Boots fall into two categories; the rugged and the refined. Although, thankfully, these days, there is a cross-over between the two.
Starting with the rugged. Historically, these types of boots have been worn as long-lasting footwear for workers or the military with Bluchers and Wellingtons leading the way and lending their names to their respective styles.
While in the refined category, cavalier-style riding boots were prevalent in the 17th and 18thcenturies, followed by buttoned and slip-on ankle boots favoured by Queen Victoria; we would now recognise the latter as the Chelsea boot.
For gentlemen, the rugged boot choice works well in winter when we need extra warmth and rubber soles to keep our feet dry and to give us some grip underfoot.
Boots made to withstand harsh weather conditions are based on the Veldtschoen construction method. The 17th century Cape Dutch term means stitch-down or field shoe. The upper leather flares out and is double-stitched onto the midsole to produce sturdy and waterproof boots that retain their form.
These outdoorsy boots are perfect for the colder weather and, happily, these days, they are stylish too. Our Windermere rubber-soled boots are an example of these, while we have teamed tweed with our Exmoor rubber-soled brogue boots and grain calf textures in our Coniston two-tone rubber-soled brogue boots for extra options.
Within the rubber-soled boot range, you will find there is a choice of sole. The Commando sole is thick and has deep cleats, but don’t walk into the house with these still on…you will bring all the mud in with you! The Dainite rubber sole is pimpled and gives great grip in all weathers. A Diamante offers a diamond pattern welted version that is more suited to the Chelsea boot.
Ah, the Chelsea boot; the boot of the moment. Described as “the most versatile stomper in the menswear jungle”, it is suitable for work and weekends with their easy-to-wear pull-on functionality.
And Chelsea boots have come a long way. They are not just plain, shiny, black and 1960s-esque anymore. They come in all colours and choice of rubber and leather soles with a touch of brogue thrown in for good measure.
If you still want casual but prefer laces, the Chukka or desert boots could be for you, while if you like laces but lose the will to live by the time you get to the top eyes, there are boots that come with speed-lacings too.
Writing this though as most of the UK shivers under a blanket of snow, warmed lined boots feel like they could be the way to go!
With so many boot styles to choose from, it almost makes you appreciate winter.