White’s MP: Can’t Break ‘Em
The White’s MP offers truly incredible materials and unique construction in a boot that will last decades.
Price: the White’s MP costs a lot more than other burly pacific northwest boots, or the attention to detail of the New England boots.
|Weight||1,233 g / 2.72 lbs|
|Materials||Horween Leather / Rubber|
|Country of Origin||United States|
In pretty much every other review of a pair worn 100 times and 100 miles, I give a bit of a disclaimer. I say that I wear the shoes in the environment they were meant to be worn. I’m not taking a pair of penny loafers on a hike, or a pair of sneakers to a farm. What was I wearing instead? This pair of White’s MPs.
When I bought these White’s MP boots, I had every intention of wearing them when my other pairs won’t do. To be fair, they are now splitting this duty with a few other pairs, however these MPs have still seen it all.
Today, we are going to be looking at how these have held up after 100 wears and (significantly more than) 100 miles. We’ll find out if they are worth the ever-increasing price and wait time.
Wondering what the pair was like out of the box? Check out the initial impressions review right here.
Full disclosure, this pair of White’s MPs were a bit of a grail of mine. They were the first pair of boots I bought using funds from this website. If this review seems like I’m wearing rose tinted glasses – I just might be!
When it comes to the upper on this particular pair of White’s MPs, I need to start with the leather. Horween’s waxed flesh leather is really something special. In this Cinnamon color, it starts off a mid to dark brown, but as you wear them the dark tan nap begins to come through.
This feature gives the boots a patina that some might say isn’t always earned, but definitely appreciated.
One area where I was expecting a bit more change was the toe box. When I purchased this pair, I opted for the unstructured toe. I know that unstructured toes have started to fall out of favor more recently, but it still speaks to me. However, even after wearing these the toe box hasn’t really collapsed all that much.
I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised – White’s uses a real toe cap, so there are two layers of leather plus the lining there. Still, if that is a look you’re going for, consider skipping the cap toe.
Elsewhere on the upper, there isn’t anything to complain about. The stitching, which was slightly wonky on arrival, has held strong without a single stitch being any looser than it was on day one.
Even better, the boots shape has really evolved into something that looks amazing. Not that it looked bad out of the box, but it was a bit… blobby? I really struggled to take pictures at the time, because the boots looked like toddler shoes. Today that is absolutely not the case. They look amazing from every angle.
Mid- and Outsole
First the good, the outsole on this pair of White’s MP boots has been amazingly durable. In my initial review I noted that the lugs didn’t have much depth to them. I was worried that I’d wear through the rubber and need to replace it before too long.
Thankfully, that could not have been further from the truth. Even after 100 wears, there is plenty of life left. I have no doubt that you could go another 200 miles – at least – before these need a resole. In the interest of fairness to other boots reviewed here, these see dirt and gravel as often as they see concrete. If you wear yours entirely on sidewalks you might find them wearing down a bit quicker.
If there is good there has to be bad, right? Well, yeah – though I wouldn’t stress about it too much.
First, the midsole is so thick that, even with using shoe trees, the boots developed a bit of a spring toe. Or, in other words, the front of the boot curls up slightly. From a style perspective that isn’t good or bad – some people like the look, others don’t – but spring toe shapes are typically worse for your foot long term. I don’t think these boots have gotten to that point yet, but without religious use of trees yours might.
Second, the rubber is basically impossible to clean. Over on my Truman review I was just accused of being a soy-latte-drinking wimp, and saying this might not help, but the MP is White’s more stylized model. If you’re looking for a boot that “cleans up” well, this one might not be for you.
Overall, I adore the White’s MP boot. Of course, these are not and never will be dress boots. The shape, the leather – even the always dirty outsole – these are only going to work in a strictly casual space.
Personally, I wear these almost exclusively with jeans. However, I don’t think anyone would have any issue pulling them off with something like duck canvas chinos. I’ve tried wearing them with lighter fabrics, but I feel like it never looks quite right.
All that being said, I think that has a lot to do with the options I picked. If you go for the Dainite outsole and a smooth leather, you’ll probably find they might work a little bit better in those environments.
Fit & Comfort
As someone who has slightly-wider-than-average feet, I opted for a 55 last on this pair. That used to be easy to get from both Bakers and White’s, but since I placed my order, they have introduced the 5050 last. If you want a 55 lasted-pair, you still can get them, but you’ll need to do a custom order. Please be aware everything in the Fit and Comfort section is based on that 55 last.
Even on the wider 55 last, I’m glad I went with an E width. Unlike a lot of boots, most of White’s pairs run slightly narrow. This is especially true in the MP and 5050 lasts that are common on the MP today. Where most pairs I’m in-between a D and E, on these I probably could have gone with a EE and still been comfortable.
White’s also doesn’t use combination lasts, unlike most other boot and shoe companies out there. A combination last uses a wider width for the ball of the foot, and a narrower width for the heel. As the shoes break in that was less of a worry for me – particularly if I was wearing boot socks – but it is an area of potential improvement.
