I finished up texturing the boot and call this model complete! It's just textured directly from the orthos I had; it looks okay, but more importantly, it was quick. And with that, I'd say I have a good grasp at modeling in 3DS Max. I'm ready to move onto the next project.
Another great step, I found a free maya-style camera for Max script. If anyone else has this problem, check it out here: http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/plugins/mems-max2maya-maya-viewport-navigation-in-3ds-max
I believe that one should learn the controls of a program, rather than try to replace them with another. However, since I've been going back and forth between Maya and Max so often, this became a godsend. Really, I'm comfortable with both styles, but it's good to be able to stick with one, just so there isn't that minute of mental lag when trying to get back into a project.