots are made in the USA still.
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:43 pm

I have not worn them much recently, but my three pairs of Redwings all date to the late 1970's. Yeah, 30+ years old.

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Benjamin Button

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Age : 37
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:49 pm

Great links and suggestions. I almost feel "dirty" wearing Chinese made Docs. It's odd. Even though they were never American made, I also felt a sense of pride wearing something made in the same factory for so many years. Now, I think I'd prefer to buy some American made boots. Though, through my research over the weekend, I found some of the other good ol' American products are not even close to being American made anymore. Like Levi jeans...made in China. Crazy.

Where do other people stand on these sort of purchases? Do you spend more on things that will last longer or find yourself buying replacements for things when they wear out?

To be honest, a conversation started with my girlfriend (or fiancee I have to say now huh? haha) when I purchased a 1960's Stanwell pipe on eBay and said how the only thing I own that will probably outlast me are my pipes and how all of the stuff we buy is disposable nowadays. I keep finding myself taking inventory of the furniture we have and saying "that'll last us another 2/3/5 years" but seeing nothing that will be with us for a lifetime. My grandparents have some furniture that they have had for almost 80 years!

Ugh...the disposable culture we have become.

I am taking a stand with the purchase of some new boots (again, no puns).
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Anthony

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Age : 32
Location : Denver Colorado
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:04 pm

lol my boots are probably not the most stylish/street boots, but they serve me well and have put up with my travels to hell and back.

Buying boots is always hard for me as I refuse to wear combat boots that aren't made in America... I will not wear any part of an American military uniform made overseas.

Altama makes great combat boots, and I have had their 8" Hoplite for coming on two years now and they become more comfortable every day. I haven't had one complaint about them.

So if you feel like ground pounding or taking hills, I'd say these would best suit your needs.

http://www.altama.com
http://www.altama.com/Tp1/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=5788

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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:07 pm

I like those Redwings, have thought about a pair for awhile. The last couple pairs I had were from L.L.Bean, similar style to those Redwings you posted the photo of. Those first ones were made in the US (I'm pretty sure), I ordered another pair at the same size as the first ones, when they came in they didnt fit; too tight also now made in china. I sent them back and didnt reorder from them again. Have also noticed that from some other higher end companies that recently switched from made in the US to made in China. But the costs havent come down, seems like they would at least pass the savings on to the consumers.
Talking about furniture and such; a good friend runs a local appliance store so last year when our washer finally broke down (a 20+ yr old Kenmore) I went to him for a replacement. He sells everything from basic Whirlpool to top of the line Miele brands, he told me that NOTHING he sells would last as long as that old basic Kenmore lasted.
It's a sad commentary.
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Ol'Dawg

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Age : 71
Location : Northeast Georgia
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:30 pm

It's certainly difficult to find quality made products these days. And the quality stuff I've found has changed for the worse the last few years. Back to boots and shoes...I still find Danner Boots to be high quality, especially their models with sewn on soles. Though most of their models are for hunting, work or hiking you might find something to your liking hereDanner Boots

At one time, Clarks brand shoes were tops on my list but they changed their lasts and don't fit me anymore. Clarks shoes & boots

Good luck,
Jim
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Midnight Blues
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Age : 59
Location : Upstate NY
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:33 pm

I wear Redwing's at work, 8-10 hours a day. I've had my current pair about 2 1/2 years and their holding up fine. Not sure where they're made though. I also have a pair of Sorrel's like Dock mentioned, great winter boot, used to be made in Canada but now are made over seas, my pair was made in Vietnam....For dress boots I wear Tony Lama cowboy boots, can't beat em, I've had one pair 12 years, and in that time they've been re soled 3 times, I recently bought a new pair and their still made beautifully.
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paddy-boy

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Age : 39
Location : Birmingham, AL
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:30 pm

Danner Arcadia
Current pair it seven years old, Been resoled thrice.
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DoverPipes

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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:11 pm

+1 on the Danner Acadia (Ft. Lewis also!!)
I wear them at work everyday. Bitch to break in at first, but well worth it.
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ftrplt

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Age : 71
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:06 pm

Not trying to steal the thread;, just a comment on the durability of appliances. Replaced a Maytag washer and dryer last year. Good friend of mine is in the appliance business..sold us a fine new washer and dryer. When I commented that I thought the Maytags would have lasted longer (ours were 10+ years old), his response was that most major appliances are built to last 7 years!! Anything you get over that is gravy!!! And, paying to repair them isn't worth it; may as well buy new!! FWIW, FTRPLT
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Benjamin Button

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Age : 37
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:57 pm

No need to apologize...I want this to evolve into a discussion of that sort. Very Happy

The term is "planned obsolescence" for products made today. Cars, washers, dryers, tv's, phones...none are built to last. If they were, businesses would be out. The real reason the Maytag repair man is so bored today is because no one repairs anything anymore. They just buy new ones because it's easier and more cost effective, especially when all these places offer 0% financing for X amount of years. Ridiculous.

