The Boot Roundup

There’s a certain built-in ‘manliness’ that is built in with boots.  They are so easy to wear, and toughen up any outfit.  With that said, there is a boot spectrum.  I like to think there are three general types of boots: dress boots, all around boots, and hunting boots.  By not means are any of them restricted to those categories, but generally speaking, you get what I’m saying.

I own these or a version of the majority of these boots, so I’m speaking from experience.  Of the boots I don’t own that are on the list: I’m working to round out the collection:

From the top left:

Dress:
1. R.M. Williams Chelsea Boots:  Chelsea boots are so great.  I know a couple guys who wear black Chelsea boots with their tuxedos.  It’s a great look that shouldn’t be ignored.  Looking for the original?  Look no further than R.M. Williams.  These folks set the tone.
2. Sid Mashburn Suede Chelsea Boots:  Same as above, but in suede.  The richer texture looks great with wool flannels, canvas chinos, and well tailored jeans.  The chocolate option is the way to go, as they break in really well.
3. Loake 1880 Kempton Chukka Boots:  The Chukka boot is a good option for the lace-up set.  Same as #2, but I like these in Snuff suede.  Call me crazy, but the laces give it a more dressy look, so the lighter suede is forgiven.
4. Tecovas Duke Roper Boots:  You can’t have a list of dress boots without a pair of exotic ropers.  I wear the hell out of my Tecovas Dukes – the full quill ostrich is so cool, and dresses up really well.

All Around:
5. Red Wing 1178 (or 1155) Pecos:  There is a cult following for these Red Wings.  I’ve worn the 1155s since college, and added a pair of 1178s a couple years ago.  These are the greatest all-around boots.  They are tough as nails, and break in really well.  I find myself grabbing these without a second thought.
6. Blundstone 550 Boots:  Incredibly comfortable on various terrains.  Mrs. RCS likes to hunt in these, and chased quail for 4-hours, ~5-miles, and then walked around Thomasville for a couple hours.  No complaints, and they clean up well.
7. LL Bean Duck Boots:  There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about the iconic duck boots.  You can hunt in them, dress them up with cords or jeans, or leave them by the door for quick dog walks or trips to the mail box.  Not to mention they are made in the USA and have a lifetime guarantee.  These are an investment with a ton of upside.
8. Dubarry Kerry Leather Boots:  I finally had these in-hand at Onward Reserve, and am very impressed.  These are the Chelsea boots that can get beat up and still work.  Rubber soles, sturdy construction, and tough leather equal a great all around boot.

Hunting:
9. Russell Moccasin Zephyr Boots:  Being a Georgia guy, these boots are a must.  Perfect for chasing dogs down in the Red Hills region.  They are built like tanks, and last forever.  The zipper in the back gives them a snug fit that provides a little support.  Don’t sleep on the custom options – Russell offers quite a few leather options.
10. Dubarry Kildare Boots:  I’m in my second season hunting in these, and absolutely love them.  They are very lightweight, yet still provide quite a bit of ankle support.  The Gore Tex is a must, whether trudging through muck or wet woods.
11. Orvis Featherweight Kangaroo Upland Boots:  I prefer pull-on boots, but there are times where lace ups are needed…see: pheasant hunting in the Dakotas.  When there’s a ton of walking over all sorts of terrain, I highly recommend lace up boots.
12. Le Chameau Chausser Boots:  I don’t have Le Chameaus – yet.  I have a couple buddies who have them, and swear by them.  Not only are they are an excellent hunting muck boot, but they are good for fishing in ankle deep water as well.  I love options.

What did I miss?  What’s on your boot rundown?

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14 Comments

  1. HLL
    01/15/2018 / 7:27 AM

    Good selection. I have a few of these. I really like my Red Wing Classic Chukka with the white work sole. Beat them up, jeans and a barbour jacket and you’re ready for the day.

  2. NEM
    01/15/2018 / 8:26 AM

    This is a good list of boots.  The Chelsea / Blundstone pull-on boots are in a bit of a niche all there own, to me.  I like the convenient pull on/off style and tend to use them only on rainy days.  Incidentally, it’s widely recognized that Blundstone’s rubber soles will degrade over time regardless of use.  My second, and last, pair split the sole of both shoes after about 4 years of use, just crumbled.  Go with R. M. Williams over the Blundstone.

