One day you will be tearing down a plaster and lathe ceiling, or cutting up some wood pallets in the back yard, or cleaning up a gutted bathroom, and you will bring your foot down on a two- or three-inch long nail. The metal will pierce the skin, cruise through the soft abductor hallucis muscle that forms the arch of your foot, and, if you step down hard enough, take out a tiny chip of bone from one of your metatarsal. I'll let you imagine the sound of that for a minute.
You could take the advice of a guy who's speaking from experience (I stepped off a ladder onto a nail sticking out of piece of lathe while wearing, of all things, old Ben Sherman tennis shoes), and get yourself a decent pair of work boots. Thus, the subject of today's ManMade Essential Toolbox post: GET YOURSELF SOME SOLID, COMFORTABLE WORKBOOTS!
Here's the thing - you see lots of guys walking around these days sporting Red Wings, Wolverines, Chippewas and the like. Look! There's even a blog to make fun of them/us: http://www.hipstersinworkboots.com/. Hah! I can take a joke.
And also? ManMade has covered the subject pretty well here (boots for any budget roundup). Yes! Work boots are a legitimate fashion statement, and, mocking blogs aside, I highly recommend them for that purpose.
But that's not what I'm talking about here. Today, I'm telling you, you need a pair of good, not-too-expensive-but-still-comfortable-and-protective boots that you can wear into the ground. These should never see the inside of a coffee shop, night club, or, god forbid, art gallery.
I have a pair of Duluth Trading Co. 8" Contractor's Boots that I love. At $199, they may or may not suit your definition of expensive, but I think they're a good deal (they'll last me five years ... that's $40 a year). They're super comfortable, and I like the extra ankle support I get with the 8" version.
$109-$140: Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss
For work and play:
These look like a great combination of a tough work boot, and a shoe that you could actually wear out of the house. Full grain leather and a pig skin lining, and plenty of solid reviews. This might be good for you if you're looking for more of an all-around piece of footwear.