BOOT LACES ! What'cha use ... and why ?

5:51 a.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I suppose we all come to face the reality of when it is time to replace the laces that came with our boots.

Some, probably remove the factory-supplied laces right out-of-the-box.

I realize that boots with eyelets work well with some laces, while others with D-rings can be different.

The old red-laces on boots from the 1970s are almost iconic.   I recall another passing hiker recognize my Limmers just by the distinctive Limmer  laces.   Even though I sold the Limmers, I kept the extra laces I got with them ... but, so far, have not used them on any other boot.  Just doesn't seem right ... kinda like putting alloy wheels from a Ferrrari on a jacked-up "redneck" pick-up truck.

Some of us use para-cord, even trip-line with luminescent strands for safely.   I've seen fire-resistant laces with Kevlar (at $10 a pop).   Probably, not many using rawhide ... but, I always liked it ... until it broke.

Soooo ... what are you using, and on what kind of boot-lace configuration (eyelets / D-rings / combos (eyelets & hooks) ?   What width / diameter.

Also, why are you using your fav ?   Where did you get them?   How much?

                                                ~r2~

9:24 a.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Boots: Alico Tahoe FGLs

Lace attachement: D-Rings and hooks

Laces: Maker provided. Will be replacing with 3mm climbing accesory cord.

Flat laces provide a good firm knot without double tying. However, they but tend to soak up lots of water, and are terrible about clinging to debrit and snagging on plants because of the way they are woven.  

Round kernmantle shoe laces tend to be failry cheaply made and wear out quickly.

Tightly woven static kernmantle climbing accessory cord eliminates the problems with the others, but have to be double tied because it tends to be a little stiff and slippery.  Enough for two boots will be a couple bucks a climbing or vertical supply store.

11:36 a.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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3mm Bluewater cord. 375lb test.

I use this on my Keen Oregons(dayhiker for me) and soon to be on my Scarpa SLs.

I use the same cord for bear bagging.

12:30 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Red laces of course, 'chute cord as a backup since I always keep it handy.

1:59 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

Red laces of course ....

 Yeah ... I gotta admit ... me, too.   Maybe, for nostalgia.  

I'm changing my attitude, though.  I think (?) it is now the 21st Century.

                                                        ~r2~

2:39 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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oregons-001.jpg

 

Blue Water 3mm. kinda takes some arm strength to get them in the lace locks. Shouldn't have any troubles on my heavier boots.

3:00 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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This is a long and involved subject, being that many hiking boots come with unusable round laces which are so stiff they won't stay tied without double knotting---not something you want to do in the field.  In fact, I hate double knotting boots on a trip---a tiresome repetitive useless act.  So, the goal becomes a search for flat laces which are not too stiff.


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In my search for flat laces, I bought several of these, Sterling boot laces at 5mm.  They are tough but unusable FOR ME, as they are too stiff and won't keep a boot tied w/o double knotting.


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A better source of flat laces come with Limmer boots, and I can recommend these as field tested and great for long term use.


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A perfect boot lace comes with the Asolo 520, but try to get these laces separate and you'll hit a dead end, although I never tried calling the company.  What's weird is their other boots like the FSN's and Fugitives all come with round stiff laces---unusable---or they did until this last year when they switched to round soft laces which do not have to be double tied.


tjgear_6840_021108_29684.jpg

Here are the old style Asolo FSN 95 laces---round and stiff.  I got a recent pair a couple months ago and they changed out their laces to a softer weave and they work great.  Maybe they've been getting complaints?  (Photo comes from Corkscrew's 2008 AT Trail Journal).

http://www.trailjournals.com/gear.cfm?trailname=6840

3:44 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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 ... and now, you know WHY I sold my Limmers sans the laces.   The buyer did not care; he was thrilled just to acquire the boots.    Now that I think about it, I reckon I have two pairs of the laces.

Now!   If only I can FIND them!   Hmmm ....  Now, where did I put them?

                                       ~r2~

5:20 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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So I heard about Obenhauf's boot laces awhile back:

http://www.mickeysboots.net/index.php?page=shop.product_details&product_id=40&category_id=27&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=2

This got me thinkin, if I was to treat my Bluewater 3mm cord with Obenhauf's would this pro-long the life as well as making them "knot friendly?"

Can't hurt to try right? I am gonna do this now and let it dry. Hmmmm....

 

Alright, I'm back.

