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Even though those '67 505s are not made in the US, I personally think they are worth that current $144 sale price, but I wouldn't want to pay any more than that.
They are a little on the light side, but they still have a good hefty feel with that Levi's 14oz sanforized denim, which is actually a bit heavier than their regular 501 STF denim after soaking.
And I do really like my zip-fly jeans. :-D If I didn't already have a pair of the LVC '54 501 with a zip fly, I would consider buying myself a pair of those '67 505s at that price.
But that price does make their regular 517s with a similar, but non-selvedge, 14oz denim look like a really good bargain since they are available for $28 right now on Amazon.
One other jeans model you might be interested in is the Canadian-made Naked and Famous 15oz Dirty Fade Selvedge in the Strong Guy fit, though it might be looser-fitting all over than you want.
You can still get basically the original 517s at this link ("Rigid" equals raw denim). So there is not really any reason to search for a repro, unless you really want selvedge. For a selvedge non-repro, Samurai has a Geisha bootcut GA0512LXX made with selvedge.
The longest lasting Levi's, and also the biggest bang-for-the-buck, are their non-selvedge 14oz 517 model in the "Rigid" (raw denim) colorway is:
The Levi's 517 Bootcut are a bit heavier at about 14oz compared to the 501 post-soak weight of about 13oz. And the 517 leg opening is just a touch bigger than the 501s.
And actually many 21oz denims won't last as long as the 501 denim, because the thicker denim gets stressed more by the honeycomb creases and starts to tear prematurely more easily there.
The optimal denim for longevity would probably be a smooth (non-slubby) 15oz-18oz denim.
>> ...all levis that are not Shrink-to-fit are already washed...
Slight correction...all Levi's 501s which are not Shrink-to-Fit and are not LVC "Rigid" (which are unwashed unsanforized even though they are not labeled as "STF"), that is the rest of the 501s which are made with sanforized denims, are indeed already prewashed.
The 517 Bootcut in the "Rigid" colorway is not Shrink-to-Fit, because it is made instead with a sanforized 14oz denim, but it is not a 501 STF and it is not prewashed either. And they can shrink up to 5% when thoroughly machine washed and dried.
You can search Levi's website for "rigid", and you will see their raw denim selections in that mix. Just beware that their "Tumbled Rigid" colorway is lightweight (<11oz) and doesn't feel very rigid at all since they are so lightweight and since they also seem to have been run thru a cold dryer to soften the denim up some, which seems to be where the "Tumbled" part of the name comes from.
As mentioned in other comments already, the 501 Shrink-to-Fit are always raw denim, and their LVC line has raw denim 501s which over the years came in slightly different fits. Levi's website does also have a Made & Crafted 511 in "Crisp" colorway that is raw denim also, but it costs more than the regular 501 STFs since they are made with selvedge denim.
And another Levi's raw denim option is their 517 Bootcut jeans in "Rigid", but their low-priced regular version of their Rigid 517s are now only available from other webstores such as Amazon or western wear B&M stores.
The only other decent raw denim Levi's which are currently regularly available besides the 501 STF and the LVC Rigid's is the 517 bootcut.
Levi's recently removed the regular 517s from their US website, and switched over to the much more expensive, and also more flared, LVC 517s. But you can still get the regular sanforized Rigid 517s at Amazon.
The 501 STFs I just bought feel like a 13oz denim after being washed, and the 517s feel heavier at about 14oz.
The Levi's 517, Wrangler Cowboy Cut, and Rustler by Wrangler are all made with heavier weight denims than 501s, and for the same or lower price.
They actually look like Levi's to me since it looks like the outseam has hidden stitching. It is really tough to tell though with this single low-rez pic.
You can get similar fades and fit with Levi's 517 or with Rustler raw denim ("Rigid") jeans, after wearing and washing them a ton of times.
If you get the raw denim versions of Levi's, Wranglers, or Lees, they are just as good of quality as the more expensive raw denm jeans.
Here are links to the raw denim versions, which they often list as "Rigid":
Do you have any pics which show the different colors? Or can you describe how they are different?
I haven't really noticed the color on recent 517s being any different from when I've bought them new decades ago. However, indigo will oxidize to become a different color on jeans after many, many years. And as mentioned, washing them changes the color even more drastically...for the better IMHO. BTW, the rigid 517 product code is 00517-0217. And the rigid 517s are still available at Amazon.
You left out my fave raw denim model out of all of the pairs that I have, at any price: Rustler Bootcut...and here's another link for more inspiration pics.
The Rustlers fit me the best, feel the most comfortable for working on the ranch, have the best functionality with all of the pockets and belt loops being just the right size and in just the right places, and are made with an extremely durable 15oz RHT denim. And the icing on the cake is they are the most inexpensive raw denim jeans you can find anywhere.
And the Rustler durable denim fades very similar to the vintage Levi 517 Bootcut 14oz RHT denim, which is another western model which didn't make it on your list. :-D
Yes, the Wrangler 936 in "Rigid" is a good bootcut option for what you are looking for, Slim fit and a slight flare below the knee. They will fit over all shoes or boots. The length depends on which inseam length that you choose.
Another option which you might like too is Levi's 517 in "Rigid".
That depends on your definition of affordable. Nowadays I look at $200 as being on the lower end of prices for the selvedge denim models which appeal to me.
