Shoes should feel comfortable the first time you put them on. My CAT Bruiser boots weren’t, they were pretty stiff, but I knew that like a pair of selvedge denim or a new intern, their beauty would be revealed after they’d been properly broken in.

As soon as I received my new boots I polished them, even though they were brand new, because new boots are quite vulnerable to scuffs and scratches and since I’d be wearing these every day throughout the course of the Cape’s wet winter, it was important to take this precautionary step. So bear this in mind when caring for new boots.

I also changed up the laces. Sure, the waxed leather laces that come standard are more than adequate, but I’m sure that you’ll agree that the brown and gold laces from my sneakers look that much better.

I mean, just go and ask any woman and she’ll tell you that shoes are a telltale indicator of style. That the guy wearing a beautiful suit with a pair of worn-down, square-toed, black lace-ups is clearly not a man worth knowing.

Now I’m a bad man because boots, like suits, should not be worn more than two days in a row. In fact, a man should own enough pairs of shoes so that they can be properly rotated. I’m intentionally breaking this rule in order to break in my boots and hurry up the aged patina that I so desperately want. Patina cannot be bought, and your boots will reward you with the aged look only after wearing them in properly. Dark brown, well-cared for, and burnished with age… The older the leather, the more elegant the presentation, and once they’re where I want them to be, I’ll take the utmost care in keeping them there.

Bear the following in mind if you want your boots to last.
– Leather breathes, and it needs a day or two after being worn to dry out. Don’t wear them day after day.
– Polishing leather will help to keep it from cracking.
– A shoe tree will maintain your boot’s shape.
– Reheel and resole when necessary and you’ll wear your boots forever.
– You can avoid wearing down your heels by having taps placed on them immediately after buying, which costs less than having to fix the heels later.

Which is all good to know, but then how beaten up will my boots get if they’re going to be parked under my desk all day?

Can an office worker wear boots to work?

I’ll discuss this next week.

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