Growing up my mother always used to tell me that you could judge a man by his shoes and I am sure that my obscene shoe collection serves as proof that that message well and truly sunk in. I can honestly say that apart from those used purely at the gym, I have never actually owned trainers! I started school in biker boots that a good friend of mine would cruelly refer to as wellingtons and after that I gravitated to totter around on Cuban heels (Rebecca is always surprised I was never bullied for that – but maybe I just managed to pull the look off even back then!). In short I have long been a boot man, it changes your stance, it changes the way you walk and it changes the shape of your leg – all for the better.
That is why I always look forward to the A/W shoe collections every year, as even though the bulk of the fashion mainstream whips out similar items year on year, you can always rely on something to get excited about and your toes tingling expectantly.
Some very nice stuff out this year, but don’t worry if you are after the usual kind of faux-leather shiny shoes of Sabgreed or classic built heel host mules, they are out there and waiting. In terms of trends the look seems to be towards the layered. Any kind of extra layer to the leg is totally my cup-of-tea, as is the option for asymmetry by wearing one boot differently from the other. Fuga have played a blinder with their Julius inspired twisted laces, as have Buffalo Bobs’ shocking red hidden panel to their engineer boots. Echoing trends in this seasons jeans, having a bit of excess length in the boot that lends itself to some natural crumpling is getting ever more common, as is the use of good quality leather (About time too…)
The only thing that I am not exactly a fan of are some of the techniques used to achieve an artificially vintage look. When done well it looks wonderful, but splattering some kind of paint as in Goa’s attempt (top left) just looks a mess frankly! Some people seem to have forgotten that the reason that when old shoes look great is because they have seen wear, but also care, waxing and recent polish to develop a nice patina to the leather. Scuffing and dirt will happen naturally, there is no need to rush! But still, that is a very personal thing from someone who probably loves their boots too much.
This season I am on the hunt for some nice fur topped boots – that are not Lovehunter cheap nor outrageously expensive. Any recommendations?