Gents – as it gets colder, you can find yourself with a problem. Your dress shoes don't give you the support or grip you need but you're not prepared to throw style out of the window and pull on those practical but ugly boots just yet.
There is a solution to this predicament: a pair of stylish, practical and durable dress boots that not only withstand the colder weather but work to enhance your wardrobe.
In fact – the best men's dress boots can add a touch of style to an otherwise dull outfit, giving you a rugged yet refined look.
And boots aren't just limited to winter; the right boots can dress up a casual Autumnal or Spring outfit and they're an awesome talking point because not enough men wear them.
In today's article, I'm giving you 7 reasons boots are better than shoes.
OK, before we get started – let me give you a quick rundown of the 3 main types of men's boots:
The design of dress boots is similar to the design of dress shoes. Typically, dress boots feature high-grade polished leather and a leather sole.
Chelsea boots and Monk Strap boots are two examples of dress boots. As an alternative to traditional shoelaces, Chelsea boots leverage an elastic side panel that provides great ankle support. Monk Strap boots on the other hand leverage a buckle design and are slightly more formal than Chelsea boots.
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Military boots are inspired by boots worn by military personnel from around the world. With a strong military heritage, these boots look very regimental and usually feature a cap toe design.
Military boots almost always leverage a classic lace-up design which allows the wearer to easily alter the tension of the boot around his ankles. It is easy and cheap to replace the laces of a military boot unlike the elastic on a Chelsea boot or the buckles of a Monk Strap boot.
Casual boots are typically made from softer leathers like suede. The purpose of these boots is to provide the wearer with a style suitable for wearing with more casual outfits.
The Chukka boot is a great casual option that provides a smart-casual aesthetic. It leverages a basic lace-up system and doesn't travel as far up the ankle as other boot designs.
Reason 1. Boots Are More Durable Than Shoes
Durability refers to how tough and hard-wearing a pair of boots is. Put simply – if you're looking out for quality clothes of any kind you always want to consider durability a top priority.
Here's why. Just like the human body, harsh weather can easily take its toll on the quality and condition of fabrics and materials.
What Are The Most Durable Boots?
Fabrics like suede and canvas just aren't cut out for the trials of the unpredictable weather – avoid these at all costs when buying a pair of durable men's boots. Instead – opt for leather.
Usually sourced from cattle hide, a good cut of leather has the strength and durability to hold its own against rain, wind and snow. Leather is also 100% waterproof – if cared for and maintained properly.
To keep your boots up to scratch you've only got to do a few simple things. Make sure you polish them frequently, condition them every week with a leather conditioner and ensure you dry them off when they get wet. Waterproofing spray is also a good idea to keep that leather looking great for longer.
If your boots get wet, stuff them with newspaper. This helps dry them out, alleviates odor and prevents the boot from deforming as it dries.
In summary – leather is just about the best material for durability and is an essential choice for any man wanting a pair of hard-wearing boots.
Reason 2. Boots Are Tougher Than Shoes
It's simple gents – boots are designed to be tougher than shoes. Most good boot makers want their boots to last a lifetime – through intense use and all kinds of harsh conditions. After all, what's the use of a boot that falls apart after its first hike through the wilderness?
What Materials Are Boots Made Of?
The best men's boots leverage a Goodyear Welt or a Blake stitch to ensure their soles stay put and match the high-grade leather the boots are made from.
The Goodyear Welt is a long piece of leather that is stitched around the base edge of a shoe. It is designed to be unstitched when the sole of the shoe needs replacing. This means you are able to replace the sole of your boot without damaging other parts of its construction.
Blake Stitching attaches the outer sole of the shoe to the insole using tough stitches that require a stitch unpicker to remove. Although this makes it harder to replace the sole of your boot, it does provide a lighter construction and allows for more flexible movement.
Let's face it – boots are bulky compared to your average shoe. Is that a bad thing? Definitely not – boots are built to last and are some of the toughest shoes a man can buy.
You need to make sure that you buy boots with the right type of leather to suit your personal needs. Boots made from glossier leathers like patent leather are great for the office but can quickly ruin if exposed to the outdoors.
You also need to consider the grade of your leather. Leather comes in several different grades each with its own level of quality or durability. These are:
- Full-grain – thick and rugged leather that hasn't been sanded down or buffed
- Top-grain – leather with a split layer with imperfections buffed away
- Genuine – leather that has had an artificial grain (or texture) applied to its surface
- Bonded – a mixture of leather scraps bonded together with synthetic materials
Better quality products are made from higher grades of leather. Luxury items are typically made from top-grain leather while cheaper items are made from bonded or genuine leather. Often, higher quality means a higher price tag so choose a grade that's right for you and be careful not to overstretch your budget.
