I love boots, and I wear them almost daily, but the one type I had not tried was the classic mock-toe with a Christy Crepe sole. I had heard from many friends that this type of boot was among the most comfortable, so after seeing a few reviews of the White’s Perry, and loving another pair of White’s Boots I have, I went for it.
Everyone was right, these are amazingly comfortable boots, and incredibly well made. I love them.
Materials and Specs
If you are wondering how good this boot is, it’s exceptionally good, regardless, here’s the run down on what we have:
- 6” Full Grain ‘Water-Resistant’ Leather Upper
- Leather Welt & Composite Shank
- Vibram® Christy Crepe sole
- 1972 Arch-Ease™ Last
- A Goodyear welt
White’s sells a bevy of colors in two lines: Perry and Perry Select. There’s three core colors in the Perry, while the Perry Select comes in five colors. The main difference between the two (as far as I can tell, information is not great here) is that the Select uses a higher grade leather upper, a leather shank instead of a composite shank, and is priced higher. The Perry I have is the standard Perry in Red Dog leather.
Fit & Style
This style of boot is among the most iconic for American Workwear boots. People wear these pretty broadly these days, but I feel they are best paired with denim or a military/officer/workwear pant. They are not dressy at all.
The fit is based on the Arch-Ease 1972 last, and this is worth noting in case you have another White’s Boot, as you’ll want to check the last there. Generally, I think this is a pretty modern feeling last, and wears comfortably for my decently average foot. White’s is also super helpful if you email them about sizing, they provided me with a wealth of information. For the Perry I ordered a size 11. In most sneakers I wear something between an 11.5 or 12, so they run about a half size large.
These fit me perfectly, and I find the last/design to be really nice here. White’s does note that these have ‘virtually no break-in’, and I found that mostly true. They were a touch stiff for the first few days, but no blisters to be had. Now they are great to wear and got there more quickly than the average work boot would.
I’ve been trying to decide what performance means for a boot, but I’ll characterize it as: walking comfort, standing comfort, and durability. It is hard to extrapolate more than that, so I’ll also add some general thoughts on what it’s like to wear the boot.
- Walking Comfort: the sole on these is thick and soft, so it can take a little adjustment to walk in these. The leather is also rather stiff out of the box, but over time does break in nicely. I had some rub at the top of the boot for the first couple of days, before the leather started to form better to my foot. Now I would say they are comfortable for walking in all day, while offering a lot for stability underfoot. The downside is that they are a heavy boot, and won’t give you a bounce in your step the way an athletic shoe would.
- Standing Comfort: this is what I see as the stand out feature of the Christy Crepe sole. It’s very soft underfoot, so standing in this boot is exceedingly comfortable. I work exclusively at a standing desk on a hard floor, and it is a joy to wear these boots when I am working. They are more comfortable than any athletic shoe would be over the course of the day, as they offer more support and stability. I’ve not worn anything more comfortable for standing.
- Durability: There’s really two facets here: the upper and the sole. The sole is likely to wear out faster than a lug or harder rubber sole would. But it’s a Goodyear welt, so replacing the sole will be trivial and it’s not really worth worrying about the longevity of the Christy sole as a buying factor. Even though these are not the higher grade leather, I am overly impressed with the leather upper. It’s stout, but flexible. It’s thick, but not overly thick. And more than any of that, there’s only two marks showing on these boots (and I got them in May of 2023). I have one stain from when I dumped coffee down myself (I must have missed cleaning this off) and one small scuff on the toe from who knows what. Most of the time, I care for my boots monthly to keep the leather looking free from marks. These boots don’t seem to collect those marks, and this gives me a ton of confidence on the viability of them surviving a lot of new soles.
What’s harder to encapsulate about these shoes is how large the toe box is, yet how not-large the boot feels in general. That is to say, this doesn’t look overly large, nor does it feel overly large, but your toes have a very large area in which they can wiggle about. This is great.
The boot also has a tongue which extends a touch higher than the collar above the ankle, and this touch seems to make the boot more comfortable to wear a little more snug. The lacing also is slightly different than most of the work boots I own, with two speed lace hooks, but with the top moving back to an eyelet. It took a couple weeks to get used to this, but the impact is great. Often if you wanted to wear the top of the boot looser, the lace will fall out of the speed hook, but not so with this system.
There is one odd, not ideal thing, about the boot. When I got them, the leather squeaked, like a lot. I thought it would dissipate after the first day, but it did not. Specifically, where the upper was rubbing against the tongue of the boot. To fix this I applied a rather generous amount of boot oil to the tongue where the rubbing was happening and the issue has gone away. But that was a first for me.
If it wasn’t clear from above, I love these boots. They are my favorite boots to wear, but the style pulls so casual that I also do not wear them as much as I would like. That said, if your day to day is wearing jeans, then do your feet a favor and snag a pair for these.
At $325 they are a fantastic value for what they offer, and I am not really sure you get anything more if you pay more. Oh, and one last note: they can be worn through TSA metal detectors without issue — which is a nice to have.