If anyone hasn't seen "The Story of Stuff" look it up on YouTube. It's like a 20 minute video that is pretty sobering but breaks down how we consume goods in the US. It's disgusting.

My dad told me the other day how his first snow blower was almost 15 years old when he got it. And he kept it running for another 15 years before buying a new one by having it serviced and repaired and keeping it "well oiled". He'll be lucky if the machine he has now lasts him a few more winters.

I yearn for quality in anything I own today. I just struggle to find it.

-Adam
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LL

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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:04 pm

ftrplt wrote:
Not trying to steal the thread;, just a comment on the durability of appliances. Replaced a Maytag washer and dryer last year. Good friend of mine is in the appliance business..sold us a fine new washer and dryer. When I commented that I thought the Maytags would have lasted longer (ours were 10+ years old), his response was that most major appliances are built to last 7 years!! Anything you get over that is gravy!!! And, paying to repair them isn't worth it; may as well buy new!! FWIW, FTRPLT

As a teenager a buddy of mine & I decided to entertain ourselves by destroying a $50 car. (In 1972, you could buy a running car for that)

He'd driven it regularly for a year, then bought a newer one, and decided wrecking a car for fun was worth more than the market value of the oldie. The model? A late 50's Rambler.

We drove it around a motocross race track, down 20 degree concrete landfill chunk slopes, slammed into trees at glancing angles, dragged it along cement pillars, drove off 20 inch high loading curbs, jumped up and down on the roof, trunk, and hood, like a trampoline, threw cast iron dumbbells through the glass, and finally tried to kill it for good by wiring open the throttle and shelling the engine.

Well, it just bounced off the solid stuff with minimal damage, ate rough terrain like a Jeep, shrugged off the roof and hood jumping by popping back out with a metallic "ploink!" noise when pushed from the inside, actually deflected the dumbbell for first few attempts to break the glass, and after 15 minutes of running wide open refused to blow up. We finally lost patience and shot a hole in the oil pan with a .357 to drain it, to speed things along. After 2-3 minutes of running dry, and smoking massively, you could hear the cylinders cut out one by one about 30 seconds apart until the engine finally gave its final chug and quit.

We then (of course), drank some beer and celebrated our victory. A six pack each later---maybe an hour---we decided to torch the wreck with a gallon of gas brought along for the purpose before hiking home. As the first splash of gas was tossed, Keith said, "Hold it a sec... I want to see something," and reached in to turn the key. Yup. It started right up.
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:39 pm

My oldest brother goes to estate auctions quite often, in this area many are old farms being split up and all the real estate and possesions of a couple of generations of farmers beig sold off in one day. Anyway he is always bring home shovels, rakes, picks and other assorted hand tools which he picked up dirt cheap, but these things last longer than any of the new crap you buy from Lowe's or HomeDepot. His theory on much of this stuff (most which came from the 50's like your friends Rambler) is in post war production; there were tons of tanks and other assorted stuff (made of superior grades of steel)left over that got melted down and used for all these new things. Added to that, the mindset of people that had come through the depression, it just made sense to build things that would last.
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ZombieWeinerDog

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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:47 am

well, i have size 16 feet, so i do not have a very large selection. but u can recommend hushpuppies! Made in Michigan!!!!!!!!!
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Benjamin Button

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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:39 am

ZombieWeinerDog wrote:
well, i have size 16 feet, so i do not have a very large selection. but u can recommend hushpuppies! Made in Michigan!!!!!!!!!

Holy crap! 16? Wow.

To add to this discussion further, I did laundry last evening and decided to take inventory of all of our clothes just for shits and giggles.

Of the roughly 40 or so garments that I had washed, the percentage of items manufactured in the USA was...


:drumroll:


Zero.

Not a single thing we had was made in the US. I felt so sick to my stomach it was awful. Our sons Levi Jeans, Old Glory jeans, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, American Eagle, etc...

China. Pakistan. Mexico. Indonesia. Haiti. Egypt.

Pretty sobering. In fact I started going through our closets and checking everything. I found one pair of jeans that my fiancee bought a while back that are her absolute favorites, but they cost her like $160. affraid I freaked when I heard how much they were but now that I know that money went to American workers and less profit to a greedy company, I feel a little better. I guess it's the same as me wanting to spend $300 on a pair of well made American boots, rather than some cheaply made ones that will cost a fraction of that.

I am making some changes this year in the way I buy things, that is for damn sure.
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:48 am

LL wrote:
.... We then (of course), drank some beer and celebrated our victory. A six pack each later---maybe an hour---we decided to torch the wreck with a gallon of gas brought along for the purpose before hiking home.
Ah, good times! Brings back fond memories of my childhood. What a calmer, gentler generation we were, eh? Laughing

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Justpipes
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PostSubject: Re: Boots! Let's discuss em...   Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:57 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
LL wrote:
.... We then (of course), drank some beer and celebrated our victory. A six pack each later---maybe an hour---we decided to torch the wreck with a gallon of gas brought along for the purpose before hiking home.
Ah, good times! Brings back fond memories of my childhood. What a calmer, gentler generation we were, eh? Laughing

They were good times weren't they! Very Happy
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