Well it definitely darkened them and they are not nearly as stiff(both a plus in my book.) If nothing else they are a lil more fire resistant/waterproof lol. This actually may be a good thing. I have dealt with frozen laces in the winter. If I saturate them they won't hold water which means they won't freeze.

Maybe I am onto something here.

12:22 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Boot laces -- So much to do about it. I didn't know this could be a fetish item.

Ed

12:38 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I can't say I've given this a lot of thought, but I do know I prefer round laces over flat laces.  I have a pair of boots with flat D-rings, and flat laces dig into the square corners of the Ds.  It makes it very difficult to make tiny tightening/loosening adjustments.  I wish I could swap those Ds with rounded versions that more allow for quick-lacing with a single pull.  Those boots have been quite a learning experience.  I now pay a lot more attention to the lacing system on the boots than I once did.

7:14 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Rawhide?

No one is mentioning it.   It does tend to break more easily; but I feel we wait too long when it is on the verge.

Anyone use rawhide for laces?

                                              ~r2~

8:09 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Rawhide?

No one is mentioning it.   It does tend to break more easily; but I feel we wait too long when it is on the verge.

Anyone use rawhide for laces?

                                              ~r2~

 I've used plenty of buckskin lacing in my pow wow days, as seen below on my moccasins. (Picture taken at a pow wow in Damascus, Virginia).  It's strong, fairly light, but like you say it can break and when it gets wet it's like a sponge and takes forever to dry---in the winter it becomes frozen and unusable. (BTW, I'm on the left, if not I'd be a winkte).


76766-jpg-powwow.jpg

9:38 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Sooooo ... You are Native American.

I've been to several Pow-Wows.   

Shinnecock Reservation out in "The Hamptons" on Long Island .... (my girl-friend was 2/3+ Native American ... Cherokee, Algonquian)

Also, Millsboro / Oak Orchard, Delaware (Lenni Lenape tribe sponsored).

                                                  ~r2~

10:01 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Sooooo ... You are Native American.

I've been to several Pow-Wows.   

Shinnecock Reservation out in "The Hamptons" on Long Island .... (my girl-friend was 2/3+ Native American ... Cherokee, Algonquian)

Also, Millsboro / Oak Orchard, Delaware (Lenni Lenape tribe sponsored).

                                                  ~r2~

 I met my GF Little Mitten at a pow wow in Roanoke---Explorer Park (see below).  She's Cherokee and always tells me that if I come home one day and see my boots by the front door, to find another place to live!


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10:44 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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"I met my GF Little Mitten at a pow wow in Roanoke---Explorer Park (see below).  She's Cherokee and always tells me that if I come home one day and see my boots by the front door, to find another place to live!"

That does simplify matters.

10:52 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah my wife typically says the same thing, not in those exact words but nevertheless.... She can be a real firecracker to say the least.

11:18 a.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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on a side note......

i quit tying bow or double knots on my boots (and sneakers) a few years ago.  started using square knots.  faster, easier & less extra stuff flapping on the side of my boots.

12:23 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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caryernst said:

on a side note......

i quit tying bow or double knots on my boots (and sneakers) a few years ago.  started using square knots.  faster, easier & less extra stuff flapping on the side of my boots.

 I sometimes use cord-locks.   Just snip off the extra length created by not using any kind of knot ... and fusing the frayed ends with a match or holding the end to a caldron element on an electric stove-top.

Works well with rawhide ... very well. 

I cared for Mother in my home for the six years up until her death recently, as she advanced through Alzheimer's Disease.   I outfitted her with Top-Siders ( or "Dock Siders" , etc. ), due to they do not have a heel that would catch on doorway thresholds and reducer-strips.

I used the cord-locks on the rawhide laces, and it was easy to manage for me, as well as her doing so herself.   Especially, when her feet and ankles swelled, due to fluid build-up.   Easy to slacken the tension.

Also, used the cord-locks on running shoes, when I used to do 10k's and such.

                                                     ~r2~

12:24 p.m. on July 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I like good old 550 cord. As far as tying, the old double wrap bow will never come loose.

http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/betterbowknot.htm

Step 5 is the key to success.

11:06 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi, I have a set of Asolo 520's and I too really like the laces. After my laces wore out, I called the company directly and they mailed me a set. 

11:32 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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WISam said:

Tipi, I have a set of Asolo 520's and I too really like the laces. After my laces wore out, I called the company directly and they mailed me a set. 

 This is great info---guess who I'll be calling?

11:57 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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So I treated my laces.... The Bluewater 3mm cord with Obenhauf's that I mentioned earlier.

