Men don’t have a lot of rites of passage. We finish school, we get jobs, maybe we wear a suit, maybe we don’t. We’re told that adulthood starts at 18 or 21, but the older we get the more we realize that isn’t true. Maturity comes slower than that and while this may sound silly, I think one of the marks of manhood is the first time you pay top dollar for a pair of quality, durable, head-turning boots.
I was well into my career as a journalist in New York City before I finally realized that grown men don’t walk around town in sneakers and, when it’s a little rainy, rubber galoshes. That the first item of clothing a date looks at is your shoes. That there are a lot of subtle differences between boys and men but a well put together outfit with a sturdy pair of boots is one of the clearest signs that a guy cares how he is perceived by the world.
I spent weeks researching my first pair, scouring Reddit and message boards and seemingly-paid-for magazine articles. But what I wanted was an authority, a resource where I could read the most in-depth reviews and stories about boots, a place that explored not only the manufacturing and the welting but also the culture and philosophy behind the boot. What makes one pair different to another? What’s the story behind them? I don’t just want to know what they’re made from, I want to know what made them.
Many years and endless new pairs later, I still couldn’t find the kind of content I wanted to read. That’s why I made Stridewise.
Boys buy cheap and men invest in quality. This site is where I focus on what I believe to be the item of clothing that separates the two.