You could try Wrangler's Cowboy Cut in "Rigid" (name for raw denim) or even Levi's raw denim models, 501 STF and the 517 Bootcut in "Rigid" to see if they last any longer for you. Dickies also has one raw denim model, the one in "Indigo Blue (NB)".
Being made with a selvedge denim doesn't by itself make jeans any better quality or longer lasting. It is just that most jeanmakers whom use selvedge denim are for the most part putting more effort into making the best high-quality jeans that they can.
You can get non-selvedge raw denim jeans, at the mall even, which will last just as long as any other jeans you can buy, such as $14 Rustlers by Wrangler, $25 Dickies, $39 Wranglers, $40 Levi's 501 Shrink-to-Fit, and $40 Levi's 517 Bootcut.
And many times those mall raw denim jeans will last even longer than selvedge denim jeans if taken care of properly. Especially because slubby, textured jeans have rougher surfaces which cause even more friction in the crotch than you get on the smoother mall jeans denims.
As I mentioned, raw denim jeans have to last longer than the non-raw denim versions of those jeans because the denim is still in its raw pristine condition straight from the denim mill. And the vast majority of the mall jeans are pre-faded and pre-worn jeans due to the washing/fading processes used on them.
If you get the same version of black jeans that you've worn all along, but in raw denim, such as this Levi's 505 model, they will have to last longer because the denim is brand new and unworn and not processed/abused so that they will feel worn when first bought.
But as I mentioned, there are many, many variables which affect how long jeans will last for anyone. But if you wear and treat raw denim jeans just like you do regular mall jeans, the raw denim jeans will most definitely last just about as long and usually longer than mall jeans will last.
Levi's 517 in the "Rigid" colorway is their raw denim bootcut, and is made with a sturdy 14oz denim.
Actually the majority of Iron Hearts, which includes all of the 21oz standard indigo, are not raw denim because they have been washed once. And their 21oz denim is also pre-shrunk by the denim mill using the sanforization process before the denim is sold to Iron Heart. So they are pre-shrunk and pre-washed too.
You can get raw denim jeans for under $50 from the Wrangler, Dickies, and Levi's. And if you want selvedge denim too, then you pay a premium for it. But the lowest priced selvedge raw denim jeans, which are made with sanforized denims, are from Brave Star, Unbranded (best return policy is at Amazon), Uniqlo, and Gustin.
$39: Wrangler "Rigid" Cowboy Cut, at wrangler.com, 14.75 oz.
$40 (typical sale price): Levi "Rigid" 517 Bootcut, at amazon.com, 14oz.
And here is a table below which lists how much shrinkage can be expected with the different types of denims which are sold by stockists, that is when they are thoroughly washed and dried with high temperatures and lots of agitation, such as in machines.
Have you tried Levi's raw denim models, 501 Shrink-to-Fit or 517 Bootcut in "Rigid" (raw denim) colorway? Since they are made to be much more durable than their "fashion" jeans, the QC on them is also better.
Wrangler's Cowboy Cut "Rigid" (raw denim) jeans are even better quailty and lower priced than Levi's raw denim jeans.
There is also Dickies in the "Indigo Blue (NB)" (raw denim) colorway.
If you want selvedge raw denim jeans, then about the only ones below $100 are Uniqlo, Gap on sale, Unbranded, Brave Star, and Gustin.
That's too bad, especially since it is relatively easy to fix them yourself, and in the process, teach yourself how to keep your current and future jeans going much longer with just a few simple sewing repairs even if you have no sewing machine.
Fortunately there are also much, much cheaper raw denim options that are also more durable, especially when compared the slightly-shortened longevity of slubby denims, since the added texture actually makes them a bit less durable than smoother raw denims.
These jeans below are all raw denim and all non-selvedge, and very easy to purchase, at least in the US.
The 517 is a Slim Bootcut fit/cut. You can actually get the real-deal raw denim (called "Rigid) Levi's 517 at Amazon, so no need for a repro unless you want selvedge denim also.
I actually prefer the fit, cut, and design of the Rustler Bootcut by Wrangler over the 517 myself, and also at a better price.
The Wrangler Cowboy Cut jeans are fairly similar fit to the 517 also, particularly the Slim Fit 0935 and 0936 models, and the lower-rise Regular Fit 47MWZ model.
If you need more choice, and/or selvedge options, Heddels has a couple of good articles (linked below) which cover most of the bootcut options which are currently available.
Some of the bootcuts by those other brands will have a more pronounced flare at the ankles than the leg opening on the 517. But if you need to get much hemmed off of the inseam, they will end looking more like the normal 517 bootcut look after that.
You can get raw denim Levi's, which they call Rigid.
With the given budget and not looking at any sale prices or second-hand purchase pricing, that limits it to:
Selvedge sanforized, occasionally unsanforized offerings too:
Another brand on par for quality and price with Brave Star is Unbranded.
But for more affordable, and some believe also better jeans, these models listed below are also raw denim jeans:
The Levi's which are raw denim have "Rigid" as part of the color name. The more durable Levi's which are available in raw denim are their 501 Shrink-to-Fit and their 517 Bootcut models.
Levi's raw denim 517 Bootcut jeans are marked down over 50% right now at Amazon for most sizes, selling for $27.80.