shopping for online boots

 I've cut pretty close to 100 pairs of boots and shoes apart over the last year and a half and so I feel pretty confident in my ability to judge a pair of boots especially used pair of boots that I don't know anything about so I thought I would make a kind of an expert's guide to judging a pair of used boots or thrifted boots so that if you've got a little bit of a thrifting problem like I do you won't waste as much money and you'll find the higher quality stuff and be more happy with your horrible addiction so over the last week or so I scoured all pretty much all the shops and the thrift stores and vintage stores throughout salt lake valley and picked out these 10 boots or so of some good some bad and some ugly so that we've got a variety to show you a bunch of different examples and a few different things here and there to to be so this videos as informative as possible and we're also going to talk about some brands you might want to avoid and this video is sponsored by karma it's an app and chrome extension that uses clever tech to ensure that you never miss a price drop or a coupon code because if you're thrifting boots you're probably going to want to find discounts online they're always expanding their capabilities and their new name karma it represents the good karma they're putting forth by helping you shop smart they used to be called shop tagger but change their name we have it installed on all the computers in the shop because anytime we're preparing a video we always check karma before we purchase something because we end up saving a little bit of money here and there by just finding those coupon codes and those discounts because why leave money on the table when you can just install that little app and really all you have to do is just go on your computer click the link in the description download that button onto your chrome browser or whatever you're using now every time that you go to your favorite website all you have to do is click that little side button it'll open up and it'll check for discount codes and the really cool thing is you can have it send you updates and new discount codes and notifications for certain things that you're looking for or you're waiting for the price to drop and you can earn cash via PayPal when you shop from select retail partners now more than ever it's important to get max value so just take a second and click the link in the description it just takes a few minutes to download and set up it's going to save you some money and it helps me out by helping out these sponsors because they sponsor the video it's a good one it's an easy sponsorship just check them out it's in the description thanks and before we even begin why would you even consider buying a used pair of boots a lot of people are turned off by that idea a lot of times you can find some really good boots for 10 bucks that you might be spending 200 bucks 300 bucks on to to buy the brand new equivalent and you and you can find some really cool boots like these are some vintage whites that are probably like 30 years old that are really cool and some people they just they don't like the environmental impact of brand new boots and on that note of environmental impact I know what you're thinking we're not cutting any of these in half the really nice ones and some of the more rare stuff we're going to actually restore on the channel and the rest of them that we don't necessarily want to do anything with we're going to be donating to the dumpster in the back just kidding we're not going to do that we'll donate him to some like local uh homeless shelter or re-donate to the di or whatever we end up doing uh or we'll use them as bait for the guy that stole my trailer at the back of the shop um so now we got that kind of preface out of the way let's start going through this thing I think the way that we're gonna structure this video to make it as consumable as possible rather than go through all these and point things out we're gonna break it down into five parts of the boot that you're gonna be looking at and do some pros and cons some do's and don'ts for each part of that so let's get started with the outsole so one of the easiest ways to tell the quality of an outsole is is it a Vibram outsole or Vibram if you're fancy like these Danners so these Danners you see that big yellow Vibram sign these whites big yellow Vibram sign and there was one oh the the Rockies big yellow Vibram sign Vibram is is kind of the industry standard for a high quality outsole is it the only good also out there no but a lot of brands use them and they're a little bit more expensive than the the stuff that brands make by themselves and it's it's it's just a good indicator of a quality boot because if they're willing to spend the money on making their boots with a Vibram outsole usually they're already paying a little bit more for quality leather and everything else that goes along with it and there's other outsole manufacturers that are just as good you know there's like cats paws day night there's uh but you're gonna be surprised at how many Vibram outsoles are out there in the wild and it's just a it's a good simple indicator of quality and another thing you want to look for is tread depth because you know this this white's boot yeah it's a Vibram outsole but we are like razor thin on the the heel cap here or the the top lift so you know this is a Vibram outsole but it's pretty worn out and spoiler alert the next video is going to be a restoration of this but we're going to put a new top lift on and I'll show you how to do it at home if you happen to find a boot like this where this part is good and your top lift is bad so that's kind of the good things