About the Author: John B. is a retired US Army tank officer, husband, and father living in Northern Virginia. When he’s not spending time with his family, he enjoys traditional archery, mountain biking, canoeing and the occasional pour of nice bourbon. If you spend anytime on Threads, you would know him as TankerJohn.
I love boots. White’s Perry moc toe boots are great boots! There you go – that’s the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front). If you want to follow me down the rabbit hole, here’s a few more details…
Good on the streets, pretty good in the woods.
Non-stock rawhide laces, and broke in quick.
The Brand: White’s Boots
The original “PNW” – Pacific Northwest – bootmaker, White’s started before the Civil War in Virginia and moved to Spokane, Washington at the beginning of the 20th Century. In 2014, LaCrosse Footwear, itself a subsidiary of the Japanese company ABC Mart, bought White’s. It’s kind of a bummer that White’s is not family-owned anymore, but they are still making boots in the same factory in Spokane, the same way as they always have. White’s is most famous for their logger and firefighter boots. In fact, that was pretty much all they made until a few years ago when they followed Red Wing into the “lifestyle” or “heritage” boot market. A year ago, White’s introduced the Perry as their first boot under $300. Now they have two – the Perry and the Millwood, which is essentially the same boot but with a round toe.
Ordering and Unboxing
White’s has an excellent website and ordering was very straight forward. I received confirmation of the order and shipping updates via email. The boots were in my hands in less than two weeks. The box was sturdy, but simple, with the coolest packing paper I’ve ever seen, covered with great illustrations of smokejumpers, loggers, and linesmen. The included nylon laces are perfectly serviceable and add a nice contrasting pop against the dark brown upper. Nevertheless, I opted to switch them out for rawhide laces to add a little rugged flair.
Vibram Cristy outsole good for quieter trapsing through the woods.
These boots are solid. The uppers are crafted from very thick oil-tanned leather from the Seidel tannery. Quad and triple stitching all over. Leather and cork insole with a steel shank. Resoleable Goodyear welt. Vibram Cristy outsole. The tongue is half-gusseted, a good compromise between weatherproofing and comfort.
Beefy materials. Smart design. Few compromises. Made in the USA.
There are two areas where White’s uses man-made material instead of leather to control the cost – the heel counter (heavyduty cardboard) and the midsole (rubber). For the heel counter, apparently, White’s uses this cardboard in their fire boots without issue and, anyway, it’s sandwiched between two generous hunks of full-grain. I’m not particularly worried about it. The rubber midsole is par for the course at this price range and is also used by Red Wing and others. You’ve got to step up to the $500 price point to get all-leather everything in this style of boots. With these on my feet now, I feel they are a solid value for the $290 MSRP and a steal for the sale price I paid.
Solid, hand crafted boots with heavy duty stitching.
Size and Fit
I’m a 11.5 E on the Brannock, and I got an 11E. I traced and measured my feet, following the sizing guidance on White’s website. Even with my orthotics, the boots feel roomy when I first put them on, but once I’ve been walking around a while, my feet expand and they’re fine. Still, I get a little hypochondrial about the fit – “Is it slipping too much? Should I have gotten the 10.5 instead?” If I were doing it again – and I do hope to order more White’s boots in the future – I would call someone at White’s and discuss fitting in person, just to have a little more confidence in the fit since I can’t try them on in person. As it is, I can live with it.
You might consider sizing down, or be prepared to swap them for a different size.
I’ve been wearing these as much as I can. The boots broke in quickly and are very comfortable. I like to be outdoors, working around my property and running around nearby woods. But I also work in the city and spend plenty of time in built environments. The Cristy outsole is quite bouncy and cushy on the hard surfaces of the urban jungle. In the woods, the Cristy sacrifices some traction, but doesn’t pack up with mud and is quieter than clunky lugged soles. In fact, many bowhunters who hunt on the ground and rely on stealth prefer this type of boot over traditional heavy lugged boots. The Cristy sole is proportional to the boot’s large toebox and overall beefy aesthetic. That makes the Perry good looking in a chunky workboot sort of way that fits right in with my jeans and flannels Americana style. As my office has become more casual in the post-Covid times, I’ll be able to wear them to work quite a lot.
Perhaps not optimal for actual firefighting, but totally appropriate for putting out fires in a casual office setting.
I was thinking about the Perry’s fire fighting progeny. In my office, we sometimes say “putting out fires” to mean rapid problem solving. So while the Perry might not be optimized for real wildfire work, they happen to be quite adept at my sort of “firefighting”, which is to say they enhance my ability to do my job because I look good and feel good.
I would recommend these to anyone looking for a heritage-style boot that can take a good deal of abuse. As a pure workboot, these are an alternative to the Red Wing moc toe and could handle most any job that doesn’t require safety toes or a lugged sole. (White’s even makes an 8” version that might be better for actual work than the 6” model I have). For a guy like me – an office worker who likes to run around and get dirty on the weekend – they’ll handle anything I’ll throw at them and look good doing it. So there you go, one guy’s opinion on the White’s Perry Moc Toe boot.
Some of the best boots to sip bourbon in.