Polar vortex boots

January 22, 2014 • 7:46 am

The slush and salt have finally abated enough that I can wear boots without fear of ruining them. But I wear tough pairs: no gator or other delicate hides.

These are by R. J. Foley, one of the few East-coast bootmakers, who made some really nice boots in Maine, but appears to have gone out of business. I have been unable to find anything about Foley or his business online. I did discover, by Googling, that Foley boots were the choice of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, a mob boss and murderer who was recently apprehended.

Guess the hide, which is the same one on vamps and shafts (rare):


33 thoughts on “Polar vortex boots

  1. The current Chicago weather is not as bad as the polar vortex effect that we experienced while Jerry was off gallivanting in the balmy climes of Poland. Not sure if any cowboy boots would have stood up to that.

  2. I have a pair of Ariat boots very well suited for this weather. They are 12 inch high pull-on boots with a fairly round toe (W or U shape) and are insulated, waterproof, and have steel toes. I am ready for the Second Coming should it take place in winter.

      1. North America has it own bison which are sometimes called buffalo. In addition to the ones in National Parks, they’re also raised as livestock.

  3. If they’re Bulger’s Boots, then they’re most likely made of snitch — though DA, judge, and juror are all (statistically) remote possibilities as well.


  4. This isn’t about boots but it is about gangsters. My father, interestingly, used to be a messenger boy for Al Capone. The way he told it, he was given letters or papers to deliver, and he was paid “two bits” for this, a pretty good wage for a nine year old boy in the early 1920s. Similarly, I had the odd opportunity to meet Markus Wolf, the director of the East Berlin Stasi. All I got was coffee in a ritzy hotel, but that was probably as expensive as a month’s rent in Capone’s time.

    1. Great…the one time my instinctive response (“Hell if I know!”) would have been right, and I don’t run with it.


      I swear, if it weren’t for that whole comfortable-middle-class-existence-in-a-wealthy-nation thing, I’d be one of the unluckiest people ever.


    1. Actually, the trade in elephant leather isn’t a threat to the conservation of elephants the way the ivory trade is. Elephant leather comes from legally killed animals and legitimate processing facilities. Poachers aren’t interested in the hide of an animal and couldn’t skin one or process the hide anyhow.

      Trade in leather is allowed under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)for commercial or non-commercial purposes from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and for non-commercial purposes from Zimbabwe. Exports from these countries still require a CITES export permit which can only be issued if the country management authority has verified the trade is sustainable and legal.

      Of course, countries can still choose to prohibit trade in elephant leather through domestic legislation.

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