“How can you wear boots in this weather?” I’m always asked on hot summer days. It’s as if people think I’m not clever enough to choose appropriate footwear. But I digress. I wear leather boots year round. You should too and here’s why.
Leather boots can keep you cool
A good pair of leather boots can keep your feet pretty cool. In fact desert boots get their name because they were first popularized by their use by british soldiers in the North African desert campaigns of World War Two. I have been hiking in the desert and I would wear nothing other than boots. There’s all sorts of plants and animals that you would rather not have in contact with your skin and your feet will burn very quickly if exposed to the sun. Boots may not be as breezy as sandals, but with the right moisture-wicking, lightweight socks, they are quite cool and have lots of other advantages.
Leather boots can keep you warm.
In the winter, good leather boots with a rubber sole and some nice thick socks will keep your feet warm. If you have boots with a forgiving fit, you can wear two pairs of socks and even use thermal insoles. Lining your insoles with tinfoil can even help you keep your feet warm. There’s nothing better than boots to keep the blood circulating in your toes.
Leather boots are waterproof and breathable.
Rubber boots are totally waterproof but your sweat accumulates inside so you get wet anyways, Gore-tex boots are waterproof without any maintenance but have limited breathability. Good leather boots treated with mink oil, dubbin, or snow-seal are extremely waterproof and remain highly breathable. They do require regular maintenance, but in my experience, unlined leather boots that are well taken care of are the best waterproof, breathable footwear you can get.
Leather boots are good on almost any terrain.
I’ve worn my blundstones to some pretty remote places. They’ve been trekking all over, from the forests of Ontario to the mountains of central Spain. A good pair of boots will take you places that no shoes could go. It’s no surprise that all the great explorers wore leather boots. I suspect christopher columbus was wearing them when he discovered America.
Leather boots can be worn with anything.
The wise old prophet who sold me my Blundstones said “They’ll take you from a wedding to a funeral.” In other words, you’ll have them forever and you can wear them anywhere. I have worn Blundstones with a suit. I’ve also worn them mountain climbing. I dare say that leather boots are the only piece of footwear that can cover the whole gamut of social situations. If GQ says it’s cool to wear boots with your suit, it’s cool!
There you have it. Leather boots, plain and simple, are the best choice of footwear for almost any occasion. You might find something better for particular situations but nothing is more versatile, more practical, or more stylish. There’s a reason people like Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, Chuck Norris, Hank Moody, the vikings, and the Terminator all wore leather boots all the time. It’s because they are the best.
P.S. Although their usefulness in formal attire is questionable, I advocate the year-round-boot lifestyle to both men and women. Apparently these girls agree with me.