Brown and black work boots will only get you so far, and after a few years of such a simple rotation, chances are you'll be a bit tired of the same 2 shades of leather on your feet every day. Spicing up your boot arsenal doesn't require a full-on spray-paint job on your favorite pair of moc-toes, but having a discerning eye will reveal some great options to break you out of the brown and black boot rut, like the picks below.
Ever wanted to create your very own unique shade of leather that will never be duplicated? Then natural leather boots are for you. Also called vegetable-tanned in some circles, this unfinished look is great on a new pair of boots, but really comes to life after a few weeks of wear when your own patina can show through, complete with all the nicks, wear, and tear that you encounter on a daily basis.
This type of leather is specially tanned to yield a deep burgundy brown shade that's instantly recognizable, and only gets better with age. The secret to this awesome shade is the chrome tanning process that uses a specific brew of tanning solution to perfect the coloration. The chrome tanning process involves several chemical reactions between the collagen in the leather and the chromium compounds in the tanning solution, the most important of which actually expands the hide by increasing the spacing between individual protein molecules. The pull-up on this leather gives you a sort of blank canvas, since every nick and bit of wear shows through as you wear your boots.
This one might be a bit more off the beaten path than the previous options, but olive and similar green boots certainly have their place in closets around the world. For one, olive boots are a great way to make your footwear the showpiece of your outfit. Olive boots hearken back to the days of vintage military apparel, and this color is easy to wear but rarely seen in leather boots. Another bonus is that if you do a lot of work in forests or even cutting your lawn, your boots won't become stained and ugly, but instead will obtain a unique patina that's not seen on more traditional colors of leather.
These shades of leather should be thought of as your expansion pack of boots. Once you have a comfortable, go-to pair of brown and black boots, then exploring more "out there" shades becomes a fun possibility that's sure to turn some heads on the job site or just walking down the street.