This post describes the top 5 most frequently searched boots or boot styles that direct visitors to my website using Google Webmaster Tools anonymous data. It follows from yesterday’s post that described rankings 10 to 6.
Here are the boots/boot styles most frequently searched from ranking of 5 to number one…
5. Police Boots
Not a surprise at all that many people search for images and information about “police boots” aka “cop boots.” Mostly, there is still high interest in images of boots worn by motorcops as shown on my cop photo galleries.
There really is nothing like the sleek, lean, commanding appearance of a pair of tall black motorboots. Boots worn by bike cops attract a huge following among both gay and straight men and women.
Lately, motorcops are changing the style of boots that they wear — from tall equestrian-style Dehners, Chippewas, or similar — to short tactical boots. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I do know from talking with cops that they prefer tactical boots for the comfort. Good quality tac boots feel much like sneakers on the foot, and are less hot. However, it will take a long time to break tradition of tall black boots with breeches.
I have police patrol boots from these manufacturers: All American, Chippewa, Dehner, and Wesco. There are a few knock-off brands out there, but I cannot recommend them (Hi-Spar being among the worst… poorly made in Pakistan.) Now that Chippewa has improved the sole of their Trooper Boots, I can re-recommend them again. Dehners are a crowd favorite, and since the Dehner Boot Co. has resolved the problem with the synthetic shaft material (“Dehcord”) so it does not crack or break, I can re-recommend them, as well. All American Boots are terrific, as well as Chippewa Hi-Shines. Wesco Motor Patrol boots are very comfortable and light-weight, but expensive.
4. Wesco Boots
Wesco boots are among the toughest boots on the market. Wesco makes lines of classic engineer boots (called “Boss” boots), harness boots, loggers, a cowboy-style boot called Morrison, and other specialty styles. These boots are made by hand at a shop in Scappoose, Oregon, by a family-owned company.
Wescos (note the plural has no apostrophe) are rugged and will last a lifetime. Men who “know their boots” and are looking for the utmost in quality choose Wesco boots to wear when riding a motorcycle, doing construction or outdoor work such as logging, wildland firefighting, etc. These boots can take a lot of abuse and keep on going. Both gay and straight men — as well as women — are very loyal to this brand and wear these boots with pride.
Personally, I have a “love-hate” relationship with Wesco boots. I love how they look and how well they perform when I ride my motorcycle. However, as I have aged and my feet have hardened, Wesco boots have become quite uncomfortable to wear. Wesco Boss and Harness boots are quite heavy due to the exceptional construction with quality materials and thick Vibram soles. But the heft is also their downfall — on my feet, anyway. Their weight makes my feet get very tired. The boots get hot on my legs, also.
I understand why internet searches send so many visitors to my website. As of the date of this post, I own 26 pairs of Chippewa Boots! I have blogged frequently about how much I like my Chippewa Firefighters as my most frequent “go-to” boot to wear when I ride my Harley. Lightweight, sturdy, good-looking, easy-to-wear boots with a lug sole for great traction… what could be better?
Many guys like and wear tall (or short) Chippewa engineer boots, too. These are classics found in any real biker’s boot collection — or if he doesn’t have a collection, these are likely the only pair of boots he has.
Almost equally as popular as engineer boots, Chippewa harness boots are also a common style that many guys choose to wear — not only for motorcycling, but whenever a masculine style of boot is preferred. Guys won’t admit it, but they choose footwear to represent who they want to be. Harness boots with the square toe and harness straps ooze toughness. That’s why you see so many guys choosing these boots (as well as engineer boots) because they represent a masculine style and appearance.
Rugged, durable, yet lighter weight and affordable, Chippewa boots remain a high-quality USA-made product. I endorse them highly.
While I own only one pair of Timberland boots, apparently I am among few who have a web page about these boots. “Timbs” have a style all their own. Frequently selected as work boots because they are quite inexpensive (because they are made in the Dominican Republic with cheap labor and materials), Timberland boots are very popular among the hourly-paid construction and trades workers.
The boots are lightweight, rather sturdy, have a lug sole, and are made for abuse (lots of wear-and-tear). It is quite common for working men to wear out a pair of these boots once or twice a year. I’ve also heard that these boots are popular in some racial subcultures, but I don’t know about that.
I wear my Timberland boots when I mow the lawn and do minor construction projects around the house. They are very comfortable and easy to wear.
1. Frye Boots
It did not surprise me that these boots ranked on the searches that drive visitors to my website, but I was astonished that searches for Frye Boots ranked at 42% of all searches by brand or style.
Vintage Frye Boots — those made by the original John A. Frye Shoe Company of Marlborough, Massachusetts — were extremely popular boots worn by men and women who grew up in the ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s. Fryes were cool-looking. The phrase “every guy has Fryes” was commonly heard on high school and college campuses.
Fryes were produced in huge quantities and when introduced and throughout the ’70s, a guy could find new Fryes for only $50. Prices increased to about $100/pair in the ’80s, but were still considered affordable.
The 14″ tall stovepipe shaft of classic Frye Campus boots became widely accepted and popular and were not considered by guys of the era to be “women’s boots”. Frye Harness boots were also 14″ tall and were marketed as motorcycle boots, even though they had a smooth leather sole.
Over the years, I have probably owned more than two dozen pairs of genuine vintage Frye boots. I do not own as many pairs now. Over time, some of my oldest Fryes were damaged or deteriorated beyond being wearable. And I hate to say it, but these days, I cannot wear my old Fryes. My old Fryes don’t fit me that well any more, and the footbeds are uncomfortable to my feet. It is very hard for me to part with them, but sometime I will, because while I still admire the design of vintage Fryes, I do not wish to hang on to boots that I cannot wear any more.
By the way, Fryes made today are not nearly the same as the original Fryes made in Massachusetts. The original Frye Boot company sold out in 2003, and its name was bought and purchased by a series of holding companies, until it was purchased by a Chinese company in 2010. (See the history here). Nowadays, boots made with the Frye label are made by cheap contract. Some new Fryes are still made by a secret factory in Arkansas; some are made in Mexico; but most are now made in China with cheap labor and inferior materials. I cannot and DO NOT recommend boots made with the Frye label that are available on today’s market. They are not worth the cost and are crappy boots overall.
Life is short: know your boots and appreciate that others search for them.