When we think of our favorite work boots, we’re really not thinking about the boots themselves. Well, we are and we aren’t, all at once. The best work boots, the most rugged work boots on the market, the toughest work boots — like those made by White’s Boots — are really more of a gateway to hard work and adventure than they are a pair of boots. After all, tough, hard-wearing leather boots can take you just about anywhere, especially as far as grueling work projects are concerned.
And yet, the right pair of work boots can also add a bit of style to off-duty ensembles. They can serve as a reliable companion through trips off the grid, through sunlit strolls or as a guide through unmarked trails. When we think of leather work boots, it’s really all about the journey and the vistas you can experience while wearing ’em. The best work boots are an ideal blend of functionality and toughness, sure, but it’s that style and utility that makes us a big fan of White’s Boots. At the risk of waxing poetic, yes, we truly believe that White’s boots are among a crop of rugged work boots that transcend the category.
But, if we really had to get down to basics, White’s Boots are simply some of the most finely crafted, precisely finished work boots out there. They do a damn good job through inclement weather and through conditions that won’t quit. They look cool as heck, but really, you want work boots that do more than that. Believe us when we say they pass muster.
What to Know About White’s Boots
White’s boots defy convention: They can be a fashion statement, if you really want them to be (stroll the streets of Brooklyn the next time you visit the Big Apple), but they’re best-suited for adverse environments and matching elements. It all starts with the history and heritage of White’s, though. Here’s what you need to know before buying.
- History and Heritage: White’s is a family company through and through, with three generations of family heavily involved in the company’s early days through the late 1800s and well into the 1970s. The company’s Spokane roots, its home base from 1915 onward, tie in nicely with harsh conditions in the Pacific Northwest. That means you need a damn fine pair of boots, no matter what the job calls for.
- Functionality: White’s boots are made to stand up to just about anything, and that’s not hyperbole in the slightest. The company fashioned its rugged leather boots to work at tasks as varied as cutting fire line or climbing electrical poles, hauling timber or taking on heavy brush. These boots are some of the most functional we’ve ever seen, and again, we’re really not kidding.
- Craftsmanship: White’s doesn’t cut any corners, and we mean absolutely zero corners, on the way to making your new favorite pair of work boots. The heritage brand, which offers multiple styles of boot construction, describes the best boots in its line as true “hand-sewn stitchdown boots,” with 25 stages of handmade craftsmanship put into each pair. They use a hand-lasting process that stretches leather around the last (the base of the shoe) to provide a truly customized fit, and the last is then hand-welted, or sewn into the insole of the boot. This is tricky stuff to get right, but take it from White’s themselves: They say that “a hand-welt is by far the most durable construction type available, and is entirely rebuildable.” That’s great news for you.
- Style: Now, we know your work boots are going to be used for, well, work, and perhaps not much else. But if you’re investing in the most rugged work boots on the market, it helps if they look great if you should happen to need a pair of boots to wear off the clock, right? Heck, White’s makes stylish town boots in addition to its work boots, and each pair is as well-made as you could ever ask for — we’re adding them to our wish list now.
- Now that you know what goes into White’s boots, let’s get you set up with the proper pair.
Our Favorite Work Boots and Silhouettes from White’s
White’s Perry Boots
Here’s a neat entry for versatile style and durability from day to night, and it’s from White’s Town Collection. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear these rugged and well-made boots on a job site or out on the trail, however. Helpfully, they feature a springy, traction-ready Vibram® Cristy Crepe sole for maximum grip on slick surfaces, plus moc toe stitching, a signifier of all the best work boots on the market. A word to the wise: Take a full size down from your normal shoe size for the best possible fit.
White’s King Snipe Logger Boots
The remarkable thing about White’s boots is how they’ve managed to deliver the perfect type of boots for so many different tough jobs. Take logging, for instance. White’s logger boots are the type of boots that the original masters of the trade would have worn more than a century ago, but they’re just now beefed up for today’s modern consumer. Whether you want a pair of boots to wear as you tackle your own timber hauling (of the smaller variety) or if you want a pair of no-nonsense boots for your cabin or camp, White’s has you covered.
White’s Hunter Boots
If you’re a hunter, you’ve probably got a full calendar of opening days to keep track of, but one thing you needn’t worry too much about is the rugged boots you’re wearing to trek through the field. Of course, we’re biased but these hunter’s boots from White’s are bout the best darn boots we could dream up for the task at hand. A water-resistant leather upper made from full-grain leather is critical for rainy early mornings, and naturally, the 10-inch boot height is ideal for your Hemingway-esque hunting excursions.
White’s 350 Cutter Boots
These iconic White’s boots were born from the brand’s legendary 10-inch silhouette, this time pared down to a 6-inch boot height (the original modification was made with a chainsaw… seriously). These field boots are a perfect pair of lightweight work boots for just about anything you can dream up these days, be it long hours at a job site or long nights around a bonfire. We think they’re well-suited for both, and given the investment you’re making (these will run you nearly $600), we’re all in favor of you wearing them day in and day out.
White’s Semi-Dress Boots
If we were to sit back and really think about brands that can make tough work boots as well as handsome and refined dress -style boots, White’s would likely sit at the top of the heap. The Semi-Dress Boots harken back to the days of the Great Depression, when men had to have one pair of boots that could handle everything. In fact, they were originally made to meet the grueling demands of assembly line workers and store clerks. These days, we think they’re the best dress boots to wear with your favorite suit, or dark denim, or tan chinos. You get the idea, right?
White’s Cykel Boots
From the iconic and seriously cool White’s Road Boots Collection comes the White’s Cykel Boots, the perfect pair of boots for your next long-haul road trip. If you can believe it, White’s says these boots “break in like slippers and feel like house shoes,” and that’s great news if you want a pair of tough-as-nails moto boots that provide versatility and comfort for hours on end. It doesn’t hurt that they look great with moto jeans or blue selvedge denim, either. Be warned that more lead time is required to build out these killer boots, but they’ll be worth the wait.
White’s Stevens Boots
Every guy — yes, every single guy — needs a pair of dependable work boots he can trust in the clutch. The kind that can be laced up at a moment’s notice without giving it a second though, the kind that wear as well with tan chinos or blue jeans as they do with the most durable work pants in your arsenal. It helps if they’re technically built for the field, but stylish enough for the town (it’s that versatility we keep mentioning). Well, ladies and gentlemen, the White’s Stevens Boots, with refined plain toe construction and yet the useful build of work boots, are precisely the pair you need in your closet just as soon as humanly possible.White boots that get the job done, and then some? Yes indeeed.
White’s Okanogan British Tan Boots
While not quite as outlandish as burgundy boots or other, flashier styles of limited-edition boots, White’s boots still knows a thing or two (or three) about the proper boots to stand out quietly and in style. That’s what its limited-edition series of boots it all about, and these Horween® British Tan Chromexcel boots are about as good as it gets if you want reliable looks and more-than-reliable performance. For the price, you’ll want to wear these with light wash jeans, with olive chinos or with your best khaki cotton summer suit.