You Need A Beater Boot Like This One From Nordstrom
For many people, winter is thankfully coming to a close. Still, a good pair of boots can be worn three seasons out of the year (just about). Plus, the end of the colder season is one of the best times to buy winter gear like boots. You’ll get some great deals.
That all being said, I recently picked up a fantastic pair of boots from Nordstrom at a ridiculously low price. They’re called the Trenton 1901 Plain Toe Boot, and they are an inexpensive “beater” boot, perfect for wearing when it’s snowy, wet, or rainy out and not really care too much about what happens to your shoes. While these boots were originally sold at $140, they were recently on sale during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale for under $70. And, at that price, you really don’t need to worry about what happens to these. Wear them until they fall apart!
The one problem right off the bat? They’re sold out. Still, as Dappered points out, Nordstrom is known to bring back products from their 1901 line when they do well, so keep an eye out for these popping back up in the coming months (or at the very least something super similar).
Now, with that introduction out of the way, let’s get into the thick of it.
Style & Design
These shoes happen to look real nice, and, in the looks department, bring a lot of value to the table. The darker brown is super versatile, and goes with just about anything. The thicker lug soles bring some more visual intrigue. The toe shape is just about perfect, and the profile of the shoe is quite sleek. These are both things that are pretty hard to get right in a boot, and this boot, I think, nails it in both respects. These boots are the absolute perfect balance between being not too sleek nor too clunky. They also go up the perfect amount on the leg, and pant legs, even slim ones like mine, will slip nicely over the boot. There is also a pull-tab on the back to make taking them on and off easier, and I have no found it to interfere too much with pant legs getting caught on them. They also have white (fake) stitching that runs around the boot which I think detracts from the look. I wish they would have gone with a darker color for that.
Look, they are pretty damn sleek, look very nice, are a super versatile color… There is almost nothing bad you can say about them. They are a pair of boots, period. And they look very nice, no two ways about it.
Quality & Construction
Leather is… fine. It’s definitely nothing to write home about, but I have seen much, much worse. For a $140 shoe, I would expect far better. For half that, I would expect worse. So, in the end, these come in as decent. They are pretty textured too almost pebbled — and are certainly a corrected grain leather. These are not welted soles, so you won’t be replacing them. You’ll wear these until they fall apart, and then throw them out. Look, these ain’t no Allen Edmonds, but they’re not really trying to be either at this price. They are beater boots, and are meant to be worn pretty rough without much of a care given to them. And, about that…
The sole is a nice rubber, and has very solid traction. I have worn these through a few rainstorms and snow, and have not had to worry the slightest bit. Plus, upon return home, a quick brush off of the snow, and they were back to looking good as new. So these things hold up nicely as well.
The footbed is comfortable and soft, and these shoes feel very nice on the foot. The laces leave something to be desired, feel a bit cheap, and don’t drape/hang very nicely. Plus, they are a bit on the long side, though not long enough to comfortably lace around the back of the boot. But, laces are a super easy thing to replace. The metal lace hooks are a nice touch, and are quite sturdy.
These boots fit pretty true to size. I usually wear an 11.5, and the 11.5 fit just fine. It maybe has just a bit of room above the foot, which can lead to some less-than-pretty creasing here and there, but that is pretty common with boots. They are bigger shoes, and unless the ankle is cut very slim, there is usually a bit of extra room and creasing. It’s far from the end of the world though. Plus, if you wear thicker socks, or use an arch support insert or similar (like I do), this can largely help with the bit of extra space.
Short version: They fit TTS, and are a touch roomy.
Price, Value, & Conclusion + Boot Buying Guide
For $140, I would have, honestly, been a little disappointed in these boots. The leather is just alright, and certainly not the level of quality I have seen on some other $140 shoes. The style, though is admittedly quite sleek and well done all around, and is, I think, befitting the $140 price tag. At the less-than-$70 price, though? These things were an absolute steal. If the weather is ever a bit wet outside, I throw these on without a care in the world. These are a perfect beater boot, which is something every guy should have. Yes, there is a place in a guy’s wardrobe for real, hardcore winter boots or hiking boots. For most days, though, if you’re not truly trekking through feet of snow, then a cheap, beater boot is what you need to look great while still being prepared for the elements.
There are, then, three levels of boots a guy should own:
- Serious, more intense, hiking/snow boots — for wearing in serious in climate weather, or many inches of snow. (Good options: L.L. Bean, Woolrich, Timberland, Sorel)
- Beater boots — boots that look good but are either so cheap, or so well built that you don't care what happens to them; perfect for rain, slosh, or lighter snow. (Good options: J Crew, Allen Edmonds, Crevo, Aldo, or, of course, the 1901 boots mentioned here, should/when they return.)
- Dress boots — For wearing with a suit or business casual, regardless of the weather (Good options: Allen Edmonds, also Allen Edmonds)
There is, then, no question that these 1901 boots are an absolutely excellent option for your pair of beater boots. They fit well, look great, and the leather is slick enough, and the sole rubbery enough that they work perfectly in wetter weather. Plus, at their sale price, you truly can beat these to hell if you would so choose. It truly is too bad that they are sold out. Here’s to hoping Nordstrom’s brings them back, at perhaps a lower price, or at least eventually puts them on sale again. If they do, we’ll be sure to let you know!