Do you own a pair of leather boots for work or perhaps just for everyday wear? If not, are you considering getting some? Leather boots such as these are a worthwhile investment in your wardrobe, but there are some important pros and cons to consider before you buy another pair (or your first pair).
Drawback: Leather boots require regular care
If you’ve ever owned a pair of leather boots, you know they require periodic care to keep them in good shape so they’ll last a long time. This might seem like an inconvenient drawback, but maintaining your boots is worth every minute of your time. You simply can’t beat the quality of a good pair of full-grain leather boots, and good things often require extra effort.
What’s required to care for leather boots
To keep your boots looking good, and to prevent them from drying out, you’ll need to clean and condition them periodically. The method will vary based on the type of boot, but in general, you’ll wash them with soap and water and apply a conditioner to the leather.
It doesn’t really take much time to clean or condition a pair of leather boots. You just have to set aside time from your day to get it done.
Benefit: Full-grain leather lasts for many years
When you buy high-quality, full-grain leather boots, you can expect them to last decades with proper care. You’ll probably need to have them resoled at some point, but that’s easy. Just because most people discard shoes when the sole becomes worn out, doesn’t mean it’s normal. In fact, having leather shoes resoled used to be the norm.
In your pursuits, be careful not to buy boots made from poor-quality leather. Not all types of leather are equal, and some won’t last long at all. A poor-quality boot made with bad leather will probably only get you through one season. The highest quality is full-grain leather.
Familiarize yourself with the different leather grades, like top grain, full grain, split leather, and bonded leather. Always check to see what type of leather was used to make a pair of boots before you buy them.
Drawback: Leather is prone to scuff marks
It’s true – leather boots can collect scuff marks pretty easily, but don’t let that scare you off. No shoe will stay in perfect condition for long, and it’s something you have to deal with no matter what material your boots are made from.
The good news is there are ways to remove scuff marks from leather. For example, you can rub non-gel toothpaste onto your boot with a soft cloth to remove scuffs.
Benefit: Leather boots look great for any occasion
There’s something wonderful about leather that makes it versatile enough for both dressy and work purposes. Leather not only looks good, but it’s strong, durable, and can be used to make just about any style of boot. Whether you need dress boots, hiking boots, or just plain boots for casual occasions, leather will always look great.
Drawback: You have to break-in leather boots
Nobody likes walking around in stiff shoes, but when your boots are made of leather, that’s going to be your reality for a short period of time. There’s no real way around it – you must break in leather boots.
There are devices you can get to stretch your boots out, but even so, you’ll still need to wear them for a period of time to allow the sole to mold to your foot. Depending on the boots, your soles may not change shape too much, but it will become more noticeable over time with wear.
Benefit: Leather boots are sturdier
The sturdiness factor makes leather boots a winner all around. Some people consider the heaviness of leather boots to be a drawback, but it’s more of a benefit. For example, compared to suede, which is lightweight, the heavy-duty nature of leather is part of what makes leather boots last longer.
Do the benefits of leather boots outweigh the cons?
Compared to canvas, rubber, and suede, leather boots will last longer and are ideal when you need fashion and practicality. For example, leather is more durable than suede, and it looks better than rubber or canvas. You can find work boots and dress boots made with high-quality, full-grain leather, and with proper care, they will last much longer than shoes made from other materials.
Overall, leather is a superior material for boots. However, it’s up to you to determine whether or not they’ll meet your needs.