For several years I was on a quest for cowboy-inspired boots and I was happy to find a Jeffrey Campbell pair that were just what I wanted (December 2018, $150, over 30 wears) and wildcard Sam Edelman snakeskin print boots (October 2019, $85, only 10 wears because of the pandemic, but in heavy rotation now that I'm back to work). Both are real leather, though the Sam Edelman boots have synthetic lining (usually I have a rule against this because my feet are less happy).

Last week, in the span of one week, both of them got serious damage to the heel! Frownie face. They both have hollow plastic (I think?) heels wrapped in a thin layer of material to look like a stacked heel, and a big chunk of the wrapping tore off. I'm sure it's possible to get them repaired but I'm not optimistic about their longevity... I usually expect my boots to last 10+ years and though these were not as nice as some, I didn't think they'd die this quickly.

I'd like to keep this in mind when buying my next boots. I'd never thought about heel construction before because I mostly buy flat shoes. After googling, I think I've figured out that higher-end shoes are more likely to have stacked heels, either leather (expensive) or some sort of masonite (lighter weight, less expensive, but probably durable?) and maybe other materials. Or maybe some higher end shoes just use a thicker wrapped layer over the underlying structure?

Anyway, I'm curious if this is something any of you look for, and if you have any tips on how to find higher quality. I happened to notice that Fluevog's website lists the heel construction but otherwise I haven't really seen it mentioned.

(What I reaaaaally covet are the R13 boots in Finds, but even used they're $600. If I had perfect foresight, I could have bought this one pair instead of several boots that only lasted a few years, but it's so hard to know ahead of time!)

This post has 2 photos. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.