to look for some of the bad things to look for when it comes to outsoles a lot of times if a brand is it's kind of a clothing brand or a lifestyle brand they don't specialize in boots a lot of times they're going to have their own outsoles or their brand their own branded outsoles and it's because they're a cheaper brand or a cheaper quality and they've had them made in some factory and instead of bringing in Vibram or some of these other better quality outsoles they just slap their name on the cheap ones that the factories are making like these lucky brands and these banana republics and whatever these no name lady dude sorry but that doesn't necessarily mean that if a company makes a boot and they have their own name on the outsole that it's a bad household for instance these yellow bean boots that we got for like five bucks the nice thing about l bean in particular is if you find a pair of these for five bucks and the outsole is worn out but the upper leather is fine you can send these back in and I'll put how much a resole job from l bean costs some other examples is like red wing they they're they're more of a vertically integrated business and they are a boot specific brand and they have their own outsoles so I trust red wings outsoles it's just some of these other smaller fashion brands that I I don't trust another thing I try to stay away from is foam outsoles or TPU/PU outsoles like in blood stones and I want to talk about bloodstones but it's going to clog up this video so we're going to talk about bloodstones and the two things you have to look out for when buying used Blundstone's at the end of the video just to keep this video concise as much as I can and that leads us to the next part of the next point to look for which is the construction and the resell ability so let's start with the good again so there's basically three general types of boot constructions there's more but for the most part you see three there's Goodyear welted boots there's stitch down boots and there's cemented boots so what is a Goodyear welted boot a Goodyear welted boot or how do you identify it around the at least the vamp of the boot which is this part of the boot you're gonna see a little strip of leather that has stitching on it and that little strip of leather is the welt the welt is basically the strip of leather that connects the upper of the boot to the outsole of boot okay why do I like a Goodyear welted boot it's the classic way of making boots a lot of the high-end boots and shoes are Goodyear welted they're easily resolvable and they last a long time so it's sister construction is the stitched down construction a stitched down construction is basically the same thing but instead of having an extra piece of leather that wraps around the boot they take the upper of the boot and instead of tucking it under and sewing it to the welt they flange it out and stitch that to the outsole so it's a little more simple construction a lot of people don't like it there's some pros and cons associated with it but either one of those I I like you know and I'll maybe I'll make a video in the future comparing the two and kind of my opinions on it and the third style of building a boot is cemented like blunt stones and uh like these are RJ Colts and cemented constructions is exactly what it sounds like they just glue with contact cement the upper to the outsole there's a lot of really good cemented boots out there but the problem with it is you only have glue holding the boot together unlike a Goodyear welted and a stitch down boot where you've got stitching and glue holding them together so when it comes to use boots a lot of times I'll stay away from cemented boots just for the simple fact that I don't know what the history of the boot is of how long they've been left in the sun and the heat I don't know how long it's going to take to delaminate and fall apart so a lot of times I'd stay away from cemented boots unless all these other things that we're talking about are checked off the list and that's the last thing and I'm willing to take a risk on it and then on to onto the bad we kind of already talked about some of the negative aspects of a cemented boot but one thing that is really tricky and boot makers are really sneaky with is a lot of times you'll find a pair of boots that has a Goodyear welt stitch around the outside you can see that it's leather it looks good but the problem is a lot of brands will fake a Goodyear welt stitch so this brand or this this pair of banana republics this has the leather well it has the real stitching best way to tell if it's a real Goodyear welted boot or just a fake Goodyear welted boot you can kind of pull the upper of the boot away from the sole not ripping the boot apart but just enough that you're looking for a little bit of stitching in here and if you look closely on this one if I pull it back enough you can see there's no stitching connecting it and it's just glued same with this ladies boot I'm pulling that apart and all I see is a glue seam right there versus a Goodyear welted boot I pull apart these these iron rangers and you can see just a little bit of stitch not the welt stitch but this there's a stitch holding the upper to the welt and you don't want to tear apart the boots at the thrift store or the vintage door but it's it's worth just double checking that there's actually stitching going on there and it's not a fake welt stitch and speaking of stitching that brings us to the third point which is the upper stitching and this is this one's pretty straightforward it's pretty short but it is something that's really important because you might find a pair of boots that's the leather is good the construction is good the