Excuse the pun, but the BBC’s latest series of Peaky Blinders has caught our attention, not just for its gritty drama, but for its celebration of 1920s and 1930s rugged footwear.
We are talking boots…real boots…man boots.
On screen, these boots are tough but teamed with suits and long overcoats to turn these men with working class roots into kings of the street. As despite being wealthy, they do not want to be confused with their English gentlemen counterparts. Although, there are glimpses of this footwear fashion among the cast of the film adaption of Downton Abbey too where the titled gentry and their servants seem a world away from the streets of Birmingham.
We are referring to solid, stylish, Oxford lace-ups in black or brown leather. And the good news is that the longer you wear them the more gangster they will look!
Herring’s Shelby – Tommy Shelby would be proud – is a good example of a 19th century heritage design. It looks rugged but in fact has a leather upper and sole for a very comfortable fit.
Even more tough-looking is the Churchstow. This boot finishes higher up the ankle and has a lightweight commando pattern rubber sole. These boots could get you out of a bit of bother!
The Filton also fits the bill. A leather chukka-style boot, it looks the business and is comfortable underfoot.
However, we do not expect you to don a flat cap and wear a cropped pair of trousers or three-piece tweed suit to get you ready for gangland life, as we believe these boots – and some shoes – have a respectable place in more genteel society too.
The Flynn is an up-to-date boot style with a more chiselled toe and is lighter on the feet.
Meanwhile, the Peaky-style has been embellished with an adoption of semi-brogue and tweed detail. See our Limerick or Matlock boots, or even our semi-brogue, suede Reading II shoes for more relaxed days. Even the Peaky Blinders take a rest sometimes, don’t they?
As long-term lovers of boots, the Herring team is delighted to see these no-nonsense models forging ahead this season. Will they influence your style this autumn? Waistcoats and pocket watches are entirely optional, of course.