I think one aspect of boots that people forget about when it comes to comfort and fit is how they thread and lace them up. I like how the 1000 Mile Boots have a set of 3 hooks after the 4 sets of eyelets. It gives you more flexibility on how you want to tie up the laces depending on the style and feel you want. This article, "How to Lace Boots Properly," can be very useful if you are looking for different ways to lace your boots. The threading and lacing methods I refer to below can be found in that article.
The first couple of wears, I tried different techniques and settled on the traditional, "over under" method. However, I found that the spider web technique to also work well and it adds a certain look of creativity to the boot even though it isn't that hard to do. (Unlike the diamond pattern and heel lock method!)
Before threading, lacing, putting the boots on, I did condition the outsole and leather sections of the sole with Saphir Creme Cuir Gras and gave the boots a once over with a horsehair brush to polish any wax that came to the surface of the leather during storage. Since then, other than putting in the shoes trees, I have conditioned the boots fully once and polished them with, gasp, black shoe polish?!
I will explain. One thing I wasn't overly happy with was how bright the red leather was. The reason I bought the red pair was because they were on sale for 40% off on Wolverine's website, so I couldn't pass that up! My girlfriend pointed out it was the same color as Ronald McDonald's shoes! No thanks! I know that since the 1000 Mile Boot is made of highly regarded Horween Leather the color can vary from boot to boot. The pair I got happened to just be a little too red for my taste (and my lady's). My solution was to darken the boots...
So I took some of my Lincoln Stain Wax Black Shoe Polish, rubbed it in with a cloth, let the wax set, and then polished with a horsehair brush. Some of you might think I am crazy and that I did that completely wrong but hey, I can say the result was great! Depending on the lighting, they come across as having a more mahogany, patina look.
They still have a brighter red shine in certain light, especially the heel. I just feel they are more versatile now when it comes to what I can wear them with. They don't pull your eyes too much away from the rest of my outfit anymore. Like when you are wearing a nice pair of selvedge jeans and an unique belt! They do still add a little extra something to an outfit compared to your normal brown or black boots!
Before choosing the 1000 Mile Boots, I read many articles and reviews on the different boots out there, and my my, just so many! I decided on the Wolverines because of the leather they use (Horween), the Goodyear Welt, and the way they look on my feet. I wanted something that could stand up in Midwest weather but also look nicer than a pair of Doc Marten's, which have been my go to for most of my life. I also wanted a boot made in America. After all, the 1000 Mile Boots are considered heritage!
I am really enjoying these boots, especially since they are my first pair of quality shoes bought new and not second hand. They are comfortable and fit great! Time will tell if the black shoe polish was a good idea, but regardless, I plan on wearing them for a long time no matter what shade of red they end up being. Updates will come as they age!