They are alot more flexible...

Here is the kicker. I took said laces and placed them in a bowl of water for a day. I then took them out of the bowl, shook them off, and placed them in an empty Pyrex bowl and fired it in my freezer for 36 hours.... They are just as flexible as when I put them in. There was no drying out time, etc.

I had them in the freezer within 1 minute of when I pulled them out of the water....

Oh, and they hold a knot w/o a double.

6:45 a.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Good ole leather so you can eat both your laces and boots in dire straights! Har har har! At least that's what Uncle Sam tells ya!

 

6:53 a.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

Good ole leather so you can eat both your laces and boots in dire straights! Har har har! At least that's what Uncle Sam tells ya!

 

So when I meet ya on the "Northeast: Winter week long trek **open invitation**" I can eat your laces at the TH?

Wow, this is gonna be fun. :)

10:54 p.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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f_klock said:

I like good old 550 cord. As far as tying, the old double wrap bow will never come loose.

http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/betterbowknot.htm

Step 5 is the key to success.

 

550 cord for me too.  Here Here!

11:42 p.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

TheRambler said:

Good ole leather so you can eat both your laces and boots in dire straights! Har har har! At least that's what Uncle Sam tells ya!

 

So when I meet ya on the "Northeast: Winter week long trek **open invitation**" I can eat your laces at the TH?

Wow, this is gonna be fun. :)

 A better comment, I suppose, than:

Eat my shorts !

                                                  ~r2~

10:27 a.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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same as Rick, i use utility cord - i think 3 millimeter.  i bought it cut to length; requires finishing the ends with heat so they don't unravel.  i held a knife over flame for a while then melted the ends.  you have to be careful if you have narrow eyelets, because a messy melted end won't fit.

one pair of boots combines d-rings and hooks; the other has metal eyes and hooks.  the original laces had serious wear within 18 months; these laces are showing little wear after more than twice as long. 


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the laces are plenty flexible, but slippery to the point that a simple knot tends to come undone.  another member of this site suggested a great knot that's easy and secure, but not a double knot:  http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/betterbowknot.htm

11:48 p.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550- you ever have any trouble fitting the 3mm cord it the lace hooks on some boots?

6:42 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Those look like the Limmers I had.   Kept the laces, which were unique.

                                                    ~r2~

8:36 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I've got my Limmers stashed away somewhere and when I see leadbelly2550's pictures they make me want to find them and put them on and walk a couple hundred yards and then take them off and cuddle up next to my Asolos.

8:46 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

I've got my Limmers stashed away somewhere and when I see leadbelly2550's pictures they make me want to find them and put them on and walk a couple hundred yards and then take them off and cuddle up next to my Asolos.

 Lol, ya like the Limmers that much huh?

9:21 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I like PICTURES of them, that's about it.  They look serious and seem to invite me to wear them, but I cannot be duped again.

9:24 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

I like PICTURES of them, that's about it.  They look serious and seem to invite me to wear them, but I cannot be duped again.

 I've heard some good about Limmers over the years, then again I have heard alot of bad.

10:02 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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My story is not about bad fit or comfort issues or the boots becoming waterlogged and frozen chunks in the middle of a winter trip---my story is about a nearly brand new pair of Limmers disintegrating before my eyes. 

Only after seven or eight trips the white welt thread on my Limmer boots broke and the sole separated from the boot, so for a field repair I squirted in a tube of McNetts seam grip and kept on hiking. 

When I got back I called Limmer and spoke to Karl and told him about the thread and he said something like, well, we used a batch of UNWAXED thread by mistake, which thru boot movement would cause the thread to be cut.  Supposed to use waxed thread, etc. 

But the glue I squirted in voided the warranty I guess as I had to pay around a $100 to get them fixed and resoled with the proper welt thread.  And here's the kicker:  After I got them back, one of the heels pulled off a bit and became unglued.  I became unglued and went to Asolos:  Finally, a boot that lasts about two or three years of good hard backpacking and can be thrown away and replaced with another!

10:04 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

I've got my Limmers stashed away somewhere and when I see leadbelly2550's pictures they make me want to find them and put them on and walk a couple hundred yards and then take them off and cuddle up next to my Asolos.

 

Heh-heh ....

I reckon Tipi and I are some of the very, very small number of folks not enthralled with Limmers.   Of course, they weren't the custom jobs.   But, off-the-shelf, at  a pretty steep tariff makes me swallow hard.

