5 pairs of boots for the extra mile
Denim and boots are often thought to be a perfect match. A high-quality pair of boots will evolve beautifully alongside your favorite pair of jeans and will last for years, if not decades. Until the moment when you have finally broken-in your first pair of boots, it might sound unbelievable that they can be comfortable. But you have to believe us when we say that once you’ve worn a pair of ‘rugged’ boots for several of weeks, you might never want to take them off again.
Just like the denim scene, there are many great boot brands out there, promoting their styles, fits, and quality. And, just like denim, picking the perfect pair of boots comes with making decisions on color, materials, origin, and make. We have made a selection of five boot brands that we appreciate for their high quality and durability. These brands share the same mission, and that is to create high-quality boots that will last an eternity.
Wolverine – Evans 1000 mile boot
Wolverine is a brand that doesn’t need an introduction from our side. The brand was established 130 years ago, and their story is one of authenticity, success, and innovation. Wolverine is dedicated to delivering comfortable and durable handmade boots with quality craftsmanship. Today, Wolverine is offering a wide selection of work boots, outdoor shoes, and heritage footwear, suitable for every occasion.
Over a hundred years ago, Wolverine designed the 1000 Mile Boot. It was introduced as a handmade pair of boots, made of durable shell horsehide leather. The name is, of course, referring to the 1000 miles you should be able to walk on a single pair of boots. The original 1000 Mile Boot, still part of their collection, is a meticulous recreation of the timeless pattern Wolverine introduced in 1914.
Wolverine’s Evans 1000 mile boot is based on the original 1000 Mile Boot silhouette and is updated with a rubber Vibram sole to provide more grip and comfort. It is handcrafted in Wolverine’s factory in Big Rapids, Michigan, USA, and made of a full grain leather upper from the renowned Horween Leather Company. The leather is highly durable and will develop character over time. Although the boots are unlined, the breaking-in time is incredibly short, and they fit comfortably from the first moment. The Evans boots are unlined and have a Goodyear Welt construction, allowing them to be re-soled, so many years of wear are guaranteed.
The Evans, 1000 mile boots, are available for €325 and can be ordered here.
Grant Stone – Ottawa Boot
Grant Stone was established in 2015 on years of experience and a limitless passion for shoemaking. Their expertise combined with some of the best leathers available on the planet are making their footwear indestructible and irresistible. Working closely with their manufactory on Xiamen, China, Grant Stone manages to sell their high-quality Goodyear welted shoes at competitive prices.
Grant Stone’s collection is divided into Bluchers, a low top dress shoe and similar to a derby, and boots. By offering both styles in different options, Grant Stone is offering a high-quality Goodyear welt shoe suitable for any style and every occasion. Their shoes are built on the ‘Leo last’ providing a comfortable fitting shoe for the four primary foot shapes. Now and then, Grant Stone is adding a new style to their already exciting collection.
The Ottawa Boot in Crimson Chromexcel is an excellent design and will stand out from the other boots in your closet. It is elegant yet rugged at the same time, and it has a hand sewn moc which breaks up the vamp nicely. The Ottawa boot is made of high-quality pull-up cow leather tanned by Horween and lined with full grain cow leather from Milwaukee. Both types of leathers are chosen for their aesthetics, as well as their durability. Furthermore, the Ottawa boot is featuring leather soles, leather laces, and brass eyelets.
The Ottawa boots are available through Grant Stone’s web store and come at a price of €300.
Learn more about Grant Stone and read our Meet the Maker article.
Helm Boots – Muller Black Blucher
Back in 2009, Helm Boots sold their first pair of boots, a straightforward design that was built to last. From that moment onwards, Helm boots has been perfecting the quality, the designs, and the processes, to make a product that gives confidence and courage to the eventual wearer.
To make a single pair of Helm boots, 14 master bootmakers have to take over 153 steps. These master bootmakers combine timeless construction methods, with premium leather and materials to build a boot that tells a story of quality and authenticity. The whole process, from design to manufacturing, takes place in the USA.
The Muller Blucher is a versatile pair of boots and is designed to fit on different occasions. This pair can be combined with pants for when you have to go to the office or a good pair of selvedge denim for when you hit the bar. The upper is made of full-grain Horween Chromexcel leather, and it is entirely lined with natural leather. Moreover, it has antique brass eyelets and a reinforced leather pull tab, which is truly helpful when putting them on. The sole of the Muller Blucher consists of Helm’s signature white composite rubber midsole, and an oil-treated leather outsole. Because the boots are stitched following the Blake Rapid Stitch welt construction, they are re-soleable. Therefore, it is pretty safe to say that these boots will be a reliable companion for many years.
Helm’s Muller Black Bluchers’ are available through their web store, and come at the price of €315.
Rancourt & Co. – Oxford Boots
Rancourt & Co. is built on years of knowledge and experience in shoemaking and has been making traditional moccasins since 1964 in Maine, USA. Today, the company is being led by third-generation shoemakers, who know all the ins and outs when it comes to making a pair of high-quality boots, that will withstand the test of time.
Rancourt & Co. is offering an extensive collection, existing of several categories, such as loafers, sneakers, and boots. Each category consists of multiple styles and leathers, so it’s hard not to find a pair you like. If your size is not available, or when you have exceptionally wide feet, Rancourt & Co. will create a fitting pair for you, with no extra costs. And, if your perfect pair of Rancourts doesn’t exist at all, they will even go so far as to create a pair that meets all of your demands.
The Oxford Boots are available in three colors and are made of luxurious split suede. The boots are fully lined with cowhide lining, making them extremely comfortable. Compared to the other boots featured in this article, Rancourts’ Oxford’s are classy, and come closest to what we call a dress shoe, and is therefore ideal for the more formal occasions. The sole of the Oxford Boot consists of a brown leather midsole and welt, and a Vibram mini-lug outsole, for more grip and durability. Furthermore, these boots are featuring antique brass eyelets, and brown waxed cotton laces, making this pair of boots awesome!
The Oxford Boots are available for €300 and can be ordered here.
Photo courtesy of Rancourt & Co.
Red Wing – 8083 Iron Ranger
Amongst us denim heads, Red Wing is, with good reason, one of the most popular boot brands out there. Their long history started back in 1905 when Charles Beckman spotted a demand for comfortable, and durable work boots. The enduring success of Red Wing is mainly due to never compromising on comfort and quality for their products. By continuing the same premium craftsmanship and attention to detail like back in the days, Red Wing’s popularity is undiminished.
With some bestsellers as the Moc Toe’s, Iron Rangers’, and Chukka’s, Red Wing’s collection is extensive and highly sought after. All pairs are completely manufactured in the USA and made of premium leathers only. Although Red Wing is known for their rugged boots, they also offer subtle (almost) dress shoes. In 2016, Red Wing introduced their Women’s heritage collection, which existed of smaller sized men styles, but also of some new and unique women designs.
The Red Wing Iron Ranger 8083 Hawthorne Muleskinner is one of the most popular Red Wing boots in the Netherlands, and probably worldwide. With the double leather toecap, providing extra safety, the Iron Rangers can be easily recognized. The Hawthorne Muleskinner leather, used for this specific pair of Iron Rangers’, starts very rough and rigid, but will become soft after wearing it for a few weeks. This type of leather has a burnished look that gives a vintage appeal to the boot and will evolve beautifully, darkening over time. Red Wing has chosen to use a Vibram 430 mini lug sole which provides grip and stability, and will undoubtedly last for years.
Head over to redwingamsterdam.com and get a pair of Iron Rangers for yourself!
Photo courtesy of Red Wing Amsterdam.