16 June 2011

Guest feature: The Desert Boot

Contributed by TOM BETTINSON

With menswear looking as strong as ever, I thought I'd look at one style that seems to surpass the culture of today - the desert boot.

Inspired by army officers in Egypt, Nathan Clark of 'Clarks Originals' created his first "Desert Boot" in the late 1940s. The silhouette of the boot and the fabrics he used to construct them are still used today by footwear brands all over the world.

On a trip to Copenhagen in July 2010, I spotted hundreds of men - both young and old - sporting a pair of desert boots. They were mostly worn with dark denim, corduroy or chinos. Some boots were light, others were dark, though it seemed that all were brown, black or navy. But above all, each pair looked great. I asked my Dad about them and he said "they had been around for years" - a classic response. Without focusing on the trend, I knew I wanted a pair, and I could see myself wearing this style for a long time.

I came back to Bournemouth in September 2010 to find these in Richmond Classics:

Click the image to view product page. (Image source: prettygreen.com)
These are the Clarks Originals/Pretty Green collaboration desert boot in an all-black colourway. Like the others I had seen, they carried a suede upper and crepe sole, and I thought I'd better try them on! However, at £94.99, I decided I should do some more research before purchasing.

On the high street, Topman currently offer light- and dark-brown boots at £46 per pair. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are these at €270:

Click the image to view product page. (Image source: norsestore.com)
Mark McNairy, the renowned designer, made these in collaboration with Norse Projects. The two-tone suede and big wedge sole make them very desirable.

However, knowing the boot's origins, I thought it would be better to to check out the Clarks Originals. With such a classic look, I knew these were the ones to go for.

Popping into Hemingway's, Guildford, with my Grandma, I stumbled upon the store's owner wearing a pair himself. He stated, "Mine have lasted for 16 years... They are comfortable and still look great every season." So I went ahead and bought mine.

Thanks, Grandma!


(Tom Bettinson is a sales advisor at Richmond Classics, Bournemouth, and enjoys writing. He plans to start his own fashion blog during the summer.)

© Joseph Kent / www.unlimitedbyjk.com

All photographs are subject to copyright law, and must not be reproduced without express permission.

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