I got these in a size 11.5E. I wear a 12 in most boots, including Alden, and an 11.5 in Viberg. For a full list of sizing for all boots reviewed on this site, click here. If you’re unsure on sizing, Baker’s is famous for sizing people using their fit sheets.
Over time, these have become one of the most comfortable pairs of boots I own. To be clear, these are not “plush.” If you are looking for a bit of padding for walking around a city, there are better boots to pick.
Instead, these are incredibly supportive. With a high arch, and stacks of leather underfoot, these do a great job at holding your foot in place as you walk.
What does that mean in real life? Let me give you two examples from foot injuries.
In 2021, I suffered a foot injury that left me with a sore arch. Flexing my foot was incredibly painful. During that time, these were my go-to boot. They were so great I didn’t want to take them off at the end of the day because walking around my house was painful without them.
At the same time, if you step on something sharp with no shoes on, these would be unbearable for several days. There isn’t any padding.
Materials & Construction
These boots are made – without exception – of absolutely stellar materials.
Starting with the upper, the majority of the upper on this pair of White’s MPs is Horween’s Cinnamon waxed flesh. This type of leather is the rough-out side of Chromexcel, treated heavily with waxes. These waxes, along with the oils already in Chromexcel, make it very water resistant. They also wear off with time, giving that signature look.
Interestingly, White’s also uses the upper leather for their unique welt. It’s something I’ve not seen anywhere else, and is really cool in this material.
This upper leather is supported in two ways. First, around the heel, a thick cut of veg-tanned leather holds your foot in place. Around the vamp, a cowhide lining provides structure and durability. (Side note: you can get fully lined if you prefer)
Underfoot, it’s leather on leather on leather. A leather heel pad sits on top of a veg-tanned leather insole. That insole sits on a leather outsole, which is then topped off with rubber. OK, I’ll admit I skipped one line for dramatic effect. In between the insole and midsole there is an incredibly small amount of cork. Less than a millimeter. Unlike most goodyear welted shoes, this isn’t to fill a void or for comfort. Instead, White’s uses it to stop squeaking.
The boots come with leather and cotton laces, though I’ve never used the cotton option.
White’s uses one of the most unique construction styles out there. I’ll do my best to explain, but they don’t make it easy. Indeed, even White’s has trouble doing that. Since I’ve bought this boot, they’ve had no less than 4 different names for it, currently calling it their “Handsewn Stitchdown.”
The way this White’s MP boot is made is somewhere between a Stitchdown and a Handwelted construction. After the boot is lasted, a welt – or long thin piece of leather – is sewn along the edge of the upper.
The upper leather is then stretched outward over the midsole, similar to a standard Stitchdown, and the welt is pulled back to cover it. This gives the boots that classic “puffy” welt look. This entire stack – welt, upper, midsole, outsole, rubber when looking from the side – is then rapid stitched together.
As you can probably imagine, this is quite labor intensive. In fact, White’s themselves have started to move away from this, offering most of their lines in a pure-Stitchdown.
Why go through all this trouble? Well, this is just about the most durable form of construction there is. It covers the flaws in almost every other style. Stitchdown? The upper can easily be damaged where it is stitched down; this construction uses a welt to protect it. Goodyear? The gemming can fail and let in water; this construction doesn’t need one.
Further, unlike some of White’s boots, anything made this way is done entirely in Spokane, Washington. I know that some people don’t care about where a boot is made, but others care a lot.
Here is where things for the White’s MP get a bit darker. When I first got my boots, the MSRP was $569, and getting them for 25% off was easy. When they arrived, the MSRP had risen to $589.
As of writing this follow up review less than 2 years later, the MSRP for the boot just passed $700. $720 if you want a cap toe!
It is hard to blame White’s too much for this price increase. Even with the price getting higher than Snoop Dogg on a Willie Nelson tour, the wait times remain a staggering 8 months. Clearly, they can’t even keep up with demand at that price.
That being said, the new price places them way out of line with their competitors. At the time I bought these, White’s cost slightly less than other American made boots such as Nick’s or Wesco after sales.
Today, the comparable Wesco, the Hendrik, is $599.
The comparable Nicks, the Urban Drifter, is just $569!
Heck, White’s is now getting dangerously close to the 800-lb gorilla that is Viberg. A brand that manages to offer both great built quality AND clean stitching over the entire boot.
Are the White’s MP Worth It?
I adore my pair of White’s MPs. For the price I paid – around $430 – I am extremely happy with what I got. Not only are they durable, but comfortable and good looking too.
I also really appreciate their unique construction. I’ll probably never wear these hard enough to gain the benefit over other construction styles, but I appreciate the effort that goes into them.
If you could get a pair for that price today, I would recommend them with zero hesitation.
The problem is – you can’t. Since I bought these, White’s has risen their prices at a rate more than double the amount of general inflation and much more than their competitors.
As supply chain pressures ease, and build times lessen, I hope that White’s is able to fall back in line with their competitors. Once that happens – and I’m sure it will – you should pick up a pair.
Until then? Nick’s will be happy to take your money.