We get a lot of questions along the lines of, "Why are Chisos boots are so damn comfortable?"
A fair question, and we're happy to share a little of the journey that produced Chisos. Nobody has created boots like the Chisos line before. From the shape to the unique material combination, to restructuring the entire vamp to accommodate the extra cushioning, it was no small task.
Removable Comfort Insole
The difference becomes evident the moment you pull on a pair of Chisos for the first time: the leather-topped triple-density Chisos removable comfort insole. A considerable amount of time and effort went into restructuring a handcrafted boot so that it’s comfortable enough to wear all day on hard surfaces. This is not just a tennis shoe format with a boot upper. It’s a new approach altogether.
The photo above shows the Chisos insole side-by-side a normal insole used in most cowboy boots. From top-down, the layers are:
- Premium leather - We line the entire interior of our boots with premium, ultra soft leather
- Two layers of semi-organic polymer - For arch support and all-day rebound
- Impact-dissipating gel (not pictured) - Underneath at the heel and ball of the foot
What is a polymer and why layer it? Polymers are simple materials bonded at the molecular level. The polymers in our insole provide general support and cushioning for the whole foot, forming the majority of the density. We layer two different types in order to provide better support for standing as well as walking.
The top layer was selected after months of testing various materials by walking all day, riding, and even standing at trade shows. This layer creates a unique cradle that matches the shape of your foot and toes. This cradle reduces foot fatigue from your feet adjusting to maintain balance.
The insole will settle a bit after you wear it for a week, molding to you. However our polymers won't collapse, even after months of marathon use. Memory foam, commonly used across the industry, loses its rebound after an hour or so of direct pressure and falls flat. So we don’t use it. Instead we worked hard to find the right balance of keeping support and yet giving that cradle form to your foot.
When combined with the leather surface, the Chisos insole is both resilient and adaptable to your form.
Stacked leather heels are some of the most durable ever designed. But they have a flaw: they channel the strike impact from walking right up through your heel into your knees and back. This is where the polymers get a little help from their friend: energy-dissipating gel. This gel takes those impact strikes and absorbs some of it and dissipates the rest into the polymers. The result is a soft landing for your heel and a pleasant boot walking experience.
The gel is injected into the surrounding material with about a half inch protrusion sandwiched between the host polymer holding it in place. This and the direct bonding of the gel to the polymer ensure the insole can withstand the abuse we often exert on our boots. We also hid some Texas shapes on the bottom of the insole should you ever remove it. (It's the little things in life, y’all.)
And it's all topped with leather, so the surface looks and feels like you expect.
Chisos Heritage Leathers
Breaking in a pair of boots has given even the most hardened cowboys some serious blisters to contend with. It’s a big reason many folks dread acquiring a new pair of boots and also a major reason the used boot business keeps on doing so well. We wanted to make a pair of boots that felt as soft as an old leather glove the first time you wore them, no blisters necessary.
Our Chisos heritage leathers are the result and are a particular point of pride. More durable than calfskin, they are softer as well, thanks to our proprietary post tanning process. Without revealing too much, we simulate years of walking, thereby delivering a boot to you that feels already broken-in. We know the farms the hides come from, we handpick the hides and work with the tannery on getting the handfeel as we like, then we run them through our own unique process.
Our leathers come from retired dairy cows. Cowhide, not calfskin. Traditionally the softest and most premium leathers were harvested from juvenile cows, aka calves. Due to the methods utilized, that wasn’t something we were willing to do. The dairy cows are eventually used in the meat industry for secondary products, and that’s when we show up. Rather than creating demand, we aim for sustainability by using hides others might overlook.
It required a little creative thinking, but we believe the Chisos heritage leathers are superior in every way. Our leathers are more durable than calfskin. And they’re incredibly soft and pliable.
The Chisos heritage black has an incredible speckle texture to it. This leather is the softest in the collection, mimicking the feel of favorite old leather glove. The softness is striking The brown is a brush-off—they start out almost black—so that scuffs are hidden. The boots patina to your use and become a record of your journeys.
We use heritage leathers on both the exterior and the interior—unheard of to use premium leather as a lining. The result is spectacular.
Boots Unlike Anything Else
We know we're biased, but Chisos aren’t boots as usual. We threw ourselves into understanding how boots are constructed and where improvements could be made, from our own observations and the requests of others. There are dozens and dozens of decisions that add up to the whole experience that is a pair of Chisos boots. They’re built to last, and be damn comfortable while they do.
The best judge, of course, is your own experience. We are confident that when you pull on your first pair of Chisos, you’ll understand why we're so excited about them.