Reason 3. Boots Give You More Grip Than Shoes
Ever slip over on ice or fall down a muddy hill? I know I have – it hurts and doesn't do much for a man's image. No one wants to be covered in mud while their friends laugh at their comedic tumble.
You need a good thick sole with a heavy tread.
How Can You Tell If Boots Are Non-Slip?
Leather soles look great but they're not the best when it comes to traction. Scoring the sole with a sharp knife will create instant tread and help create friction on slippery surfaces. Alternatively, apply an inexpensive stick-on sole.
Think about it – if you were driving cross country you'd fit your 4×4 with off-roading tyres. The same principle applies to your footwear. The thicker the tread the safer your treading will be.
Reason 4. Boots Give You More Support Than Shoes
Is there anything worse than stepping in a puddle and water filling up your shoes? Socks wet, feet cold and day ruined. There really isn't any coming back from that.
The solution? Avoid that situation altogether and experiment with different height options.
Now – I'll be honest with you. Most men's boots come in at around ankle height – varying by about an inch either above or below the ankle line.
This allows for a great level of protection against the cold and wet. Depending on the style – an ankle-length boot can be worn with jeans, trousers or a suit.
Chelsea boots and desert boots look great with a suit while military-style lace-ups are more casual in their appearance – so make sure you choose the right look to suit your lifestyle and wardrobe.
Do Boots Support Your Ankles?
The high sides of a boot don't just stop the elements attacking your feet. They also provide an enhanced level of support to your ankles during longer sessions of walking.
Seriously – this is a surprisingly important part of footwear that many men overlook.
Ankle support is essential for keeping your feet and legs healthy when walking long distances. I'm not just talking about hikes Gents – did you know the recommended step count for the average American is 10,000 steps? That's about 5 miles of walking every day.
With a lot of guys walking close to that on a daily basis, it's becoming a necessity to think about your ankle support throughout the working week. Boots grip your ankles and force them into a good posture for walking.
Unlike when wearing shoes, it's almost impossible for a man's ankle to bend away from the foot while walking in boots. This makes it less likely that you'll twist your ankle while walking or damage it when you trip up and stumble.
A good pair of durable men's boots will provide you with strong ankle support that not only protects against the elements but also prevents common ankle problems as well.
Reason 5. Boots Give You More Protection Than Shoes
The best men's boots should protect your ankles. I never realized quite how sharp rocks can be until I walked across some in a pair of thin rubber-soled trainers.
The sole of your foot is one of the most sensitive areas of your body so you want to make sure you're protecting it at all costs.
When in the office we don't have to worry too much about the uneven ground – but if you're ever on a rocky terrain you better make sure you're wearing shoes that will keep those soles protected from the ground you tread.
Do Boots Protect Your Feet?
As well as providing good traction, the sole of a boot also creates a firm rubber barrier between your feet and the rough ground. Dress shoes and trainers tend to have thin leather or rubber soles which don't provide much protection from the elements.
Durable men's boots on the other hand typically feature thicker soles with better tread – allowing for a more comfortable experience when walking in harsh weather and rougher terrain.
6. Boots Give You More Versatility Than Shoes
Dress boots are far more versatile than dress shoes.
Wearing formal dress shoes with jeans never looks good. Jeans can be used in smart casual outfits from time to time but when wearing them with really formal shoes like monk straps a man can look like he doesn't know how to dress properly. Many formal shoes carry the same problem so it's a good idea to avoid this pairing at any cost.
However, wearing dress boots with jeans is a different story altogether.
Which Boots Are The Most Versatile?
The slightly bulkier structure of a boot creates a more casual aesthetic which means many boots can be worn both with jeans and with a suit and tie.
Chelsea boots are a great example of this. Pairing black or brown Chelsea boots with jeans can look very stylish and make you stand out from the crowds of men wearing sneakers and sandals. They can provide a very classy edge to an otherwise casual outfit.
The best thing? Those same Chelsea boots can be worn with a suit and tie to the office provided you think carefully about the way your outfit is put together. Make sure you stick to the classic rules of tailoring and ensure that your boot color matches the color of your belt and wristwatch strap.
7. Boots Are Sexier Than Shoes
Guys – functionality isn't the only reason to wear a good pair of boots.
You know what they say. The first thing a woman notices about a man is his footwear. Let me tell you – women find a stylish pair of boots hugely attractive. Boots show confidence, power, and style.
What more could a woman want in a man?
Are Boots Attractive to Women?
Whether it be a sleek Chelsea boot or a more hard-wearing military lace-up, women find a man in boots both unique and enticing. Use that to your advantage Gents.
Did you know boots can have sex appeal? Click here to read my article – The Boot Effect: Why Boots Make You More Attractive!
Click below to watch the video – 7 Reasons Why Boots Are The Best Shoes A Man Can Own