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In which Tankerjohn gushes about his new White’s Boots…

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Hi y’all. Just wanted to rave on a new pair of boots I bought, the White’s Perry Moc Toe workboot. I love boots. And these are great boots! There you go – that’s the BLUF. If you want to follow me down the rabbit hole, here’s a few more details…

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Company: White’s Boots. The original “PNW” – Pacific Northwest bootmaker. Started before the Civil War and moved to Spokane, Washington at the beginning of the 20th Century. My mom was born and raised in Spokane, so I love that connection. Sometime in the last few years, White’s was sold to the same Japanese-owned umbrella company that owns Danner and some other American heritage brands. It’s kind of a bummer that it’s not family-owned anymore, but otherwise reports are positive that other than the ownership, everything else stayed the same. Everybody in the factory kept their jobs, and they are still making the boots the same as they always have. White’s is most famous for their logger and fire fighter boots. In fact, that was pretty much all they made until a few years ago when followed Red Wing’s lead making “lifestyle” or “heritage” boots. Maybe that was a move by the new owners, but it seems to have been good for the brand. A year ago, they introduced the Perry as their first boot under $300. Now they have two – the Perry and the Millwood, which is essentially the same boot but with a round toe.

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Construction: If you really want to geek out on boot construction, I highly recommend a Youtube channel called Rose Anvil, in which the dude who runs it has made a whole schtick out of cutting boots in half to see the internal components, which I find more entertaining than it sounds. He has done a couple videos on the Perry and if you are really interested in this boot, I would recommend watching that video and maybe his other moc toe boot videos to get a good idea of the market. Short version – these boots are solid. Very thick leather uppers (from the Seidel tannery, if you care about such things). Triple and quadruple stitching all over. Leather and cork insole. Vibram Cristy outsole. There are two areas where they use man-made material instead of leather to control the cost – the heel counter (heavydutycardboard) and the midsole (rubber). On the counter, while leather is of course preferred, apparently, White’s uses this cardboard in their fire boots without issue and, anyway, its sandwiched between two generous hunks of full-grain. I’m not particularly worried about it. The rubber midsole seems to par for the course at this price range and is also used by Red Wing and others. You’ve got to step up to the $500 price point to get all-leather everything in this style of boots. My personal opinion with these on my feet now is they are a solid value for the $279 MSRP and a steal for the sale price I paid. I mean, these are a no-kidding lifetime purchase. I’ll see how fast the Christy wedge sole wears down, but no doubt these uppers a good for quite a few resolings.

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Size and fit: In a nutshell, I’m a 11.5 E on the Brannock, and I got an 11E. White’s does recommend going a half-size down from Brannock, but I also traced and measured my feet, following the guidance on the fitting page. It also calculated me at 11E, but I was within a quarter inch or so of 10.5 and pretty close to a D width too. I opted to go at the top end of my sizing spectrum since I need to fit orthotics (getting old sucks). So far, so good. The boots sometimes feel roomy, but once I’ve been walking around a while, my foot swells up and they’re fine. I might have a bit more space in front of my toe than optimal, but that’s just due to the last shape. These have a very large toebox. They’re work boots, after all. No sleekness here. Still, I get a little hypochondrial about the fit – “is it slipping too much? Should I have gotten the 10.5 instead?” If I were doing it again – and I do hope to order more White’s boots in the future – I would call someone at White’s and discuss fitting in person, just to have a little more confidence in the fit since I can’t try them on in person. As it is, I can live with it.

Wear: I’ve been wearing these as much as I can. The boots are very comfortable. From a function perspective, these boots will handle anything I’ll throw at them. They are solid, but not overbuilt for my lifestyle like White’s Smokejumper boots would be. I like to be outdoors, working around my property and running around nearby woods. But I also work in the city and spend plenty of time in built environments. The Christy outsole is quite bouncy and a good choice for the urban jungle. The downside of the wedge roles is they don’t have greattraction in the woods, though I do appreciate that they are quieter and less clunky than a lugged sole. In fact, many bowhunters who hunt on the ground and rely on stealth prefer this type of boot over traditional heavy hunting boots. From a form perspective, the Perry’s are great looking boots. They match the sort of Americana/workwear style I enjoy and fit right in with my jeans and flannels. As my office has become more casual in the post-Covid times, I’ll be able to wear them to work quite a lot. I was thinking about the Perry’s firefighting progeny. In my office, we sometimes say “putting out fires” to mean solving emerging problems quickly. So while the Perrymight not be optimized for real wildfire work, they happen to be quite adept at my sort of “firefighting”, which is to say they enhance my ability to do my job because I look good and feel good.

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I would recommend these to anyone looking for a heritage-style boot that can take a good deal of abuse. As a pure workboot, these are an alternative to the Red Wing moc toe and could handle most any job that doesn’t require safety toes. (White’s even makes an 8” version that might be better for actual work than the 6” model I have). For a guy like me – office worker who likes to run around and get dirty on the weekend – they are very practical daily footwear. So there you go, one guy’s opinion on the White’s Perry Moc Toe boot.
 
Nice looking boots. Reading through their website I wonder if their lasts which state having a flat arch really means a low heel drop, or just that the lasts with less arch support also have less heel to toe drop. Another aspect that makes it difficult to do online shopping.
 
