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Inside the Closets of HGTV's Anthony Carrino & John Colaneri

The home improvement experts weigh in on workboots.

Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri “Kitchen Cousins” “Cousins on Call”
Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri “Kitchen Cousins” “Cousins on Call”

John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino

Photo By Getty Images

Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri inspire do-it-yourselfers to roll up their sleeves and get to work with their popular TV series on both HGTV and DIY TV.

The home improvement experts co-host a string of shows, including “Kitchen Cousins,” where they perform kitchen makeovers, and “Cousins on Call,” where they update dysfunctional houses.

Unsurprisingly, the pair take their tools seriously, right down to their footwear. According to Carrino and Colaneri, next to safety, comfort is a top priority in their workboots.

And they’re putting those features to the test on their newest series, “Cousins Undercover,” a one-hour show that surprises neighborhood heroes with total home makeovers. It debuted earlier this month, after a cross-promotion on daytime talk show “Ellen.”

“[With our] new show, we’re working 16-hour days,” said Colaneri, emphasizing the importance of good footwear when standing for long stretches. He also pointed out that protective details such as steel toes are a must in his business. “We do intense demolition, and they’ve saved me a couple of times.”

When the two are not on location taping, they can be found helping out with their family’s urban development business, Brunelleschi Construction in Jersey City, N.J.

But Carrino said that wherever a job takes him, he opts for waterproof boots. “If I slip and my foot winds up in a vat of wet concrete, [I know I’m covered],” he explained. “There are a million things that can happen on a construction site.”

Between juggling their TV schedule and work in their family’s construction company, the cousins also make time for relaxation and even routinely find themselves on the red carpet. Here, they share their needs for workboots as well as dressier shoes.

Anthony Carrino
Age: 34
Years on the job: Nine
Workboots owned: Two pairs
Brand: Timberland Pro Hyperion
Price points: “I typically spend between $150 and $200.”
Boot features: “Steel toes, anti-slip outsoles, and they’ve got to be super-comfortable.”
Style preferences: “I like a lower 6-inch boot. I want the support, but I also don’t want to carry around a ton of extra weight. We get dressed nicely for the on-air reveal [of finished projects], but for work, we wear what we want. We’ve been in this business a long time, so it’s safety above all else and comfort comes a close second.”
Shopping philosophy: “I shop online and I like Zappos.com. Customer service is above and beyond at that company. They also do a good job of showing off the product through video and images. I don’t need to go to a store, and I certainly don’t have the time.”
Buying frequency: “When I feel like there’s no more support left in my boots, [I will buy a new pair]. They can last me anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the intensity of the [work] year.”
Suggestion for manufacturers: Weight reduction.
Off-site style: “I’m a T-shirt and jeans guy. When you work as hard as we do, I like to kick back and keep it relaxed. [I wear] Converse Chuck Taylors. They’re super-comfortable. I have them in five colors, including gray, brown, white and pink. [After] lacing up workboots every day, it’s time to get comfortable. I want to slip on something and feel like I’m walking on air. I also have Sanuks, and for dress I have J. Shoes and Cole Haan.”

John Colaneri
Age: 32

Years on the job: Five
Workboots owned: Five pairs
Brands: Timberland, among others. “I also like to wear Red Wing. They’re more stylish for a dressier look. The show interacts with our real-life world so much, so there [really] isn’t anything I don’t wear for both [the job and at home].”
Price points: $150 to $300. “Timberland Pro can get into the $250 range. But it has everything — insulation, waterproofing and comfort. If you work in construction, you pay the money because your feet are the No. 1 [priority] on the work site.”
Boot features: Comfort and steel toes, then style. “I’m a [home] designer, so I’m looking for something that’s also cool. The great [thing today] is there are so many boots that are stylish.”
Shopping philosophy: “I’m an online guy. I am [always] on the go and can’t deal with crowds in stores.”
Buying frequency: “This year we’ve been extremely busy. We did more than 30 builds and demolitions. When you’re on a [job site] that much, the soles start to wear down. That’s when it’s time to get a new pair.”
Suggestion for manufacturers: “Have that cool factor. I’m a young guy and like to have something that has a little edge to it. The Timberlands have a little more color.”
Off-site style: “I’m on the preppy side. I love Allen Edmonds, J.Crew, Alden, Aldo and Sperry Top-Sider. I also love having laces in different colors. That’s my signature. I work out every day and have Reebok for crosstraining. I also own Nike Air Max. I always look for the sneaker with the craziest colors.”