Fall is basically here, the seasons are changing and the weather will turn cold, wet, rainy and snowy before we know it. Having a comfortable, reliable, and long-lasting pair of go-to footwear in any weather, for any occasion, is a necessary wardrobe staple. Living in Chicago, this necessity of owning a nice pair of boots is amplified even further.
When I evaluate a pair of boots, similar to how I evaluate dress shoes, I am focused on price and quality. The price to quality ratio for boots is similar to most men's fashion products: the more you are willing to pay the higher the quality of the product. However, I believe that there is a peak and when you are paying over a certain amount you are just paying for the brand name. There is no need to buy a fancy pair of designer boots; you want a pair that you aren't afraid to get dirty.
When it comes to quality of boots vs. dress shoes, typically buying a pair of under $100 dress shoes will lack quality, but they will probably hold up just fine in normal weather conditions (besides rain). Boots, are the opposite. Since boots are worn when the seasons are turning and the weather is typically awful, you need a pair that will hold up. It"s worth paying up for one nice pair of boots that you will own for many years!
When I think about purchasing a pair of boots, I typically want a pair that can be dressed up or dressed down. Of course, wearing boots with a suit might be pushing it, but I at least want to be able to wear the boots with a shirt and tie, or jeans and a button down. I want them to look nice and also be able to take a beating.
The top two boot brands that I constantly recommend to my followers, friends and family are...drum roll please... Allen Edmonds and Thursday Boot Co. (with an honorable mention to Greats Brand).
Allen Edmonds My go-to footwear in fall / winter isn't actually a boot, however it follows many of the characteristics I mentioned above. I consistently finding myself wearing the Allen Edmonds Strandmok shoe with the Dainite Rubber Sole. This shoe continues to be one of my most complimented wardrobe items and it's built like a tank. Last year I wrote a post all about the AE Dainite Rubber Soles (click here). The color, design, detailing is all just so spot on.
Getting back to the boots, Allen Edmonds just released a new collection called the Tate Collection. This collection is focused on providing the customer with the Allen Edmonds quality that will last decades, with a much lighter construction. This light weight construction makes the boot super comfortable without sacrificing quality. I went with the black Chelsea boot since I know I can dress this shoe up for the office or dress down with a pair of jeans. One major advantage to a Chelsea boot is the simple design that is easy to clean and polish. Click here to check it out.
Thursday Boot Co.
Thursday Boot Co. has been a go-to brand since I heard of them when they were getting started. This affordable boot company is taking over and continues to release some incredible products. You can feel the quality of the construction when you try the boot on for the first time and it continues after you've been wearing them for years. I particularly like the soles of their boots offering great traction control that will give you the confidence you need to run to catch the 5pm train home even in terrible weather conditions.
The design of their boots has always been a standout feature. All of their boots are created with a streamlined design giving their boots an appeal that is sure to receive compliments from any generation. My favorite pair of their boots is the honey suede Chelsea (click here) and the Vanguard premium collection now made in the USA (click here).
Honorable Mention: Greats Brand
Greats Brand offers an awesome weatherproof shoe with a Vibram sole, The Midwood. This is definitely a casual shoe, but with the retro look and super affordable price point, it will give your casual winter wardrobe an extra boost. I have actually gone running in this shoe outside while it's snowing out. (Click here)
Greats' Royale collection holds up very well in the extreme elements if you're not outside for long periods of time. They are super easy to clean and the quality of the Italian leather helps justify the price range. (Click here)
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions and thank you Allen Edmonds, Thursday Boot Co., and Greats for providing the shoes. This post is my personal and unbiased opinion regardless of the product being provided.
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