    For western boots, I’ve got to add here that Tecovas, as great a value as they may be, isn’t the only boot maker out there.  Tony Lama and Lucchese are head-and-shoulders above the rest, but you’ll pay for that quality.  The difference is the construction, materials, and proportion.  Tecovas are just too short in the shaft, literally.  The plain toe Red Wing 1178 and 1155 are absolute must-haves.  Like RCS, I still have my 1155s from college (ca. 1987) and a more recent pair of 1178s, in constant rotation for weekends, yard chores, around town.

    Finally, I’d include Gokey field boots, lace up or pull-on, in any comparison including Russell Zephyrs.  No fancy hydes, just bomb-proof.

    • Nem
      01/15/2018 / 8:27 AM

      *their…

  3. Randy
    01/15/2018 / 8:41 AM

    Great roundup. I have a pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots that I really enjoy. And living in Colorado, have a pair of Lucchese dress boots that see a lot of action. Also recently picked up a pair of Barbour made wellingtons, available at a great price from Orvis, that I am hoping will pull their weight around here for the foreseeable future. 

  4. GJW
    01/15/2018 / 3:38 PM

    Good line up, here.  I bought my first pair of 1178’s in 1995 and are now on my third pair.  They are great.
    My two cents on hunting boots:  I bird hunt ~40 days a year and run/train bird dogs another 60 days a year.  I’m not a fan of pull on boots because they tend to be sloppy with less ankle support compared to lace ups.  The Asolo TVS 520 is hard to beat for someone who spends some serious time in the field.  The all leather construction will turn cactus thorns and mesquite without puncturing the gore tex liner.  I’m on my third season in these.
    Cowboy Boots:  You can’t beat a true custom pair of boots.  The options are limitless and a custom pair of boots are a true work of art that you helped create. Tecovas are great too, I have the Caiman in chocolate and they are really sharp.  

  5. Fritz
    01/15/2018 / 5:00 PM

    What about Muck Boots?  Really comfortable, priced well.  You can get a pair made for warm weather that’s snake proof as well, tough to beat.

  6. TCB
    01/15/2018 / 9:52 PM

    I have #8 in that color. They’re very tough and hard to scuff up. Dubarry has leather cream and conditioner that keeps them looking new. I wear mine in dressy settings and in the field. In the odd case you do scuff them Dubarry also has leather color restorer that you can rub in and the scuff goes away. Unless you intentionally bash them on concrete the leather is very hard to scuff. My brother lives in his and I try to find any excuse to wear mine. 

  7. JJB
    01/16/2018 / 8:55 AM

    What style number and size does Mrs.RCS have? I tried the Blundstone 500 and the 5.5 was a little too short with the round toe box and the 6.0 was huge. Was so disappointed because I could tell they would be perfect in every other way.. just wonder if other styles have a more elongated toe box.? Thanks!

  8. PS
    01/16/2018 / 2:05 PM

    You can’t go wrong with Alden 405s. Thorogood moc toes (or Red Wing 877s if want to spend more money) are great if you want uninsulated leather hunting boots. For warm weather hunting I’d say Chippewa snake boots.

  9. Jared
    01/16/2018 / 9:01 PM

    IMO, Muck are revolutionary boots.  The price point, the warmth, the comfort and weight are basically unmatched. Desert boots, duck boots, Setters, and Dan Post round it out.

  10. Madison Roberts
    01/17/2018 / 5:15 PM

    Red Wing 1178 = best boot ever.  

  11. OhioHead
    01/18/2018 / 4:58 PM

    RedClaySoul – look @ xtratuf for easy to wear/pull on boots (think 100% rubber Blundstone’s).
    I am huge fan of Servus “knee hi” muck boots usually available @ Tractor Supply for $40.

  12. Ross Fuller
    01/25/2018 / 3:48 PM

    Blundstones are good, but no longer truly made in Australia.  I have switched to Rossi boots in this category… THE Australian boot company.  Received my first pair as a gift from a friend stationed with the State Dept. down under.  Great summary. 

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