It is not yet the season for boots, but a reader inspired this post of mine. He provoked me to do a top five of boots, considering the fact that he thought of completing his wardrobe for A/W 2016-2017. I am not a fan of boots mainly because I spend most of the year in a country where snow isn’t what it used to be once. Nevertheless, at least for one month boots can be useful. In my country there’s a saying, “make your plough in winter and your sledge in summer”, so a discussion about boots during summer can be useful, especially since many models can be found on sales in this period.
I don’t like heavy boots with combat sole, or brogue ones. I believe that a boot should be as simple as possible, because from my point of view it’s the practical aspect that matters. As I don’t spend my time hunting foxes in the countryside, I have a major dislike for Dainite soles. Lately, a lot of producers prefer only Dainite soles for boots, which is very annoying. If the producers believe that the majority of those who buy boots walk in hardly accessible areas, they are wrong. I find Dainite completely useless in the city, especially when there are more flexible variants that offer the same adherence. An example for that would be Yoyo or Vibram Gumlite from Saint Crispins, both very practical and elegant, or Wensum or Double Wensum from Gaziano&Girling.
Going back to the top five of my preferences, on the first place is a classic boot that needs no presentation. Edward Green Galway dark oak calf & mink suede with tapered double leather soles on last 82. It is the type of boot that can be worn both with suits and with jeans. The upper part, made of suede, is very comfortable, the movement of the foot not being restricted in any way. Galway comes in six variants on the official site at this moment – the favourites being Utah Navy and the one I own.
On the second place I’d put a boot that has a plus of originality both due to the model and to the leather (Kudu). Gaziano&Girling Thorpe punctuates in the chapter of leather, sole and for an almost magically fine reverse stich. Thorpe – Kudu – Double Wensum is the perfect mix!
Thorpe is a MTO model on MH71 last, F width. For the reasons listed above I chose Double Wensum instead of Dainite, in order to not burden it visually too much. The Scarface aspect of the Kudu skin is an element that brings enough heaviness to a perfect boot for a weekend outfit.
It has no speed hooks because I find them quite annoying, but for those wanting them, Tony can do (almost) anything. Though I was a bit doubtful regarding Kudu (I didn’t know whether it stood out in relief too much) after the experience I had with Thorpe I will also order a split-toe – Hove model. (G&G Hove is also very nice in peccary leather).
On the third place is J. FitzPatrick Westlake – a boot that is pretty hard to find in the RTW offer of the producer, but not in the collection of J. Fitzpatrick.
The model is a very interesting button boot. It is not a boot to wear on a rainy weather, but it has a dandy air without being excessively ostentatious. I like Westlake because it’s a model paying homage to the classic Victorian boot. If you do not like the combination, you can try the MTO program.I think it would look interesting in Museum Calf.
The last two places are taken by two Chelsea boots: Edward Green Newmarket, a superb model of Chelsea boot, very urban, and a rougher Chelsea variant RM Williams Comfort Turnout (picture below) sold by Pediwear, a wide boot with rubber sole.
The most important part of RMW boot construction is that each boot is made from a single piece of leather ( yearling – a thicker leather compared to the kangaroo or calf leather). Practically it’s a wholecut Chelsea comparing to Edward Green as RM Willaims boots only have the back seam. So if you like this kind of robust Chealsea now is the time to buy a pair as the prices may rise due to the fact that RM Williams is now owned now by Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Pediwear carries a large selection of RM Williams boots including Comfort Craftsman Kangaroo so you can have a look on their site.
With these boots I conclude the top of my preferences. Although there would be other interesting models, I’m not a boot guy, so I consider that 5 boots are sufficient for me. Edward Green Galway remains my soul model. It is a model that reached perfection. It is perfectly balanced from an aesthetic point of view, any addition being pointless.