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I’m going to compare and contrast cheap vs expensive leather boots.
There is no better footwear for the fall and winter than a decent pair of leather boots.
However, if you’ve done any comparison shopping, you’ll see that costs vary widely.
Why is one pair of boots under $50 and another costs hundreds of dollars? Aren’t you just paying more for the brand name?
That may be true in some cases.
Boots are an example of an item where you usually get what you pay for.
In this article, I’ll discuss the distinctions between cheap and expensive boots.
The first distinction between cheap and expensive boots is the type of leather used for the upper.
I’ll discuss both the type of leather and the quality of the leather.
Cowhide is the most prevalent type of leather used in boots. It’s durable, long-lasting, and expensive.
If the cut is thick, it may take some time to break in. However, this is a fantastic leather with which you cannot go wrong.
Boots made of cowhide typically cost between $150 and $300.
Calfskin is next, which has a lot of the same durability as cowhide but is softer and more supple. As a result, you can expect comfortable boots that will break in quickly.
Because calfskin is less common, it will be slightly more expensive than cowhide.
Cordovan leather is made from horsehide and is highly regarded for its smooth, lustrous appearance and long durability.
Its distinct traits, however, come at a cost. Cordovan boots are two to three times the price of normal cowhide or calfskin boots.
Ostrich, alligator, and snake are some of the most unusual leather varieties available. Expect to pay a higher price for uniqueness.
Western style boots are the most common use of this type of leather.
Most cheap-cost boots are made of what kind of leather? The answer is that it is not genuine leather. It’s a fake. Plastic is used to make faux leather.
So, while it may have the appearance of real leather, it lacks the durability and other desirable qualities.
Real leather boots improve with age as they break in and develop a wonderful patina. The surface of the cheap imitation leather boots, on the other hand, will crack and flake off with time.
If a pair of boots costs less than $100, they’re probably made of faux leather. It’s far better to save enough and obtain the actual thing.
Let’s discuss about leather quality for a moment.
Full grain leather refers to the top layer of the hide. The top grain is the layer beneath that. The one below that is suede and is termed genuine leather.
The uppermost layer, full grain, preserves the original grain of the hide and is the most durable. As a result, it is regarded as the best and most expensive leather type.
Because full grain leather is the thickest, it will take a little longer to break in.
Top grain is the next stop. It’s thinner, lighter, and smoother, as well as a little cheaper, because the topmost layers have been removed.
Top grain leather is not as robust as full grain leather since the top layer is sanded away to remove imperfections.
Suede is the last type of leather to be discussed. The napped surface gives it a unique and elegant aesthetic, but it’s not as durable as full or top grain leather. Suede is softer than leather and requires less break-in time.
However, you must be cautious because it is susceptible to stains, so avoid any dirt or puddles.
Suede is the most affordable of the three leather varieties.
Let’s take a look at the boot’s sole.
A leather sole on a pair of dress shoes, rather than a rubber one, is almost an indication of higher quality. However, this may not always apply to boots.
While some stylish dress boots have a leather sole, many high-quality boots are made to be tough and practical, thus they have a rubber sole.
Examine how the sole is bonded to the leather upper to immediately determine the quality of your boots. Your less expensive boots will be glued together, while your more expensive boots will feature a Blake stitch or a Goodyear welt.
A stitched or welted sole will last far longer. The Blake stitch now has a more streamlined appearance, but a Goodyear welt is more durable and waterproof.
When the sole on one of these wears out, you can take it to a cobbler and get it changed. However, once the sole on those glued boots wears out, it’s time to trash them.
As a result, anticipate your cheap boots to last only one to three years. A good pair of shoes can easily last a decade or more.
Pro tip. Keep an eye out for glued boots with phony stitching. Although they appear to have a Goodyear welt, the thread does not go all the way through the bottom of the sole. It’s only a true Goodyear welt if you can see the stitching on the underside.
Let us discuss the lining. The bottom of a high-quality pair of boots will have a cork lining. As you walk, this will cushion your foot.
It’s a minor feature, but it makes a significant difference in the comfort of the boots.
You won’t find any cork in a cheap pair of boots. More than likely, you’ll find rubber or plastic. It will get the job done, but after a long day on your feet, you’ll notice the difference.
So now you know what to look for in a good pair of leather boots.