How To Fix Boot Squeaking

This year I expanded my dress boots collection from traditional shiny-leather cowboy boots to include additional short men’s dress boots, such as Allen Edmonds Dalton boots.

Yeah, these boots are only seven inches high, but nonetheless, meet the minimum requirement for anything to be worn on my feet: boots. Further, my requirements for boots are that they be well-constructed of quality materials and craftsmanship, and made in countries that do not use low-wage labor working in sweatshops (i.e., China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines) to make them.

While maintaining high standards, I also look for a reasonable price, which for high-end dress boots is difficult, but not out of the question. Occasional sales are offered, or close-out deals become available. That’s how these Allen Edmonds Daltons were selected — a great deal for about half the full MSRP.

When I first pulled on these puppies and struggled to lace them up (generally I avoid laced footwear due to the time required to lace them right — I’m a guy who just likes to pull on his boots and go)… I was horrified to hear very loud SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK with each step. No way was I going to wear these things to the office and attract attention due to their awfully loud squeaking!

But I found a solution to resolve that squeaking once-and-for-all, and thought I would share it here… more after the jump.
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Comfortable Boots

BootstorageJan201502For a guy who owns hundreds of pairs of boots, one would think that I would only have boots that are comfortable. Well, mostly that is true, but not for all of them.

Especially now that two things have changed with time: boots age and insoles do not get any softer, and feet age and are not as flexible and tolerant of discomfort as they are when they were young. This is especially true for guys who go from a slim/trim/athletic 120 pounds in their early 20s to … well, middle-age spread. The more weight you carry, the more uncomfortable boots will become.

So here is how this more-than-middle-aged boot wearer deals with boot comfort issues…
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Boot Size: Manufacturers’ Dirty Little Secret

rp_Chipshine29.jpgI was communicating with someone the other day via email. The guy had concerns about the fit of Chippewa high-shine engineer boots (model 71418). He said that he bought a pair of the boots and that they caused severe, bleeding blisters and injuries on his toes. Through ongoing dialogue, he was blaming the steel toe and inflexibility of the boot’s foot to cause these problems. He asked more about fitting of the boots and differences in choosing larger, smaller, wider or medium-width sizing.

What I told him is a dirty little secret of boot manufacturers. Read on to learn what that secret is.
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Boots and Aging Feet

I have received some emails over the years from guys who describe puzzlement and concerns about not being able to wear boots that they enjoyed wearing for years. “Does boot leather harden with age?” or “do boots become uncomfortable when worn?” or (my favorite), “can I stretch 30-year-old boots because they’re tight on my legs?”

Hate to tell ya, folks, but it is more likely the human aging process that is causing these problems, not the boots. Here’s what is going on:
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Loggers at the Office

Yesterday, it was bitterly cold in these parts. New record low temperatures were reached at local airports. -15C… sounds colder than 5F. Nonetheless, whatever scale you use, it was damn cold!

The worst problem I have with cold — other than not being able to ride my Harley — is that my feet get cold. Even with boots and thick socks, I don’t like cold feet. (Ask my spouse!)

I have a fairly new and good-looking pair of Chippewa insulated “super loggers”. So I decided on casual dress-down Friday to…
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Boot Leather: Comfort and Softness

Lucphython01I have received some emails from various people asking general questions about boot comfort and the feel of the stiffness or softness of leather (or skins) used on shafts of boots. Following are random thoughts based on experience from wearing boots exclusively as my choice of footwear for more than 47 years.
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Boot Sizing

Chippewa Hi-Shine boots with added mid-sole and lug sole

Chippewa Hi-Shine boots with added mid-sole and lug sole

Lately, several people have written to me to ask questions about choosing the correct size of boots, especially when stores that sell boots are hard to find or not available and therefore people are considering purchasing boots from on-line vendors.

Their questions have asked,…
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Insoles for Boots

Lucmidbrownfr09I am asked from time to time about how to make boots feel more comfortable on the foot. Since I wear boots every day as my only choice of footwear, having boots that feel comfortable is important.

All boots come with some sort of insole — from cardboard to a thin cushion to an actual built-in gel insole. Most boots, though, have only paper-thin insoles of cardboard.

Interestingly, some higher-priced boots come with paper-thin insoles and they feel hard as a rock to wear. This includes Lucchese boots. Other lower-priced commercially made boots come with cushion insoles, like Dan Post boots, and feel comfortable right away.

What do I recommend about insoles for boots?
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