The Caterpillar Alaska boot is a lace-to-toe design...
The Caterpillar Alaska boot is a lace-to-toe design, which allows the user to tune the fit more precisely. I can confirm that the boots do become more comfortable after wearing them for a couple of days. Quite stiff at first, the boots were noticeably more comfortable on the third day than on the first, as the leather gradually became more flexible and conformed to my feet. After a week, they felt very good, and working on concrete all day doesn't induce fatigue. My boots provide a high standard of comfort and arch support, with the insole providing some degree of cushion. Goodyear welt construction means that the boots can be resoled. The sole is a firm rubber, with very deep tread in a pattern unique to Caterpillar, so new soles should not be necessary for a very long time. The laces thread through four sets of D-rings, then around four sets of hooks bearing the CAT logo. All the hardware is riveted to the leather, and appears to be blackened (not painted) in a process similar to that used on firearms. The interior of the boot is lined with a moisture-wicking fabric, the padded tongue appears to be made of black suede. The overall workmanship appears to be flawless, with uniform, unblemished leather and perfect, evenly spaced stitching.
There is only one feature which I feel detracts slightly from these boots, and that is the padded collar around the ankle. It appears to be made of some synthetic material which resembles leather (Naugahyde? PVC? Pleather?) which reduces the overall perceived quality of the boot. These collars seem a bit incongruous with the rest of the boot, sort of like buying a Range Rover, and finding cheap vinyl seat covers. For this reason, I gave only 4 stars for "Look", 5 stars for everything else.
That said, padded collars are very common on other brands of boot as well, so it isn't as if Caterpillar is alone in this regard. I admit also that, prior to purchasing these Caterpillars, I've worn one pair of another brand boot every day for over two years, and had no problem with the synthetic material at the collar wearing out or cracking. Perhaps it is less of a quality issue, and more of a personal preference, certainly not a deal-breaker. However, I hope Caterpillar considers changing the specification of the collar to leather all the way to the top.
These Caterpillar Alaska boots look good with my work pants, and with jeans for casual wear. Walking in them reminds me somewhat of driving my old Jeep truck, in that they have a ready-for-anything-under-any-conditions sort of feeling.
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I work around concrete and stone all day...
I work around concrete and stone all day long and these boots are perfect for the conditions on the job sites. The steel toe has protected my feet from stacks of 2x4 tipping over to chunks of concrete rolling on them. The sole of the boot is thick enough to keep a nail or screw from getting to my foot if I step on one. These boots are also comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time; I work from 10 hours a day typically and they are still comfortable at the end of the day.
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