Don't think (?) I've tried the Asolos.   I'm a happy-camper in the vintage Scarpa / Fabiano camp.

LOVE the Limmer  laces, though!

                                                   ~r2~

10:14 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Tipi- so even though they admittingly used the wrong thread(unwaxed) they still said they couldn't honor the warranty because you did what ya had to do? Thats pretty lame at best.

Then to add insult to injury they hit ya for another $100 for the repair?

Guess I just added another company to my avoid list. Its one thing if a product falls apart but if the company doesn't stand behind their product(especially after admitting a mistake on their end) and do whats right. Well.... I think ya know where I am going here.

I will put my M3s up against the off shelf Limmers anyday. I have had the everything from the LWs to the Standards in my hands and when compared to the M3s as far as construction and feel goes, well lets just say there is a reason why I bought what I bought.

Not too mention I have quite a few buddies that have owned Limmers and their stories/opinions have steered me clear of Limmer boots. I can't seem to swallow the cost on a hope considering what else is out there.

As always this is just my opinion and opinions will vary.

 

10:29 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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The unabashed, gushing over Limmers .... several years ago by the staff of "Backpacker" magazine is what piqued my interest in them, in the first place.

I'd love to get my hands on those morons (at "Backpacker").  Or, have them accompany me on a long-hike, having to wear and use the crap they recommended.

Along with JUNK  made in China, "Backpacker" magazine in on my "TO AVOID" list.

Good for kitty-litter, maybe (?).

                                                       ~r2~

11:12 a.m. on July 28, 2011 (EDT)
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What about those fancy laces with the metal tips? If i could find them, I consider it but I think they are expensive (I haven't looked). But the plastic tips are always the first to go fast for me somehow. Then trying to thread the lace back through the loop is a pain. But I don't think the fancy metal tips are made for outdoor use, well accept from parking lot to cubical.

7:45 p.m. on July 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I use para cord for replacement boot laces. It has thousands of uses including boot laces.

7:47 p.m. on July 29, 2011 (EDT)
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DrReaper said:

I use para cord for replacement boot laces. It has thousands of uses including boot laces.

 I have found that it works well for dental floss... 3mm for me.

When my original laces crap out I go with para-cord. It just lasts.

9:42 p.m. on July 29, 2011 (EDT)
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A consideration for the old-school, solid red laces users, or really anyone who wears solid-color laces: if worn in an 8+ eyelet boot, in a European country, one should be aware of the "meanings" the color of one's bootlaces can have to certain socio-political groups...now that's an interesting google search...

10:24 p.m. on July 29, 2011 (EDT)
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How 'bout "Rainbow" colored / (coloured) laces ?

                                             ~r2~

10:27 p.m. on July 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I wonder (?) if "the anointed one" uses transparent laces?

To wit:  " Let me be clear about this .... ".

Aaaaarrrrghhh ....   [ double face-palm emoticon ]

                                                 ~r2~

11:37 a.m. on July 30, 2011 (EDT)
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i have had a little bit of trouble getting the utility cord through the lower eyes on the limmer lightweights - it's a tight squeeze, and if i leave some extra on the ends when i finish/melt them, it's hard to get them through the eyes.

i like the limmer boots, and they haven't fallen apart.  far from it.  i like having boots that don't have to be thrown away every couple of years.  because these boots will outlast at least three pair of shelf boots from most other manufacturers, it more than justifies the cost for me.  also, they are good fit for my feet, so it's not like i'm trying to justify them and suffering.  both pair have hundreds of miles on them, i never blister in them, and they are as comfortable as any pair of shoes i own.  i might be hiking along the potomac river this afternoon in the lightweights.  

i'm not one of those people that feels one size fits all, or that stuff i like has to be loved by all.  just because i like them doesn't mean they are good for everyone.  some people don't like heavy boots, and they obviously are going to fit some feet better than others.  as far as Walter's story, sounds like they shouldn't have charged for the repair because someone was forced to do a quick/dirty field repair.  

as far as recommendations from magazines, the 'gear of the year' lists, you have to use your own judgment.  i figure it's interesting info that might help expand my options.  example: a couple of years ago, backpacker liked a vasque trail runner.  i found a pair on clearance, they fit my feet well enough, and i got a year or two out of them; not my favorites.  i use them for yardwork now.  this year, their review of a mid-height treksta boot led me to the same company's low trail runner, again on clearance, and the sucker fits my foot like a glove.  fabulous.  my shoe wasn't the 'gear of the year,' but i never would have known about the brand unless i had seen it in the magazine.

