Now is the time for all good people who buy boots, second hand, to learn what to read, and what to ask of an online seller.
I love vintage...boots. Thank you Some Lady for shopping at Nordstrom or JCPenney's in the 70s and 80s and spending big bucks to buy boots, and thanks for getting bored or allowing your feet to grow, and deciding to sell them to Me !
2 names I see all the time as "vintage boots"....that are not....Steve Madden didn't start making shoes using his name until 1990, and didn't go international until a few years later, so it's pretty unlikely what you see for sale second-hand is really vintage......it just looks vintage. Also, Wild Pair, cute fer sure, but that company started in Australia in 1994, so not vintage yet. Old, but not vintage, so don't pay a premium price and get duped.
If you buy vintage boots, pay special attention to the lining condition. If the brand is Connie or Joyce, there is a very good chance the glue that was used in the 60s - 80s to attach the nylon knit to the inside is sticky, flaky and breaking down. It's toxic. Sadly, toss those boots in the garbage. Period. Don't buy them....don't wear them....don't sell them.
This can happen with any brand that uses glues...those 2 brands seem to be the most prone. Not every pair of Joyce or Connie, of course, and I have a pair of sticky-lined Zodiac tall cowboy boots with feathers that I'm gonna deconstruct and clean-up and install eyelets, so I can save them.
The heel caps may be worn out and they can be replaced at a real cobbler shop, for around 15.00 a pair. Call around to ask about quality of the replacement caps and price. Ask them about a return policy too. I've had some replaced that fell apart the very same day I retrieved them from the cobbler....boy I was a mad little elf ! They got a piece of my mind, but none of my return business.
My faves to find and sell are either unlined, or lined and from Italy. Yugoslavia, Canada, and Brazil make a good boot, and like I said, there are plenty of other brands that do hold up over time. Most boots made in the uS are quality....most vintage cowboy boots are great....as are Frye, Dingo, Dexter, 9West, Zodiac (most of the time), Aigner,....oooh there is nothing like a silky leather lined pair of Italian boots. It's a case of Buyer Beware, so ask a seller some questions before you hit that Buy button.