This is Worth The Hype, where our writers and editors put popular products to the test to see if they are, in fact, worth the hype.
I have a tendency to quickly wear through footwear. Often it’s because of my extreme aversion to bringing more than one pair of shoes or boots when I travel, so I find myself in situations where what I bought isn’t the right match — suede Chelsea boots through a field of hole-poking agave, for example. But there is one boot that has quickly proven to handle it all: the Rhodes Footwear Portland Boot from Huckberry.
Huckberry has no shortage of boots. The Tracker Boots are versatile and durable enough for fair weather hikes, while the Boulder Boots are about as indestructible as you can get when it comes to lightweight footwear. Portland Boots may be more rigid than those two, but they can handle it all just as well while looking sharp enough to not look out of place at a cocktail bar.
Men’s boot styles often fall into one of three categories: workwear, style, or everyday wet-weather hiking. Portland Boots fall into that rare and happy medium between duck boots, Chelsea boots, and full-on construction gear.
A boot like this is typically reserved for the colder months. And to be fair, that’s when these will get the most use. Colorado has taught me to embrace winter weeks that start out at 65 and sunny and end with eight inches of snow, though, and these are the best boots I’ve found equally adept at handling Mother Nature’s swings from start to finish.
In short, the Portland Boots check all of the boxes of a solid everyday boot: style, durability, foot and ankle support, and, some might argue most importantly, they’re comfortable enough to wear all day without feeling like you need to get off your feet. And when you do need to slip them off for a bit, the fit is just right and the speed hooks keep you from being the last person at the house party trying to leave your shoes at the door.
Plus, they only get better with time. My first outings in the boots garnered more attention than my normal footwear choices. I figured that would end after a few weeks of wear when the shine wore off and the scuffs piled on. But there’s nothing like a patina on the right material. The waxed full grain leather gets character with every scrape from the rocks inevitably hiding under the deep snow Denver never seems to shovel off its sidewalks and pathways. They’ve even grown more beautiful after encounters with deicing salt, the bane of ice and every other material that is unfortunate enough to feel its corrosive power.
Take care of them without fussing over them (and appropriately cleaning and waterproofing when needed), and it’s hard to find a better boot for the price. Even better: at the time of writing, they’re 25 percent off, bringing the usual $250 price tag down to $187.
Specs: Rhodes Footwear Portland Boot
- Alfamex Eagle waxed full grain leather uppers with water resistance
- Vibram 430 outsole
- Resoleable Goodyear storm-welt sole
- Soft and pliable leather lining
- Leather stacked heel