NOT ALL LEATHER IS CREATED EQUAL
Shape, sole, design - all of these are important details, but if a style isn't made from quality leather, the boot won't last long enough for these things to matter. We're about to make this really easy for you though. HELM only uses full grain, quality cuts from the hide, with a leather lining to add durability and ensure our boots are built to last.
OK, BUT WHAT IS FULL GRAIN?
You'll hear terms like full grain, top grain or corrected leather, but if you're looking for a pair to last you through the years, full grain is what you're looking for. This means the cut of the hide hasn't been sanded or buffed down to remove scars or imperfections, leaving the "grain" or character of the leather itself. Sanding removes the layer of skin below the hair, but this is the strongest and most durable. You want this layer, not only because it's resilient and enduring, but because this is the part of the hide that develops it's own unique patina and character over time - everything that sets your pair of HELM apart from other pairs of our boots out there. Each will age specific to the wearer and to the hide it was made from.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?
What some people see as "imperfections" are the best clue that you're looking at a great pair of boots. It means they haven't been buffed or thinned out, so that scar right there...that scratch that came from the cow rubbing against a fence post? Those are a great sign. Some companies will "spray" their leather to give it the look of grain, because they know what you now know. Full grain is the goal when it comes to leather boots.
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT A SCUFFED UP PAIR?
One of our favorite things to see are all the different ways HELM styles are worn. Some look like they've traveled hundreds of miles, a well-loved and well-worn pair where each mark tells a different story.
Some look as beautifully polished as they did coming out of the box, taken care of and cared for daily so they can hold onto that "new boot" look.
No matter how you wear them, each boot is unique to it's owner. How you care for them is reflected in their appearance, and if you want that "fresh from the box" presentation, we're here to help.
If you want to just give a quick polish to that marked up pair before hitting the road with them again, we can help with that too!
FOR BOOT CARE TIPS AND TRICKS
The best thing about a quality pair of boots? No matter what color leather, what toe shape, the height of the boot or whether it has a toe cap...a great pair will go with you everywhere and last you a lifetime. So while many decisions will come down to personal preference, this one shouldn't. Commit to a pair of boots that will commit to lasting through the years.
You're a boot pro now, but just in case you need a quick refresh on everything we've talked about, here are the other emails in the series!