Help me find my first pair of well-made boots (ideally in Canada)
September 14, 2020 5:05 AM   Subscribe

This women's boot is perfection, outside of being (presumably) not built to last. Can you help me find a good quality similar boot?

Things I like:
- all black, no bling or shiny bits
- slimmer fit
- flatter/non-chunky
- black sole
- mid-calf or under in height
- subdued, post-punk, combat-style

Turning 50 soon! After a literal lifetime of wearing cheap shoes I have decided gift myself a decent pair. I am hoping to spend around $200. I am fine with leather or alternative materials. Online is great but I live about 1 hour away from the GTA so I have access to many chain stores.

Any recommendations? Thank you!
posted by i_mean_come_on_now to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Personally I like dr martens, they serve years. These a little bit on the chunky side, but otherwise are great.
posted by georgehanson at 5:28 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

These Frye Veronica Combat boots are out of your price range but at least in the US they go on sale pretty frequently at big department stores like Macys. I have the similarly priced Veronica Bootie that I got for I think $150 US by playing the sale and coupon game. They are wonderful; I wear them all fall/winter/spring and they continue to look great. Fryes are supposedly not as good as they used to be but they’re still good boots for their price point if you get them on sale, IMO.
posted by mskyle at 5:41 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]

If you want Canadian, well-made, and comfortable, that would be Fluevogs, eg. the BBC, Ricard, Tardy, Blake, Babette, and Derby Swirl all come in black, low to no heel, ankle height, and lace up, similar to the boots in your photo.

I find Sorel to be a decent brand for boots, as well, though I'm not as familiar with their options, so I don't know if they have the style you're looking for or not
posted by eviemath at 5:41 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

I mostly wear chelsea boots rather than laceups, but the principle of good boot manufacture is the same. Styles change frequently, so you may need to poke through the offerings. And a shop may have last year's styles still on the racks.

I've been very happy with all the Sorel boots I've ever bought (which is not many, because they last, but I will buy a second pair in a different color if I really like the boot). Lennox is their basic lace up boot. Conquest is a little higher (and if I even thought I needed another pair of boots, I'd be all over these, even with the zipper!).

My black dressier boots are Teva because they're a little sleeker. Frye and Doc Marten also make good quality boots. I've had some luck with Born, as long as they don't get soaked and the leather shrinks (ooops).
posted by jlkr at 6:03 AM on September 14

Just wanted to pop in to say that the boot I linked to is the look I really want & the "things I like" list should have been titled "things I require". Sorry for the confusion! So I am not so much looking for a brand, rather a good boot that closely matches that look. Also, I forgot to mention that I am willing to order from the US as well.
posted by i_mean_come_on_now at 6:16 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Frye Veronica. I got mine on sale for about what mskyle paid a couple years ago, and they were wearable for a full day of standing right out of the box. Worth watching out for a sale.
posted by padraigin at 6:26 AM on September 14

I have narrow feet and find the Frye boots I've tried on to be not the most comfortable. I haven't tried any lace-up Fryes, though, just the more cowboy boot style (which have a small heel - I just don't like the heel cup style and angle that Frye uses), so that might make a difference. But you could definitely find the Frye boot that folks have been suggesting, as well as a Fluevogs store with the styles I suggested, for trying on in person in Toronto.
posted by eviemath at 8:05 AM on September 14

I have a pair of Wolverine 1000 mile boots that look pretty close to your link. Here are the women's styles. Quality is excellent, although mine need a lot of waterproofing for slushy conditions.

Frye boots have always been too narrow for my feet.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:30 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]

These are next on my list to buy. Might fit the bill here.
posted by Marinara at 8:46 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

I have a pair of Ariat Paddock Boots that have a similar look and have held up well!
posted by girlalex at 8:59 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]

Seconding if you like those Ariats, they’re a great brand that have held up for me for years
posted by brilliantine at 9:01 AM on September 14

These Fiorentini and Bakers are out of your price range but they are insanely good quality. Here's a more affordable version from gravitypope's house brand. I'd suggest taking a look at gravitypope's selection in general as they have no shortage of black combat boots (there's a location in Toronto if you wanted to look in person).
posted by thebots at 9:18 AM on September 14

I really rate Solovair boots, and I gather they’re available in Canada. The 11 eye Hawkins fits your brief best, I think, though I can’t speak from personal experience (I’ve got the Classic 8 eye in burgundy - I love ‘em).

They’re a teeny tiny bit more than you were looking to pay, but they’re definitely worth it.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 10:07 AM on September 14

Linking to La Canadienne (made in Canada) lace-up boots, highlighting Palmina. (In the US, sites llike 6pm have discounted La Canadienne boots, but shipping is restricted; look for sales near you.)
[A sleeker combat boot style overlaps a bit with a low-heeled, lace-up granny boot.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:02 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

I have a pair of Steve Madden "Troopa" women's combat-style boots; they look a lot like your example, and have held up pretty nicely for ~6 years so far. The heel is starting to wear down a lot on one side, but that's mainly because I walk funny. :P
posted by aecorwin at 11:04 AM on September 14

Just noting that my last experience with Doc Martens was buying the cheaper Chinese-sourced version, which lasted hardly any time (a year of occasional use?) at all compared to the decade+ I got out of my English-made priors.
posted by maxwelton at 11:56 AM on September 14

I have a pair of La Canadienne boots that look a lot like that. I bought them many years ago and don't have a link. But they are really well-made and I love them. Also, made in Canada.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 12:59 PM on September 14

Born Kelisa or Cass might fit the bill. I have a very similar pair of Born boots that lace up the back with a side zip that I like a lot for their subdued punkiness.
posted by vespabelle at 1:51 PM on September 14

Red Wing has a couple of models of women's boots that might fit the bill. I have seen them in person and they are beautiful.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 6:55 PM on September 14

I would wholeheartedly recommend this pair of Blundstones (from Australia, though) as they have lasted really well for me. I think I’ve had mine about 4 years and wore them almost daily before COVID, with lots of walking, and they’ve held up really well.
Sorry, here’s the Canadian link.
posted by queseyo at 8:21 PM on September 14

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