How To Winterize Your Boots and Save Your Leather



The fall is coming to a close and you either have your boots of choice for the cold, wet season ahead or you need to go cop a pair to keep those toes warm. Let me help you learn how to care for them and what to look for when buying boots. After all, these boots should not be a one and done kind of piece in your wardrobe. 


You want to stay grounded when you're navigating the slippery slush and icy sidewalks. And hard-wearing, rubber soled styles like Red Wing work boots or Merrell hikers will provide the necessary traction.


Water, salt and de-icers will deteriorate even the toughest leathers. Treat your pair with a protector. Some camps advocate sprays like Kiwi's Super Protector, because they blend into the leather without altering the color. Others swear by more natural products like mink oil or Sno-Seal, a beeswax-based waterproofer that allows the leather to breathe.


Boots are (or should be) a bit roomy for a reason. You'll likely be wearing thicker socks, such as a pair of ragg wool or camp socks, that not only add some cushion but keep you warm. And okay, they look cool too.

Belmont Barber Pt. II

It has been quite a while since my last post. However, time has passed and I feel it is necessary to provide a little more insight to my ventures at this wonderful local Chicago barbershop. Completing all of my other projects, I was finally able to put the final edits to my second photo trip to Belmont Barbershop. The second trip was an evolution for Elevated Adventurer as Tom Phillips abandoned his model job and be a guest photographer, while I got my hair cut.  Since my last post, Tom has become an advocate for the barbershop and a loyal customer to Isaac. I am also excited to announce that I actually will be introducing my roommate, the indecisive Taylor,  next week to the Belmont Barbershop experience and probably create another loyal customer. He does not know that I will have my camera in hand ready to go (until he reads this article of course). Without further ado here are a few more shots into the experience of Belmont Barbershop:

Belmont Barber Pt. II Preview

With the Holidays coming up and travels to NYC and LA in the near future, my need to keep my hair looking sharp has gone up. For that reason, I have booked a number of appointments with my barber, Isaac Holmes, at Belmont Barbershop and will get to have a few more additions to my Belmont Barbershop Series. To give a little teaser to the ongoing project, here are a few of my favorite shots, some sot by my friend and fellow contributor, Tom Phillips.

Aether SF

One of my favorite outdoor apparel brands, Aether, opened up their first retail store in San Francisco on the popular Hayes Street earlier this year. The reason for founders, Jonah Smith and Palmer West, to start Aether sums up how I feel about outdoor gear in the city: "As outdoor enthusiasts who live in the city, we found our shopping options to be extremely limited. We could either go with a flashy performance-driven brand and feel out-of-place in the city, or, go with a design-oriented label and sacrifice outdoor functionality." Being an Outdoor Enthusiast that lives in a large metropolitan city, Chicago, you could say that Aether is the right brand for me. As I was traveling to Santa Cruz for Thanksgiving, I felt it necessary to stop by and get to see the store before I left San Francisco.  Made from three shipping containers and a belt-driven "dry-cleaner" style conveyor system, the AetherSF shop truly emulates the brand's aesthetic, modern design with performance-driven functionality. Not only is the building spectacular and well designed, but the staff at the store are amazing. I got to speak with the lovely Francesca, see photos, and we decided that the Nimbus and Highline were the perfect jackets for someone, me, living in Chicago. If you are ever in San Francisco, head over and say hi! Hopefully you will get to meet Francesca and then get a scoop of liquid nitrogen ice cream from Smitten Ice Cream

This post is not sponsored by Aether and represents my thoughts and opinions towards the brand.

Santa Cruz

This past Thanksgiving, I headed to visit the family out in Santa Cruz. Being right near the beach I had no other option than go out and enjoy the weather, while capturing the surfers rip through some California swells. Enjoy!

The Belmont Barbershop

The other week, my friend Tom told me that he was looking to find a new place to get a haircut and wanted to find a place that the barber/stylist knew what they were doing. Without hesitating I suggested he book an appointment with my barber, Isaac, at Belmont Barbershop. In the previous post, I gave a little sneak peek to the roll of film that I shot. Today, I present you with the unedited roll from that Saturday where I felt like a dad taking his son, Tom (he isn't my actual son), to his first haircut. I want to thank Josh Cooley, Isaac Holmes, Jose and the rest of The Belmont Barbershop crew for letting me document a bit of the life that goes down on an early saturday morning at the shop.  Also, congrats to the crew for being rated one of the Coolest Small Businesses in Chicago by Business Insider!

The Belmont Barbershop Sneak Peek

Recently, I ventured over to my favorite local barbershop, Belmont Barbershop, to get a cut from my barber, Isaac Holmes, and introduce my friend Tom to the world of Belmont Barber. Taking my Canon 6D with me, I documented Tom's first cut at BB and let's just say we got some great photos. Tomorrow I will post the whole roll of the photos, but for now I will give you a sneak peek with a few photos from the shoot: