Boots bring with them a bit of a conundrum when it comes to wear and care; the fact that our boots aren’t exactly cheap yet can be worn in rough conditions is paradoxical. Instinctively many people often grab an old pair of beaters for rough weather out of fear for damaging their good boots.
Whilst most of our customers will agree that dress shoes should look polished, opinions on how boots should look and be worn are much more varied. Some aim for a pristine, polished look and others embrace the ruggedness of our country boots. In Jermyn Street we see everyone from mollycoddling shoe aficionados to Yorkshire farmers who come in for work boots as “these are the only ones that will last me at least a few years”.
A pair of Northcote or Tetbury have all the elegance of a ‘standard’ dress shoe but offer increased protection from the elements. They have been adopted as winter footwear by businessmen from Scandinavia to New York who will wear them with their suits. These dressy boots will look as good with a mirror shine as your regular black oxfords.
The smart-casual likes of Coniston, Islay and Brecon are equally at home worn with trousers and a sports coat as they are under jeans and a parka. Wear them to the office on Friday or walk the dog in them on Sunday.
The veldtschoen Snowdon's are tool-boots of choice for those going on outdoor hikes. Beside the Turner Twins and a wartime documentary photographer wearing them we also have a regular customer who uses them for trekking through Muktinath, Tibet.
Some aim for a pristine, polished look and others embrace the ruggedness of our country boots.
All boots above are purpose built and #madetobeworn. Though the leather of the Northcote or Tetbury may not look any different to that of your Connaught it is more weather resistant. The tanning process for these wax leathers infuses them with oils and wax to increase water resistance. The storm welt on some boots prevents water entering the boot via the welt.
Can you wear your boots off-road?
I do. In my opinion the odd scuff, scratch and cut will add to the character of your boots rather than ruin them. However, after hard wear proper care is important.
Should you polish, shine and care for your boots?
Yes, all footwear needs to be looked after. Boots, usually worn in the harshest conditions, are no exception. Creams and waxes will help nourish the leather and keep it strong and supple. As they are often worn in winter, boots will be subject to large changes in temperature as you enter your warm home from the freezing cold outside. This makes the use of shoe trees all the more important as the trees will absorb moisture from the leather and prevent the it from cracking. It is also important not to leave your boots too close to a heat source as this can dry out the leather too quickly leaving it brittle and vulnerable.
The beauty of good boots is that you don’t have to ‘baby’ them during wear, as long as you care for them afterwards.