Purchasing a $500 pair of boots showed me why it's worth investing in quality

Alden Boot 0829Business Insider/Sarah JacobsA better way to look at a purchase like this is as an investment.

When I decided to go out and purchase a pair of high-quality boots that retail for $500, every single person I told had the same response: “Uh, are you crazy? That’s so much money for a pair of boots!”

And, yes, I admit, that is a lot of money. Unfortunately, that’s just how much good leather footwear costs. And quality clothing isn’t just about aesthetics — it’s a practical thing.

I did my research and made sure that the purchase would pay off.

The reality is that high-quality, long-lasting footwear like these Alden Indy boots will last longer than a pair of boots in a lower price category.

A better way to look at purchasing quality clothing like this is as an investment — an investment in your future. And as with any investment, you’re going to be looking for a return. What these boots return is longevity: two decades (at least, according to the manufacturer) of happy, healthy feet.

Look at it this way: the boots are $500, but with proper care, they can last about 20 years even with regular wear. Compare that to a $50 pair of boots that will last, say, only one year with regular wear before they start looking pretty ratty.

If I wanted to wear the same $50 boots for 20 years, I would need to spend double the price of the Aldens, or about $1,000. I’ll take that deal. (Hopefully, a $50 pair of boots lasts longer than just a year, but I’m just trying to make a point.)

There’s also the aspect of sentimentality. If taken care of properly with regular resoling, I’ll still be wearing these boots 20 years down the road. Think of the memories we’ll share together over those two decades and the unique wear and tear they will accumulate. In every sense, they will be “my boots” with the nicks and scratches I put there, instead of something mass-produced and inauthentic.

This kind of buying attitude doesn’t just work for boots. It can be applied to coats, shirts, sweat clothing, suits, formal wear, sneakers, bags — really any aspect of clothing where you need something to last for a good long while. Filson in particular has built a reputation on its rugged-as-hell duffle bags and briefcases that are incredibly popular and will last forever.

Of course, this investing in longevity does come with a potential downside. If you no longer like the look or colour of a piece of clothing, it doesn’t matter how long it will last — you’re not going to wear it anymore. (That’s when you sell it on Ebay, where the used clothing market for items with a reputation is enormous.)

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