These boots were made for looking awesome
October 2, 2012 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Help me find edgy, yet simple, high-quality boots for this upcoming Boston winter!

I'm super picky about shoes, and always have trouble finding ones that I like. I'd like to find the perfect pair of boots for this winter. The requirements are as follows:

- High Quality: I want them to be comfortable and well made so that they will last me a few winters. If I know they're good quality I'm willing to spend up to $200.
- Edgy: I'm trying to shift my wardrobe to be a bit more edgy, stuff along the lines of rockabilly and/or vintage (stuff you see on Modcloth these days). BUT the boots should also be relaxed enough that I can wear them to work (laid-back software company).
- Preferably ankle height
- Preferable no heel, or a very small one.
- I have a super wide calf, so they must accommodate that (hence I prefer the ankle height).
- Warm!
- Not a huge fun of all the "extras" they put on boots like five hundred buckles and straps.

I have looked at Ecco, Campers, Clarks and nothing jumps out at me. I looked at Zappos, I have looked through the boots section on Modcloth and other websites but there's just a lot of stuff on there and I don't know the quality, plus a lot of it just isn't my style - I'm not super girly. The Modcloth boots section was sort of going in the right direction but a lot of it looks cheap and has too many "extras" on the boots. I guess I'd prefer something more clean and simple, yet edgy. Does that even exist?

Please throw your suggestions my way!
posted by carmel to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Blundstone! Great quality, comfy, completely waterproof (if you get the waterproof ones), edgyish especially in black, simple, and lasted 2 years of regular New York City wear.
posted by Pineapplicious at 8:39 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fluevogs. Plenty of it will be stuff you hate, but their Boston store is where I found the well-crafted respectable pirate boots of my dreams (previously on sale, top buckle removable). Don't rule anything out before you try it on.
posted by feral_goldfish at 8:40 AM on October 2, 2012

Fluevog? Look out for sales to meet your price point.
posted by maudlin at 8:41 AM on October 2, 2012

See the problem with Fluevog and with something like Frye is that there will be a lot of styles that might work, but 95% will be above your price point.

Maybe something like these or these from Seychelles? Or maybe these from Miz Mooz?
posted by ephemerista at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2012

Fluevogs are the opposite of clean and simple, but metafilter people love their fluevogs for some reason that I can't understand. Why would pay that much money for ugly shoes?

Do any of these strike your fancy? I like the Montecristi and the Mandina. The latter is a little more rockabilly, but the former might be a little too chelseaish? But I like it. I even like the Boeken, but I wouldn't say that's work appropriate, depending on where you work of course.

I bought some of these Toms for fall and they are crazy comfy. They also come in brown and look good with tights.
posted by greta simone at 8:52 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Seconding Seychelles. They are pretty decent quality/comfort for the price.
posted by greta simone at 8:53 AM on October 2, 2012

Fluevogs are often edgy, usually expensive, and sometimes simple.

Since the OP did mention "edgy", and since Fluevog does have sales, it might be worth 10 minutes browsing.
posted by maudlin at 8:57 AM on October 2, 2012

Check out Timberland. They do more than just work boots and hiking boots! Also, I have found that when they say waterproof, they *mean* waterproof.
posted by mskyle at 9:09 AM on October 2, 2012

Merrell also offers waterproof boots, and to my eye are a bit more stylin' than the Timberlands.
posted by vers at 10:23 AM on October 2, 2012

I'm going to go a little outside of your price range, and I apologize for that, but in my own search for The Perfect Boot, I've found that it's hard to spend less then $250. I have similar requirements as you, I live in Utah so they have to be warm and I work on a ranch-type treatment center so I can't have a heel or anything too fancy.

My absolute favorite brand for high quality leather boots is The Vintage Shoe Company. I think the Lilly and the Vanessa would be a good height, but if you like a taller boot I can attest that the Jennifer boot is highly adjustable. That strap isn't just for looks.

I also really think it might be worth taking a look at N.D.C. made by hand. They're ridiculously expensive but Gilt has been featuring them on a pretty decent clearance recently.

And of course there is always Frye. I especially like the Jayden Cross Strap and the Carson Lace Up.
posted by Marinara at 10:24 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm seconding Fluevogs and Frye. In particular, you might want to peruse the Frye selection at, which is the Zappos outlet. The great thing about 6pm is that they regularly feature different brands and have even bigger sales, so if you wait a few weeks, they'll probably have a big Frye sale.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:24 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just got these sweet-ass re-imagined doc martens and I am loving them.

I am not into Fluevogs for winter wear because they glue the soles and that doesn't last the wet winters I deal with.
posted by par court at 11:38 AM on October 2, 2012

I don't own any pairs myself, but I've heard a lot about (and regularly covet) Kickers boots (Zappos, Amazon, Nordstrom). While not entirely grommet-and-buckle-free, they still fit nicely into the "edgy but not too fussy" category with a lot of ankle boot options. Unfortunately you have to work a little to find them in the US because they're a European brand.

Dr. Martens designs have gotten a lot more refined in recent years (try the "refined," "eclectic," and "casual" options under Category), and they're definitely sturdy. You can also get them at Online Shoes and Zappos.

For the record, my go-to winter boots are my knee-high Fluevogs (which look to have stitched on soles, though I'm not an expert) and my (discontinued) velvet Doc Martens, which are more weatherproof than any shoe I own that's not designed specifically for the elements.
posted by bettafish at 11:49 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check out Duoboots for boots in custom calf sizes, so you can get whatever boot height you want! (I bought these a few years ago, and so far they are very comfy and very durable.)
posted by Kololo at 11:56 AM on October 2, 2012

Awesome suggestions. I had never heard of Frye before, and I have fallen in love with half of their shoes! I think I'm leaning towards the Engineer 8R - only 30 dollars about my price range, I think that's doable.

Thank you all!
posted by carmel at 11:58 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you buy a pair of Frye boots you will wear them for the rest of your life. Bring them to a cobbler for resoling once a year or so, and use mink oil on them every few months. Totally worth the money.
posted by amaire at 12:09 PM on October 2, 2012

My favorite boots for this purpose are Frye (here they are, though they are no longer made). I bought them 4 years ago and wear the HELL out of them. I had them resoled for the first time last fall, and I probably wear them half the week throughout fall and winter, and sometimes even in summer.

I wanted a similar pair in brown so I just bought these Lucchese boots which were regularly like $500 but on sale for about half that at DSW. These are my first Licchese boots but they have a really good reputation for quality too.
posted by Brittanie at 3:12 PM on October 2, 2012

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