Are there boots that LOOK like dress boots but are actually REAL ones?
November 30, 2020 10:29 PM   Subscribe

So I've got a very limited amount of weight I can carry for the one checked bag that holds all my things and shoes just weigh a bunch. So I'm looking to two for one here. I want men's boots that are legit, hiking/getting dirty boots but also, when polished, could be dressy boots with a nice pair of slacks or nice jeans. Does that exist?
posted by rileyray3000 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Red Wings, probably Iron Ranger.
posted by Jairus at 10:41 PM on November 30, 2020 [6 favorites]

Perhaps Blundstones?

I suggest checking out REI’s options, particularly filtering results to casual boots. I’ve found several pairs of sturdy, stylish boots (or other shoes) this way over the years.
posted by pril at 11:30 PM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

there are several boots here that will fit the bill, although dress slacks might be pushing it and definitely not a suit. also, these are not serious work boots, but some amount of hiking is fine. make sure it's a vibram type sole, not leather.

chippewa service boot
red wing iron ranger
thorogood dodgeville

note: all links go to the same retailer for easy comparison. no endorsment implied. all these boots can be found on sale fairly regularly. reddit r/frugalmalefashion and r/goodyearwelt may be of help.
posted by lescour at 11:42 PM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Depending on what sort of surfaces you want to hike on, check out the various boots for riding horses. Some of the black ones might suit your purpose well.

Personally I like Ariat boots for this purpose, and often travel with them to wear for workwear, light hiking, and I find they look dressy with black tights and a skirt -- I don't know if they make them for men though. The type I get is called a "paddock boot", has a zipper on the front and plain black leather, with or without a toecap -- I'm sure some company would make them for men, people usually think mine are mens boots and they would look great polished. The tread isn't very deep and hiking on things like slippery mud isn't a great choice with them, also if you want the sort of getting dirty boots for standing in nasty stuff (digging up sewer line etc) they are not waterproof. Those are probably going to be factors with any boots you choose, so think about if you have any special needs in those areas.
posted by yohko at 11:42 PM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

+1 Blundstones, but I prefer my Redbacks - steel-capped shitkickers which are also shine-able laced leather (bootish) shoes.
posted by pompomtom at 2:44 AM on December 1, 2020

Doc Martens 8-Hole in black or brown are good for light hiking and can handle a little abuse, are comfortable, and look good with khakis, jeans, etc. You can likely get 2-3 years out of the sole, but you won't be able to resole them. But at ~$130, they aren't too expensive to replace.
posted by Master Gunner at 5:17 AM on December 1, 2020

I'd think Keens are better for hiking than some of the stuff mentioned above. Something like these would look nice enough for me to wear with nice slacks and go to a professional conference, ymmv. They have a few related models that may suit your taste better too.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:49 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

My husband has a pair of very nice leather boots from (local-ish to us) Russell Moccasin that he had custom made to his foot measurements with a minimalist vibram sole that he wears for everything from hiking to (casual midwest) friends' weddings and job interviews.
posted by abeja bicicleta at 6:36 AM on December 1, 2020

The black version of the Goruck boot looks like it might fit that niche.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:45 AM on December 1, 2020

I think a pair of R.M. Williams boots would be right up your alley. They're iconic here in Australia - they have a reputation for being tough but they also look reasonably smart once you wipe the mud off. Smart enough that they've become pretty popular as work shoes for white collar professionals, even though R.M. Williams is ostensibly aimed at a more rural lifestyle (or at least it's marketed that way). The Comfort Craftsman is their most popular model, though I understand the Gardener looks basically the same but with a harder-wearing sole.

I own the Comfort Craftsman in kangaroo leather and have been very happy with them, they're terrifically comfortable. Admittedly I haven't put them through any serious abuse yet, nothing more strenuous than some long walks.

Downside is that R.M. Williams boots are generally pretty pricey, but they're supposed to last for decades.
posted by yours in calendrical heresy at 6:57 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Check out Thursday Boot Co.!! I have been a longtime lurker and I literally made an account today because I am obsessed with boots personally and I could not let go of your question and kept re-opening it hoping someone suggested Thursday. In my opinion, they are right in the zone of what you are looking for with high-quality, gorgeously attractive boots that could be used for activities like light- or medium-hiking (depending on the boot) but also pair stylishly and attractively with a business-casual/smart-casual type outfit. They have more variety of styles for men than women, but options for both that fall in this really flexible zone. Notably, for both men and women, they have lots of different sole options.

I had been longing for a pair of gorgeous Chelsea boots and after hours of online shopping and comparison among different brands, finally settled on Thursday and I could not be happier with the boots. They are well-made, beautiful, the customer service was great (disclosure, I had one small superficial issue with my pair that they offered me 3 different methods to resolve, any one of which I would have been satisfactory to me, and they let me pick which I preferred).
posted by MustangMamaVE at 8:32 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Timberland has a number of waterproof mid or high rise boots that would fit your bill.

Men’s Port Union Moc-Toe Waterproof boots.

Men’s Kendrick Waterproof Chukka Boots
posted by tiamat at 11:12 AM on December 1, 2020

ok so, just a comment - I have some red wing iron rangers that I bought to wear as "dress" boots during a leather shoe phase. But, they were too heavy and clunky to wear in the office. In fact, I slipped on stairs more than once. they were too much boot.

Now, I'm working out doors more, and got the great idea to use my "work" boots. And they are perfect, perfect, perfect for protecting my feet and keeping them warm. But, protecting my feet means scuffing, scraping, and staining them. I just polished them for the second time in as many weeks, and they are *not* looking like dress boots any more.

Therefore, my advice is to find a boot with enough rubber to not require polishing. I've seen more Keen-style shoes in the office lately. Maybe something along those lines would show less wear.
posted by rebent at 6:32 PM on December 1, 2020

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