outsole is good but if you've got some stitch lines that are really worn out that boot's gonna fail before anything else is gonna fail and you might end up wasting your money basically all these boots look pretty good except for these super worn out thorough goods if you look closely at these thorough goods some of the key points around the counter and around the toe that thread it's still there but it's pretty worn out and it's only a matter of time before that fails so just pay attention to it then to the fourth point to look for which is the leather and to me one of the more important aspects and this one can be really tricky because fake leather can be really convincing I've even been fooled a few times in some videos but what I do when I'm trying to identify if it's real leather fake leather is I look at the cross section because pretty much any boot you're looking at will have some exposed raw edges and if you look really closely you should see some of those little leathery fibers kind of poking out and what I do sometimes if I'm not sure is I'll just take my fingernail and scratch it and see if I can pop some of those fibers up and if you see those those leathery fibers it's probably leather you have to be careful though because some of that fake leather is has a felt backing and those felt fibers can look similar to leather so we'll add some some images of the difference between felt fibers and leather fibers and if you're still not sure there's a couple other ways to tell you can just look the boot up and see if it's if the manufacturer says if it's leather you can also sometimes find on the boot it'll say a full leather upper or leather components or you know some signifiers sometimes on the sole or on the tongue and maybe the easiest way to tell is I think most boot companies have to declare what their boot is made out of sometimes it's on a sticker sometimes it's on a tag but I'll put a little chart up here decoding chart of what each symbol means but basically you're just looking on the inside of the boot and looking for those symbols there's I'll just I'll put it up here it's just going to be easier to show you rather than explain it all but if it looks like that leather symbol and it's pointing to the outside of the boot it's probably leather and then to the bad stay away from fake leather because the problem is like in these cheap lady boots that fake leather coating that plastic coating or polyurethane coating on top eventually starts flaking off that's another thing you can look for when you're identifying if it's real leather or not real leather is not really going to flake off like that and I don't like fake leather because it's it doesn't breathe like real leather it's not as durable as leather it doesn't patina like leather and for those of you that are environmentally conscious it's to me I would rather put leather back into the ground that's going to biodegrade rather than plastic a few ways that you can also identify fake leather is look at the cross section if it looks like it's felt it's probably felt if it looks like there's foam inside of there it's probably foam and the last thing I want to cover about leather in this video is it's kind of in between the good and the bad just be aware of the condition of the leather when it comes to scratches and gouges and more importantly the dryness of the leather because sometimes you get some of these 50 year old boots like these iron rangers they haven't been worn they haven't been conditioned in several decades and so that leather is completely dry and if you took these out and started wearing them without conditioning them they're going to wear out pretty quickly and start splitting and start flaking off and really all you have to do to revitalize these and bring some life back into them is just add some conditioners there's there's two conditioners I really like that don't really change the the color of the leather maybe slightly especially if it's really dry I like chamberlains and bickfore I'll put the links in the description to the ones that I buy but if you're not concerned about the leather changing colors or you really want to prioritize the longevity of the leather get some mink oil slather these babies up with a few coats and it'll really saturate into the leather and really bring that suppleness back and lubricate those fibers because that cross because leather is just a bunch of fibers intertwined and if it's really dry every time you bend it it's just going to crack and break them but if they're lubricated with some oil they're going to just move more fluidly and it's going to be more comfortable and they're going to last longer but conditioning boots is always scary because you don't know what color they're going to end up so just find a spot on the boot try a little area that you don't mind if it is discolored make sure you're okay with the color and condition your boots just kidding there's one more thing that I want to talk about about leather um so sorry if this video is 20 minutes long I think it's important information so when you see a boot sometimes you're going to look at a boot and you're like oh this must be a quality boot we've got some good materials we've got a leather heel stack on the hill you know like these RJ Colts in these lucky brands but it is leather but it's not leather all the way through it's just a thin leather veneer that wraps around the outside of the heel and on the inside it's just a cheap rubber heel and it's really hard to tell sometimes like when I first picked up these lucky brands that's a that's a pretty convincing leather heel stack and one of the best ways to tell if it's real leather or it's not real leather like if you compare these