I receive questions about boots from a number of people. New-to-boot-wearing, the curious, those with specific questions about particular brands of boots, requests to help identify which manufacturer made a pair of boots, and so forth.
I am happy to try to answer these questions. Sure is better to receive those types of emails than from those annoying Pakistani leather vendors or the liars from India selling SEO services.
Receiving a number of these questions lately caused me to stop and think. I probably have forgotten more than most people will ever know about boots. I am not sure how I learned so much about boots, but I look at it this way: some guys can tell you all of the stats about certain sports and athletes, while I can tell you many details about boots, boot manufacturers, boot construction, and so forth. Our respective memories are chock full of facts and data — theirs about sports, mine about boots.
Following, then, are some facts about boots that I have answered over the last few weeks.
1. I recently broke my ankle and am new to motorcycling. What boots would you recommend for me to wear as I recover?
BHD: a lace-up boot of at least 10 inches works best to provide support for someone recovering from a broken ankle. A lace-up boot is adjustable in width to accommodate residual swelling, and also can be laced tightly enough to provide strong support to the ankle to relieve pain and protect from re-injury because it keeps the bones firmly in place and less likely to have stresses from bending sideways (rolling). I broke my ankle in January, 2010. I wore Wesco “combat boots” during my recovery. I was able to put two boots back on by March 21, and was able to ride my Harley again by April.
2. What do you think about Redwing boots?
BHD: They’re okay, but nothing to write home about. They are made in the USA (mostly), which is a good thing. Redwings have moderate value for the price paid. Some guys have complained that the boots run a bit small and narrow in the calf. Of all the different manufacturers of boots, I prefer USA-made Chippewa boots overall. Their harness, engineer, and firefighter boots are superb, comfortable, durable, and fit well. Of all regular boots out there, I ride with Chippewa Firefighters (27422) more often than any other. Comfortable, light-weight, easy on the feet to walk in when you reach a destination, and very easy to maintain. They have a zipper that is installed once (I even have a video for that, if interested) and once the zipper is in, they are easy to put on and take off quickly. You might consider them or other styles made by Chippewa. You won’t be disappointed.
3. I recently visited Stompers Boots in San Francisco and had a really bad experience. What have you heard about them?
BHD: When Stompers was sold last July and bought by “Bear Man” — the owner of the “Bootwerks” companies of Florida — I cut off all dealings with them. Bear Man contacted me about my “BHD discount coupon” and was terse and generally rude. I stopped any promo from my website to Stompers, removed links to the store, and haven’t bought anything from them since.
4. My boot-wearing doctor gave me the name of a boot maker here in Texas that made him a pair of custom boots. If I decide to have a pair made what are the things to look for? I have read your boot wiki on the things to look for in boots, but wondered if there was more to consider when looking at having them custom made.
BHD: Begin by reading this post on my blog. That pretty much covers it… it is all a matter of how much you’re willing to pay and the level of service that you get. Read the post and let me know additional questions that the blog post doesn’t answer.
Sometimes it is easier for me to refer people to previous posts on this blog, especially when they may not be aware of what’s there. That’s why I like the search feature that the blogging platform provides. It makes it easier for me to find those past posts.
Life is short: share knowledge (and wear boots!)