3:00 p.m. on July 31, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

A consideration for the old-school, solid red laces users, or really anyone who wears solid-color laces: if worn in an 8+ eyelet boot, in a European country, one should be aware of the "meanings" the color of one's bootlaces can have to certain socio-political groups...now that's an interesting google search...

pillowthread- You make a very interesting point that I have yet to consider. Any chance you can shoot me a link so I can learn a bit on this matter? Thanks.

3:30 p.m. on July 31, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

A consideration for the old-school, solid red laces users, or really anyone who wears solid-color laces: if worn in an 8+ eyelet boot, in a European country, one should be aware of the "meanings" the color of one's bootlaces can have to certain socio-political groups...now that's an interesting google search...

Back in my high school days, in the 80's, in NJ, racist skinheads and punks would wear on their Doc Martins and combat boots to symbolize a belief:

Red laces: Nazi

White laces: White Power

Yellow laces: Gay basher

I don't know if they still do it that way anymore. But it wasn't everyone. A lot of anti racist punks (like myself back in HS) would wear different colors just for the hell of it, kinda taking it back in a way. And yea, there were fights over it. Over the color of your shoe laces! Crazy times.

4:53 p.m. on July 31, 2011 (EDT)
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From my days in the Army, I have quite a stock pile of Black nylon boot laces, so when ever one of my boots original laces brake or get worn out I use those.   Now I have always use a double not to tie boots, so that was never a issue for me.  I work in construction so on any given day I probably have boots on.  I am very hard on my boots and try to only buy what is on sell. 

I have tried several high end work boots (Not hiking boots) and they did not last any longer then the cheep brands.  For me that is about 1 to 2 years of every other day use. 

Back on the laces, I remember my dad having a pair of those boots with the red flat laces (70's and 80's) that seemed to last him forever, I don't know what the brand was, but it just seems that boots are not made like they once were.  I have also never broken on of the black lases, though I did partially melt one once.  Only reason I did not melt the boot was it was a good old leather army boot, (Desert boot) got to hot to touch tough.  :)  I learned that if it is to hot to hold your hand there it's to hot for your boots. 

My current pair of hiking boots is a HI-TEC Wisdom Peak, they are what I would call a medium boot but still light, they dry fast and have held up fairly well, probably better then I would expect given the lack of care I give them.  Looking at them now, I think they need to be cleaned to re-Waterproofed.  Who knows, maybe reading what you guys post will inspire me to take better care of my equipment!  :D

Wolfman

9:10 p.m. on July 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick/Bkuti: Yeah, it's pretty much a skinhead thing, as I learned it, though various labour groups and Neo-Nazis do the laces thing too...

I started by reading wikipedia's entry on "skinhead." Without saying too much, I now have a vastly different opinion regarding skinhead culture having read that article.

A link to information about skinhead culture/dress: http://www.angelfire.com/wv2/sharp/gear.html


2:23 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Awe, I remember the Dr. Martens days of old...I never swapped the laces.. I had a few pair but never really wore for the reasons some did(pillowthread I know exactly what you are referring too.)

I thought it was a better alternative than the new Air Jordans.... Plain and simply put I liked boots...

Oh wait a sec. I still do.

2:47 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

 ... about skinhead culture/dress: http://www.angelfire.com/wv2/sharp/gear.html

 The last paragraph ... "The Crop" ....

Why I have a crew-cut.

                                                         ~r2~

12:55 a.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Just a quick idea on laces. If the ends become frayed; melt the, then use some shrink tubing(in the hardware store in electrical) on them. It works well. 

1:55 p.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Bkuti: said
"Back in my high school days, in the 80's, in NJ, racist skinheads and punks would wear on their Doc Martins and combat boots to symbolize a belief:....."

 

Rick-Pittsburgh: said
"Awe, I remember the Dr. Martens days of old...I never swapped the laces.. I had a few pair but never really wore for the reasons some did(pillowthread I know exactly what you are referring too.)

I thought it was a better alternative than the new Air Jordans.... Plain and simply put I liked boots...

Oh wait a sec. I still do."

 

You mean these guy's.  Heck, since the have welted soles one could resole them with Vibram soles and get them skinheads on the trails.  A little bit of trial time does everyone some good. ;-}>


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1:58 p.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Ahhhh the 20 eyes. Now if they were only "ox-blood red."

November 24, 2014
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