whites packer boots to this lucky brand boot you can see on these whites boots that leather is compressed in different ways it's kind of splitting it's open and there's fibers coming off of it and it's it's not as perfect looking as these lucky brand boots if you look at these RJ Colt boots right at the corners you can see it's starting to peel up and maybe don't do this at the thrift store or the vintage store but you can you can kind of kind of scratch at it and pull it back just don't do it but if they're your own you can do it now to the fifth and final aspect before we talk about what to look for in bloodstone so you don't waste your money is the fit fill and look it sounds obvious but it's it's the one that catches me the most because I'll look at a pair of boots and I'm like these check all the boxes except they don't quite fit me right or they like the lumpy under my foot or the guy that wore before like in these packer boots whatever old cowboy was wearing these before me had a severe outward pronation probably from sitting on a saddle assuming he was an old cowboy and when I put these on it feels like my ankles are rolling and so I wouldn't want to wear these boots around all day every day because it would really after a few miles you you start kinking your knees funny you start to get some knee pain some hip pain and it can be really bad for you so just make sure it feels good underneath your feet unless you're wanting to resole them a little bit like we're doing with these so now let's talk about blood stones and what to avoid because this is one that gets tricky you might find a pair of blunt stones you're like these are perfect they're blunt stones they're like they're my size everything's great but there's two huge issues you need to watch out for with used blunt stones the first one is just the general structure of these boots there's a harder TPU basically a rubber outsole but then there's lots and lots of foam all through the midsole but and the problem is if you start wearing through the outsole like on these pair of blonde stones you hit that foam layer and it absorbs water it wears really quickly it starts chunking off and they don't have much life left in them if if you're if they're really cheap and you're just wanting something to kick around the backyard with it's probably okay but just watch out for it and the second thing which is probably the most important thing to look out for on bloodstones and be really careful when you're buying bloodstones online that doesn't have this a little thing called hydrolysis happens to bloodstones where if you don't use your blood stones all the moisture in the air gets stuck in the little air bubbles in the foam of the midsole and the outsole and it slowly kind of melts and makes the outsole crumble and makes them really really sticky and so you get to a point where once that hydrolysis has taken place you can literally I could rip this apart like and just take chunks off of it because it's so broken up so just be careful with blonde stones they're a really risky one when it comes to used boots now I want to quickly go over the do's and don'ts of each of those five things so you have a short concise 30 second clip and you can take a screenshot of these lists so do get a Vibram outsole or some of the higher quality outsoles don't get the cheap clothing brand outsoles do get a Goodyear welted or stitched down construction boot don't get a cemented construction or at least be really careful and be pay close attention to the cement constructions do get a boot that has good stitching that's solid stitching all through the upper don't get a boot that has really worn out stitching especially in some of the vital areas do get a leather upper that's higher quality that's not crack that's not split don't get a fake leather you're gonna regret it and finally do get a pair of boots that you're going to wear that's going to fit you right that doesn't have any lumps it doesn't have any pronation that's not worn out and don't get a pair of boots that's not fitting you right that you're never going to wear because you're you're gonna fall in the same trap that I fall into every time I go to the thrift store so that wraps it up is it a perfect guide no there's I could talk about this for hours and give you a really in-depth thing but this is a pretty solid list to go out to the thrift stores and at least get you right nine times out of ten you're still gonna miss some but it's it's all the important stuff that's the most vital parts of the boot that are gonna give you the longevity and the quality that you're looking for if there's something I missed just add it to the comment section because the comments section fortunately on my channel is pretty civil and everyone's really nice and helpful so the comment section will be a really good resource for this video for the stuff that I didn't have time to cover or forgot about so thank you guys so much I'm on the men from corona apparently I got corona I think the last time I had coronavirus was a false positive because I wasn't really sick and this time I was out for three weeks so we're back to full steam actually that's a lie I'm going bear hunting next week but we're almost back to full steam ahead we got some cool stuff coming down in the future that I'm really excited for and um yeah thank you guys so much for everything you do if you have not subscribed just do me a favor and click the subscribe button that's the number one thing you could do it it's free and it makes all the difference in the world so thank you guys so much and I didn't realize toaster was maybe blocking all the boots sorry about that


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