We like to have many fashion staples in our wardrobes, including quality sweaters, nicely-fitted jeans, comfortable underwear, and snuggly sleepwear.
However, it’s also helpful to have at least one pair of beautifully made, long-lasting boots at your disposal to wear in different situations. If it’s time for you to shop for new footwear, there are multiple tips to consider.
Firstly, it pays to see boots as an investment if you want a product that will last for years. Outlay a bit more to buy quality boots made from top-notch materials and with proper construction. Avoid cheaper boots made from fabrics that won’t wear well that are held together with glue rather than stitching. Handmade boots tend to last much longer than mass-made ones.
The fit is another critical factor. Don’t sacrifice the right fit and ultimate comfort just to save a few bucks on a pair of on-sale boots, as you likely won’t end up wearing them much anyway if they’re not suited to your foot size and gait. Wait until you can afford products that are just right for you, rather than rushing in for a deal on something close but not perfect.
If you’re buying shoes in a store, walk around in them as much as possible to be sure you’re getting the right length and width. Consider the last of the shoes, too. This is the foot-shaped model the boots are made on. It can lead to variations in factors such as how much room there is for your toes to wiggle and how tightly your foot is held.
When buying online, always check the returns policies. Most retailers who sell shoes via the internet have flexible terms and conditions, which means you can try on the shoes at home and easily return pairs that don’t suit you.
Boots are the shoes you’ll likely end up wearing in every type of element, including snow and rain, so you need products that will deal well with any weather. As you research shoe options, look for those with good reviews for durability. Quality leathers and related materials will naturally hold up better in various conditions, but pay attention to the welt, too.
The welt is a long strip of material (typically leather) placed between the shoe’s upper and the outsole. Buy a pair of ladies’ or mens’ Goodyear welted boots, and the shoe becomes not only easily resoleable but also virtually waterproof. The welt is adhered first to the upper via stitching and then to the outsole forming a tight seal.
You can spot a Goodyear welt by looking out for a telltale line of stitching that runs around the boot’s perimeter. Goodyear welt construction is the oldest, most labor-intensive, and long-lasting method. It is named after Charles Goodyear Jr., who invented the machinery used to produce it in the 1800s.
To get the most use possible out of your boots, you want them to have plenty of grip to keep you stable and upright when outside. While leather outsoles are soft and dressy, for better grip, it pays to choose boots with a studded rubber outsole or some other option that will give you traction on slippery wet surfaces, while still looking sleek visually.
Something else to consider is the shank used in boots. Many people don’t look at this element, but it’s important because it affects comfort, especially when wearing shoes for hours at a time. A shank is the strip of hard materials that sits between the layers in the sole, in roughly the middle of the foot. This piece is traditionally made with steel. In recent years, though, it has started being constructed from wood, fiberglass, or leather, which works better for going through airport security scanners.
The shank helps to protect your feet from punctures and provides more arch support. It adds stability, too. Plus, you’ll like the fact that a quality shank slows or prevents boot disintegration as boots age and start to lose some of their structure.
These are the key factors to look at when buying new boots. Also, work out what kind of toe style you prefer (e.g., pointy, round, or square) and the height of the shaft and the heel.
Shopping for solid boots may be a bit more complicated than you originally thought, but doing your research will help you to find a dependable pair of all-rounders that look and feel robust for years to come.