These Boots Were Made For Walking

When autumn rolls around, apart from one’s relishing the idea of being able to wear more than the bare minimum to be legally clothed, boots are inevitably a welcome addition to one’s choices of footwear. While there are many different kinds to be considered—and in Brooklyn or Japan it seems the more rugged the boot the better—it sometimes makes sense to have a pair that can function as boot but also can be smart enough to wear with a suit, almost obscuring the fact that it is a boot. (The work boot is wonderful with jeans or khakis, but I’ve never subscribed to the Timberlands- or Red Wings-with-a-suit-look, and no, sorry, it’s not really ironic.)

Alden, among other makers, makes elegant Cordovan (horsehide) boots along the same line as their dress shoes: the leather ages beautifully, and the boot can be dressed up or down. With jeans, whether walking, or riding a bike or a motorcycle in colder months, the ankle protection is a comfort, and with a suit (the boots properly polished, of course), a pair looks as good as a pair of brogues. This pair is about twenty years old, and is leather soled, which is in keeping with the dressier look. But I like a little rubber for snow and sleet days, so a local cobbler attached a Vibram sole—twelve years ago—which doesn’t add too much bulk but makes the boots practical in all circumstances. And if I ever want to revert to the leather sole, at least it’s brand new….

14 thoughts on “These Boots Were Made For Walking

  1. Love the patina on those boots.

    Unrelated to the story here but Levi’s should definitely consider working with House of Majd in some capacity. You’re wearing 501 most of the time or at least in the pictures depicted here on this site.

  2. Great idea with the vibram soles. Did you completely replace the leather soles with them? And are the boots lighter, as a result? I have a pair of 20-year-old French toe cap Paraboots that I love and that might benefit from the same treatment.


  3. I didn’t replace the leather soles, as they were quite new. Of course you’re right that had I done so it would have made the boots lighter (although Alden dress boots aren’t as heavy as the work boots). If you have an old pair of boots that need re-soling anyway, it might be an idea to go ahead and completely replace with a rubber sole…
    Thanks for wrting,

  4. Love the boots. What kind are they? They look like Wolverine 1ks, but with a cap toe. White’s semi-dress, maybe?

  5. to skepticaljesus- they do still make them and thanks to the tip from House Of Majd, I now own a pair. And they’re beautiful.

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