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Shoes & Style: Derby Boots

As winter rolls in, serious boots come into their own. This season, pound the pavements or hike through the hills in three pairs of our most iconic derby boots.

Shoes & Style: Derby Boots

Ah, the derby boot. Few footwear models are more robust, or more honest. Today, our range of derby boots mixes contemporary styling with Crockett & Jones’s thoroughbred bootmaking pedigree. The derby boot began life in the mid-19th century as a down-to-earth ‘field boot’, designed to wear in poor weather or else to protect the feet of labourers and craftspeople. Since then, it’s morphed into a go-to casual option for stylish individuals, and our collection demonstrates its various guises, and how easy it is to wear in either a smart or casual context.

At the dressier end of the spectrum is our Chiltern chukka boot, seen here in Earth Green Suede. The Chukka boot’s origins are relatively obscure – some argue that it was a lightweight, functional design produced for the British and American militaries to wear in warm climates, other sources suggest that the name comes from the term ‘chukker’ (the name given to a seven-minute period of play in a polo match) and that the boot was popular with aristocratic polo players in the early 19th century.

Either way, Chiltern’s elegantly rounded 224 last and contemporary Dainite rubber soles place it firmly into ‘smart casual’ territory, making it an easy pairing with these smart navy cotton drill chinos from Ralph Lauren. This particular pair of chinos are actually vintage, and combine a wider leg-width with a high rise and pleats. Sure, they’re not for everyone, but they do demonstrate Chiltern’s ability to complement a fairly formal trouser style. This chino and boot combination would the part paired with a softly tailored checked blazer or sports coat and a sky blue Oxford shirt too. A pocket square with a touch of green in it would tie in the boots to perfection.

Then, we come to what is quite simply a Crockett & Jones icon. The Coniston is one of our most popular styles and is in many ways the quintessential English field boot. Such is its popularity, it’s been a part of our Mainline collection for decades. In that time, it’s barely changed, and combines a rugged construction (storm-welted Dainite soles and either our Scotch Country Grain or Rough Out Suede leathers) with a generous, rounded last. Boots like these are truly versatile, well suited to pairing with denim, flannel, or corduroy as seen here. A pair of autumnal mustard needlecord trousers from Turnbull & Asser, finished with plain hems, pop against the boots’ classic dark brown Scotch Grain uppers.

Last but not least, we have a new model for the season: Ross. These are perhaps the most ‘hard core’ boots we’ve produced, certainly in recent years, lasted in Chocolate Hurricane Hide, which is a smooth full-grain calf with a waxed finish that’s resistant to the elements, set on imposing rubber commando soles (the same Vibram soles used in our Black Editions) and finished with a high earth green suede collar that sits around the bottom of the wearer’s shins. Inspired by an old fashioned work boot, but infinitely more elegant on our contemporary 378 last, the Ross is well suited to pairing with some well-worn denim jeans, like this dependable pair of Levi’s 501s, chunky cords or rolled up chinos. Take your pick.

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