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11 Essential Boot Rules Every Man Must Know

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11 Essential Boot Rules Every Man Must Know

Table of Contents

Use Cedar Shoe Trees

When it comes to maintaining the shape and quality of your boots, using cedar shoe trees is a must. I always make sure to use cedar shoe trees in every pair of boots I own, and there's a good reason for it.

The Benefits of Cedar Shoe Trees

  • Smell great and keep your boots fresh
  • Absorb moisture and release it slowly, preventing leather damage
  • Help maintain the shape of the toe, especially important for boots like Chelsea boots

Cedar shoe trees offer distinct advantages over plastic ones. While plastic shoe trees may seem more cost-effective, the benefits of cedar make them a superior choice for preserving the condition of your boots.

Condition Early and Often

When it comes to maintaining the quality and longevity of your boots, conditioning early and often is crucial. I typically condition a new pair of boots within the first month of getting them, and sometimes even before wearing them for the first time. This initial conditioning helps to keep the leather moisturized and protected.

Initial Conditioning

  • Condition within the first month of getting the boots
  • Consider conditioning before the first wear to protect the leather
  • Helps maintain the moisture and integrity of the leather

After the initial conditioning, I recommend conditioning the boots once every ten wears to ensure that the leather remains supple and resilient. Additionally, I rotate between three different leather conditioners based on the type of leather to provide the best care possible.

Rotating Leather Conditioners

  • Use Bick 4 for waxed and naturally-oiled leathers
  • Prevent color change and maintain moisture with Venetian Leather Balm
  • Reserve Saphir Renovateur for dressier boots requiring a higher shine

By using these different conditioners, I can cater to the specific needs of each type of leather, ensuring that they receive the appropriate level of care and protection. Conditioning early and often, combined with the right products, is essential for preserving the quality and appearance of your beloved boots.

Don't Buy Cheap

When it comes to investing in a quality pair of boots, cutting corners on cost is a big mistake. Cheap boots may seem like a good deal at first, but they often lack the durability, craftsmanship, and materials needed for long-lasting wear.

Don't Tuck in Your Jeans

Rule number four: Don't tuck your jeans into your boots. This should go without saying, but honestly, I do see some guys from time to time tucking their jeans.

Avoid Cemented Soles

Rule number five is to avoid cemented sole construction boots. If you're not familiar with what cemented sole construction is or a Goodyear welt, basically it's the way that the sole is attached to the leather upper.

Understanding Cemented Sole Construction

  • Boots with cemented sole construction are made quickly at a lower cost
  • These soles can separate from the leather upper within six to eight months
  • Using them in wet conditions or wearing them hard can lead to sole separation

Even if you've invested in a pair of quality boots, if they have cemented sole construction, the sole can separate, rendering the boots unusable. This can be disappointing, especially when the leather is of good quality. Therefore, it's important to avoid this type of construction to ensure the longevity and durability of your boots.

Don't Damage the Leather Heel

Rule number six is to never wear into the leather part of your heel. Most boots nowadays have a rubber top lift or heel cap, but there is still a leather portion on the stacked heel. As you walk, this heel can wear down, and many guys will let it go until it starts to wear into the leather.

Replace the Top Lift Promptly

  • Your cobbler can easily replace the top lift for $20-30
  • Timely replacement takes just a couple of minutes
  • Wearing into the leather can cause irreparable damage

If you allow the heel to wear into the leather, it can lead to irreparable damage, requiring custom pieces of leather and significantly higher expenses. So, it's best to promptly replace the top lift to avoid damaging the leather heel and ensure the longevity of your boots.

Goodyear Welts Aren't Everything

While goodyear welts are often touted as a mark of high-quality footwear, it's important to remember that they aren't the only indicator of a durable and long-lasting pair of boots. In fact, there are other construction methods, such as blake stitch or stitch down, that offer similar benefits in terms of sole replacement and overall longevity.

Benefits of Alternative Construction Methods

  • Boots with blake stitch or stitch down construction can have soles replaced for extended use
  • These construction methods can provide durability and longevity comparable to goodyear welts
  • Exploring alternative construction methods opens up a wider range of high-quality footwear options

By considering footwear crafted with alternative construction methods, you can expand your options and potentially discover a pair of boots that perfectly aligns with your style, comfort, and durability preferences. While goodyear welts have their merits, it's essential not to overlook the potential of other construction techniques when seeking out your next pair of quality boots.

Clean Your Welts

Rule number eight is to always clean out the welt of your boots, and that typically requires a dauber brush. This is a horsehair brush with a small circular shape, ideal for scrubbing inside the welt to remove mud and dirt that could damage the stitching.

Using a Dauber Brush

  • Choose a horsehair dauber brush for cleaning the welt
  • Dampen the brush with water and scrub inside the welt
  • Remove any mud or dirt to prevent damage to the stitching

Regularly cleaning the welt of your boots ensures that the stitching remains intact, prolonging the lifespan of the soles and maintaining the overall quality of your footwear.

Get a Variety of Leather Conditioners

When it comes to caring for your boots, having a variety of leather conditioners is essential for providing the best care and protection for different types of leather. I always make sure to have a selection of conditioners on hand to cater to the specific needs of each pair of boots.

My Top Three Leather Conditioners

Additionally, for specialty needs, consider using mink oil for work boots that require weather sealing without concern for darkening the leather. For ultimate water repellency, a product like Timberland Waximum Leather Protector can be beneficial.

By having a variety of leather conditioners on hand, you'll be prepared to provide immediate care for every new pair of boots, ensuring they receive the best treatment to maintain their quality and appearance for years to come.

Get a Variety of Boots

When it comes to building a versatile footwear collection, having a variety of boots is essential. While classic styles like Chelsea boots and cap toe service boots are great staples, branching out into different types of boots allows for more outfit options and seasonal versatility.

Diversify Your Boot Collection

  • Invest in a pair of Chelsea boots in both black and brown for diverse casual and dressy looks
  • Consider adding a heavy-duty winter boot with a rugged lug sole, such as the Gifennse Boots
  • Include a sleek suede plain toe boot for a stylish and versatile option in springtime
  • Explore unique options like woven Jodhpur boots for a distinctive touch to your footwear collection

By incorporating a range of boots into your wardrobe, you'll have the flexibility to elevate your style with the perfect boot for any occasion, outfit, or season.

Wear the Appropriate Pants

When it comes to pairing your boots with the right type of pants, it's essential to choose a style that complements your footwear. Opting for the appropriate jeans can enhance the overall look and showcase the quality of your boots.

Choose Slim and Tapered Leg Jeans

  • Opt for slim jeans with a tapered leg opening
  • Ensure the jeans are either cuffed or stacked
  • Show off your high-quality boots with a well-fitted pair of jeans

By selecting slim jeans with a tapered leg opening, you can accentuate your boots and highlight their craftsmanship. This style choice allows your investment in quality boots to shine, creating a polished and stylish appearance that complements your footwear.

dudenhoefer olaughlin
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