Author Topic: Don't Buy Cheap Leather Belt's, Shoe's Or Boots  (Read 386 times)

smallengineshop

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Don't Buy Cheap Leather Belt's, Shoe's Or Boots
« on: November 30, 2021, 08:15:01 PM »
We all know leather clothing is popular among bikers or motorcyclists because it's rugged and last a long time, but beware of cheap clothing that claims to be made from leather.

I got suckered into buying a good looking leather belt from Walmart. It was advertised as 'leather' and I thought it was a solid, one piece of leather like any other quality belt. The belt was made in China like so many other Walmart products and sold through the Wrangler brand. It was a nice looking black belt with a nice buckle that color matched the belt perfectly. It even included a key ring if I remember right and that probably should have triggered a red flag. It was priced around $12 dollars and I bought it.

No more than 1 year later the belt was falling apart. The outer layer separated from the core at different areas of the belt. You could see the belt construction and the inner material. The leather core looked odd like it was made from cork sheet. I found out later that it was made from small leather pieces that were compressed and glued together in much the same way particle board is constructed. It was technically a leather belt, but not something you want for clothing. At that point I decided I would never again buy another cheap belt.

One option you have for belts is to make your own. You'll spend a little more, but it's a fun, easy project and you end up with a quality leather product that will last for years. Leather belt blanks are sold online or at your local leather crafting store if your lucky enough to have one. Some leather belt blanks already have snaps added for a belt buckle. At the most, you'll need to add snaps, cut a groove and punch holes needed for the buckle, then cut to length, shape the end and stain it. You'll need tools and supply's to finish the project, but I think it's worth it. You end up with a leather belt that will last years and tools and supply's to use on other projects.

I've had the same problem with cheap shoes falling apart. They look and feel great when new, but soon fall apart after a little use. There is no cheap substitute for a leather boot or shoe made from high quality leather and a quality sole. The cheap shoes have man made uppers or a combination of leather and man made materials. A sure sign of low end quality is price, and a rubber sole with fake stitching around the top to make it look like it's a goodyear welt. It's easy to identify real stitching and fake stitching made from a rubber mold.

If you see a new leather shoe or boot that's priced under $100 beware of it's quality. I'm not a shoe expert, but I have owned a few good quality shoes and boots that lasted for years. Red Wing boots are manufactured in USA and use high quality construction with all leather uppers and a legit goodyear welted sole. These boots will last for decades and the sole and heels can be replaced when worn out. Expect to pay around $350 for new Red Wing boots.

Another good brand of shoe I've owned was sold under the name Havana Joe. The shoe is actually a Panama Jack shoe that was renamed for copyright reasons to sale in USA. The shoe is manufactured in Spain. The Havana Joe name was discontinued years ago, but you can still get the exact same shoe under the name Panama Jack. It's an all leather shoe with a rubber sole, but I believe it does use a goodyear welt construction. This shoe/boot is rugged and lasted for years. The Panama Jack shoe is priced around $140

Check YouTube for other brands that make good quality leather boots and shoes.

Another option for leather shoes and boots is to buy used. You can find high end leather shoes and boots with worn out soles online for only a few dollars. Most high end shoes and boots can be rebuilt with new soles and heels. Hiring a cobbler to do the work is an option, or do it yourself. Doing it yourself might set you back a little, but worth it in my opinion. Rebuilding a pair of boots or shoes is a future project of mine.`


Red Wing Iron Ranger leather boots with DIY leather belt and 2 different style belt buckles.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 05:23:45 PM by adminjoe »
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