Great review! I don't think I could buy a pair of boots or shoes online, or a guitar or gun for that matter, without the "touchy feely" part of the transaction. Lots of stuff can be bought online or on photo and description, but some stuff still needs to be bought in person.
$0.02 deposited
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Nice looking boots. Reading through their website I wonder if their lasts which state having a flat arch really means a low heel drop, or just that the lasts with less arch support also have less heel to toe drop. Another aspect that makes it difficult to do online shopping.
I would recommend calling them to get the details on each last and model. The extreme arch support in the logger boots comes from the high high drop and way they do the leather shanks and insoles. The Perry had a fairly low heel drop and not much arch support beyond the steel shank. Fortunately, it’s plenty roomy for orthotics. I would go another size down without the orthotics though.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Great review! I don't think I could buy a pair of boots or shoes online, or a guitar or gun for that matter, without the "touchy feely" part of the transaction. Lots of stuff can be bought online or on photo and description, but some stuff still needs to be bought in person.
$0.02 deposited
Yeah, I feel ya. In this day and age, though, buying online is a fact of life. White’s is known for excellent customer service for online customers, even sending “try boots” if requested.
 
I would recommend calling them to get the details on each last and model. The extreme arch support in the logger boots comes from the high high drop and way they do the leather shanks and insoles. The Perry had a fairly low heel drop and not much arch support beyond the steel shank. Fortunately, it’s plenty roomy for orthotics. I would go another size down without the orthotics though.
Good feedback. I was thinking the Perry had a fairly low heel drop which I believe I would prefer for this style of boot.

Even though I don't like the idea of ordering online, I may investigate White's a lot further and get some sort of boots next year. While I don't strictly need work boots, there are times when something like those Perry would be useful.

I went to a Redwing store in early 2020 just before the nationwide 'rona slowdown to look at their moc toe boot as well as a few other styles. It was more a trip to gather information and see what I liked as well if I liked how they fit. I was disappointed they did not have my size to try on in their heritage moc toe boots, so I did not learn much. I was always a little put off by the white sole, thinking that it will pick up a lot of stains, but I like that it minimizes collecting mud. The lady working in that RedWing store had on a pair in dark leather (either black/charcoal/navy) with dirty soles and they still looked better than I expected. Those White's Moc Toe look just as nice or even better.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Good feedback. I was thinking the Perry had a fairly low heel drop which I believe I would prefer for this style of boot.

Even though I don't like the idea of ordering online, I may investigate White's a lot further and get some sort of boots next year. While I don't strictly need work boots, there are times when something like those Perry would be useful.

I went to a Redwing store in early 2020 just before the nationwide 'rona slowdown to look at their moc toe boot as well as a few other styles. It was more a trip to gather information and see what I liked as well if I liked how they fit. I was disappointed they did not have my size to try on in their heritage moc toe boots, so I did not learn much. I was always a little put off by the white sole, thinking that it will pick up a lot of stains, but I like that it minimizes collecting mud. The lady working in that RedWing store had on a pair in dark leather (either black/charcoal/navy) with dirty soles and they still looked better than I expected. Those White's Moc Toe look just as nice or even better.
Interesting. Could the Red Wing store size you up and then order? Then at least you could try them on in the store before purchase. I do appreciate that Red Wing still has a national network of B&M stores. It seems like some of the stores are focused on the real work boot market and stock mostly that and others are more focused on the heritage boot market. White's only had a regional footprint in the PNW before the internet. Maybe some wildfire fighters farther out figured out how to order them, but by and large, they had a much more niche product than Red Wing.

The white soles are interesting. I like the look a lot, but my wife thinks they're ugly. Oh well. She's stuck with me. They should clean up fine with a magic eraser, if I ever bother to clean them. I don't mind boots having a worn look. Last I checked, Vibram makes the Christy in black and tan, as well white. So that could be an option when its time to resole.
 
Somewhat interesting thread elsewhere (maybe reddit) started by someone who used these boots heavily for 5 months in construction/plumbing in the Seattle area.
Looks like he burnt through the welt before stopping to resole them. A quick read of that thread might come across as negative, but overall I think it was mostly positive or to be expected result, as one cannot wear damp boots every day and expect them to hold up.

Now that I have given my own needs more thought, I will probably get a "work" boot instead of a "lifestyle" boot. But not in a hurry to purchase anything yet.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Somewhat interesting thread elsewhere (maybe reddit) started by someone who used these boots heavily for 5 months in construction/plumbing in the Seattle area.
Looks like he burnt through the welt before stopping to resole them. A quick read of that thread might come across as negative, but overall I think it was mostly positive or to be expected result, as one cannot wear damp boots every day and expect them to hold up.

Now that I have given my own needs more thought, I will probably get a "work" boot instead of a "lifestyle" boot. But not in a hurry to purchase anything yet.
Yeah, I saw that when I was researching. So basically the guy abused the boots, used them in wet situations they weren’t designed for and didn’t even bother to dry and condition them. Sorry, that’s all operator error, not the boots. For that dude’s work, he needed waterproof leather, if not full rubber boots.
 
Whites Boots have always had exceptional quality. Back when I was working for the forestry department as a firefighter Whites was one of the top two boot choices. Always comfortable and held up to almost anything we could put them through.
 
Great review! I don't think I could buy a pair of boots or shoes online, or a guitar or gun for that matter, without the "touchy feely" part of the transaction. Lots of stuff can be bought online or on photo and description, but some stuff still needs to be bought in person.
$0.02 deposited

Just so you know, the flagship Filson’s store in Seattle carries White’s boots. I was just there yesterday. I love my three pair of White’s…
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Great review, I also second Rose Anvil. There is also the Brian Bootmaker he is a completely different style though. Take care.
Yeah, I love Brian’s videos too. You can definitely get a good look at the boot innards as he’s peeling the layers off to resole.

Rose Anvil and BtB did a video together where they resoled and blacked out a black-leather Perry. It turned out pretty cool, if you’re into the all-black everything kind of look. But the funny thing to me is that Thorogood sells an all-black moc toe exactly like that stock.
 
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