A few weeks ago, we introduced you to the idea of the ultimate Copa vs Premier comparison and began testing the two classic boots. Then, we threw both boots into the ring and watched them duke it out for Round 1. After the Premier emerged on top from the first round, we enter into the second round which is comprised entirely of the break-in for both boots (and we will also talk about sizing). Considering the kangaroo leather that both boots use, I definitely expected to be able to use both boots very quickly and with little break-in. Read on to see which boot had the better break-in.
Although it would not be too fair for this category to factor too heavily into our “bout,” the sizing for both boots are extremely different and you should be very aware of that before snagging a pair for yourself. In most boots on the market today, I wear a 10.5 comfortably and have even been known to sneak down into a 10 for some leather boots. However, the Premier fits a bit tight and required that I go up a half-size to an 11. With the stretch of the leather, I still would advise getting a half-size larger when snagging a Premier. With the Copa, I had to drop down a full-size to a 9.5! Some people will even tell you to drop a size and a half with the boot! Keep that in mind before you order your own…
Premier: Up a half size
Copa: Down a full size
The fighters circle each other, looking for an opening.
As mentioned earlier, the kangaroo leather and quality of the leather on these boots made me think that the break-in would be quick. Although the comfort of both boots becomes apparent very quickly, the leather on the Copa takes some time to form that perfect shape and the Premier does take a run-out or two for the same effect. When I break-in boots, I lace them incredibly tight so to get the boot to form to my foot as quickly as possible. The Premier had some slight tightness where the toe-box meets the midfoot, but the boot always felt snug and you could tell the moment that it started to loosen up that it was going to be a smooth ride. The Copa actually felt loose in the midfoot to the point where I would wrap the laces around the boot to try and get it to fit a bit tighter in that area.
After a few sessions, the leather on both boots starts to form to your foot and provide a great fit. The leather on the Copa definitely stretches more than the Premier so getting the right size will be incredibly important if you decide to go with the Copa. While the Copa does take a slight bit longer for the perfect fit, both boots perform admirably in this aspect.
Copa: 3/4 Practice sessions for break-in. Little/No Pain. Loose midfoot to begin.
Premier: 2/3 Practice sessions for break-in. Little/No Pain. Tight toe-box to begin.
Both boots have a solid finish to the round, no clear winner here.
After Round 2, the Premier still sits a bit above the Copa thanks to a rousing Round 1 success. However, in this round, we found that both boots provide a fantastic fit and will have a relatively easy break-in for anyone willing to snag a pair. Although it is of little consequence, the sizing for both boots is odd and I really do wish all boot companies and boots would try to get their sizing as similar as possible to avoid a headache for potential buyers. I can’t imagine having to order/return a boot multiple times before getting the right fit, so hopefully this comparison will help you avoid that.
With the Premier is still leading on most judges’ scorecards, what are your thoughts on these aspects of the two boots? How would you score Round 2?