Pulled the trigger on a pair of Nicks

Discussion in 'The Haberdashery' started by eelhc, Nov 27, 2018.

    Small update. I just weighed 1 boot each.

    Red Wing Iron Rangers: 1lb 12oz
    Nicks Rangers: 2lb 11oz.​

    So the Nicks are substantially heavier (almost a full lb heavier for each boot). This is not necessarily an issue but the support/comfort has to make up for the added weight. I wouldn't walk around all day in flip flops simply because they were lighter.

    I will know in a few months.
  1. beautiful boots. thanks for this thread. enjoyed the process
  2. Thank you for sharing your experience with Nick’s. This was extremely informative.
  3. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus

    This is one of those situations where guys can have different preferences and neither be "right" or "wrong". Personally, I dislike the false tongue, but have no problem with guys who like the false tongue look.

    So much the better for you that you see a utility in your decision, beyond mere cosmetic appearance. My experience has been that other areas of the boot will wear out far sooner, but no sense in needlessly wearing out the tongue leather.

    This advice seems ... odd. Did they give any explanation for this?
  4. Is the extra weight an issue? I have redwing blacksmiths which I find uncomfortably heavy, almost to the point I don’t wear them. I couldn’t imagine if they were a pound heavier.
  5. But think how big your calves would be!
  6. "De gustibus non est disputandum"

    So the utility is that it does take the bite off the laces (even though the full gusseted tongue provides 3 layers of support). As far as other parts of the boots wearing out sooner. This is exactly the point. Nicks, White's, Wesco, Franks... boots can be rebuilt. The will replace the vamp, the heel, insole, outsole, heel... keeping the upper and tongue at less than half the cost of a new pair of boots (basically getting a new pair of boots). Here's a photo of a rebuilt boot:

    At my age and what I plan on using these boots for, I personally doubt that I would ever need these boots rebuilt. But for guys who are in the trades, wilderness firefighters, etc, who put these boots through hell and get them rebuilt every ~2 years, saving the tongue leather with $3 false tongues makes sense.

    For those who are not fans of the look but want the utility, they can get the dress false tongues instead. Hardly noticeable in the same color:

    Nicks sells 3 different types of false tongues in multiple leathers/colors. Logger, Packer and Dress/Casual.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  7. So I have worn the boots on 2 occasions.

    The first time was just to check the fit. I kept them on for a couple of hours just sitting and walking around the house. I can't make any comments about the fit until broken in but I can say that they seem to be the right size. Heel fits perfect with absolutely zero slip and I can wiggle the toes a bit. Where the boots really "grip" is in the instep and arch and I suspect that's where the break in is the most important.

    The best I can describe the feel is that it's like putting on new hockey skates, followed by ski boots. The boots are a snug fit and the heel "pops" in. The biggest difference I feel is the arch support. More so than athletic or other modern orthopedic footbed based shoes. It feels like having a tight leather belt around the arch/instep and for me, that's where all the hotspots are. Again, I suspect this is where the break in will occur.

    The second time was for ~4Hrs for a dinner out. The leather is really stiff and walking and ankle articulation is difficult at this point so I did not drive. At about 2-1/2 hrs,the boots became uncomfortable (or the hotspots were harder to tolerate). To speed the process Nick's recommends spraying the hotspots with a mix of water and rubbing alcohol. I will bear with the pain and not speed the process.

    So it's relative... these are heavier boots but not as heavy as their Hot Shot firefighter or Builder Pro boots. The wilderness firefighters spend days in their boots but I'm not in good a shape as those guys :). In the end though, comfort is what I am after which weight is only is a part of the equation (flip-flops might be the lightest of shoes but who wants to walk a mile in them?). These boots may be heavier but if my foot, ankle, knees, back... are less fatigues at the end of the day vs lighter boots, then to me they're better. I need to find that out for myself but I based my decision based on reviews/comments from guys who are on their feet all day long working in these so I'm not too concerned with the weight.

    As far as treatment... According to Nicks FAQ:

    "First, get through the 80-100 hours with the alcohol and water break-in...
    THEN, grease your boots with the only product we recommend - Obenauf’s LP Leather Preservative"
    But I did put a liberal coat clear polish on the toes and heels just to protect them from scratches and scrapes.
  8. I wore my blacksmiths all day for a wrestling meet yesterday and feel it in the back today. As far as walking in flip flops all day, I’m that guy. In fact, I’m missing the ACL in my right knee from tearing it in football when their was no surgery to repair it. I found that rainbow flops when they’re broke in are the most comfortable, easiest on my knee of anything I’ve tried. I wore them for 12 hrs at a time touring key west with no knee pain at all. I love the idea of the nicks but would hate to spend that kind of money on something that would be a self induced torture device.
  9. You may actually be one of those guys who can benefit from this:

    The Benefits of Barefoot | US

    Not for me but I know several folks who have gone this route (barefeet and barefeet shoes) who swear by it.

    Also, if the Blacksmiths are anything like the Iron Rangers, and you were standing/walking all day, I feel your pain also.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019

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