Re: Software testing? [Boot buying Policy subclause] :)
Answer to your question is NO !!!
This is not because the sole on the cheap pair would not last (Accidental pun) but that the rest of the boot would not.
I have proven this after trying the 'Cheap boot' idea myself, and found that the soles tend to be very similar in wear rate BUT the cheap boot structure tends to fall apart.
The material that makes up the upper part of the boot will be too thin and crease with use that then leads to cracks/holes/leaks.
I have thrown away multiple boots that had years of wear left in the soles but cracking and leaking uppers.
Buy good leather boots that can take the wear and that have quality leather that does not crease/crack.
Regularly treat the boots to a good clean and an intensive re-wax/re-proof.
Use Saddle soap to clean the leather (that you can buy quite cheaply in large tubs).
Do not fast dry the boots near radiators or fires as this will encourage cracking.
Most specialist proofing materials are not much better than the use of a good old fashioned Wax or Dubbin.
Just remember to use plenty of Wax/Dubbin, the more the merrier, until the leather has been fully saturated.
Old trick is to use the back of a heated spoon to apply or the modern version is to use a Hairdryer to melt the Wax/Dubbin into the leather. Care needs to be taken to NOT overheat/dry-out the leather when doing this. You will see the heated leather 'soak up' the liquid Wax/Dubbin.
Fully saturated leather should shrug off external running water and NOT suffer from water staining if you have been standing in water for some time. Obviously, the application of Wax/Dubbin will change the colour of the leather, which should not be a surprise.
All learnt the hard way over 20 years walking dogs through everything from Grass/mud to Sand & Salt-Water. Always favoured Synthetic boots for lightness and supposed material durability BUT discovered that old fashioned Leather & Wax wins in the real world. !!!