Customization and Quality Craftsmanship
At a time when disposable consumer goods dominate the market, the appeal of Nicks BuilderPro handcrafted boots is undeniable. We had the opportunity to try out these boots and experience firsthand the difference that handmade craftsmanship can make. Unlike traditional work boots that you’ll find on shelves or online retailers, Nicks boots are made to order, ensuring a personalized fit. While not completely customizable, there are numerous options to choose from.
Taking Time for Perfection
Because each pair of Nicks BuilderPro boots is handmade, it’s important to consider delivery time. Various factors, such as material availability and the amount of labor involved, influence the lead time. So, be sure to allocate enough time and exercise patience. Rest assured, though, that the end product will be worth the wait. Here are the estimated lead times as of now:
- Standard lead time: 16 – 24 weeks
- Fast Shipping and Bestsellers: 8 – 12 weeks
- Size Exchange and Boot Warranty: 3 – 5 weeks
- Boots in stock: 3 – 5 business days
Customizing Your Perfect Pair
For those seeking the most options, the BuilderPro custom configuration is the way to go. You have the opportunity to make choices that suit your preferences, such as assembly method, boot length, width, last, high, upper and lower leather color, hardware configuration, and many more.
Finding the Perfect Fit
As a size 12 1/2 wearer, I often face the dilemma of choosing between a 12 and 13 in most boot brands. However, Nicks offers sizes ranging from 3.5 to 14.5, including half sizes, covering the entire spectrum. Moreover, there’s a wide range of widths available, from AA to FFFF, so you’re not limited to just medium (D) and wide (EE) options. When I spoke with Lucas Grasberger from Nicks, he mentioned that they offer more stock options than any other brand he’s come across. I personally found the 12 1/2 medium width with regular arch to fit perfectly. It’s worth noting that Nicks suggests ordering boots half a size smaller than your usual size. If the fit isn’t quite right, you can get them replaced as long as they’re in like-new condition.
First Impressions Are Everything
When you first open your Nicks box, be prepared to be greeted by the aroma of natural leather. It’s an experience that simply can’t be beat. The moment I slipped my feet into these boots, I knew they had excellent arch support. In terms of overall foot support, I have yet to come across anything better. Plus, the leather insole is a nice touch. If, like me, you weigh over 200 lbs and are over 40, you may want to consider adding extra cushioning with an off-the-shelf insole or a custom orthotic. Trimming the long leather laces to your desired length is also recommended.
Breaking In: Worth the Effort
While most modern off-the-shelf boots require very little break-in time, Nicks’ handmade boots are different. Due to the exceptional quality of materials and craftsmanship, I spent a few weeks breaking them in. During this period, the leather gradually relaxes and molds to the shape of your foot, providing optimal comfort. The sole becomes more flexible, ensuring better movement. So, push through this initial period of adjustment—the payoff is well worth it.
The Ultimate Boots for the Job
Once you’ve passed the break-in phase, you can fully appreciate the exceptional features of Nicks BuilderPro boots. The leather used is thicker than most, weighing in at 7 – 8 ounces, nearly double the industry standard for uppers. These boots don’t contain any fiberboard, cork, or synthetic fibers. Instead, they’re made entirely of oak-tanned leather sourced from the USA. This robust construction lends longevity to the boots, while also making them slightly heavier. The heel and aggressive Vibram V-100 lug sole make these boots ideal for work environments that involve soil. However, if you primarily walk on concrete or steel surfaces, you may prefer boots with lower heels or wedges.
The style of Nicks BuilderPro boots varies depending on your selected options, but overall, they have a professional yet assertive appearance. The aggressive outsole complements the sleek upper, making them suitable for both the boardroom and the job site. Offering stability and grip, these boots will impress even the highest echelons of a construction firm.
Quality Comes at a Price
The cost of Nicks BuilderPro boots depends on the choices you make during the customization process. The specific configuration I chose amounts to $555.00, while their pre-configured top-selling version sells for $545. It’s important to note that Nicks is an American company based in Spokane, Washington, with a rich history spanning nearly 60 years. Many of their boot makers have been with the company for decades, and over 98% of the materials used are sourced from the United States, including the leather from local tanneries.
The Verdict: A Commitment to Quality
Transitioning from off-the-shelf boots to meticulously handmade ones is a significant change. But if you’re searching for a lasting relationship with your work boots rather than a fleeting affair, we highly recommend considering Nicks BuilderPro or exploring their other handmade boot options. Don’t just take our word for it—experience the difference for yourself.
Visit Nicks Handmade Boots website to learn more.