Many people immediately associate the term “men’s boots” withe questrian sports or western dance. With the cowboy boot and the riding boot, we can indeed identify two well-known representatives of this traditional shoe model, but the versatile repertoire of boots is only scratched. Since its origins, men’s boots are reflected in several models.
Dare the men’s boot
Often overlooked, there is a lot to be said for the men’s boot. In addition to high comfort, pleasantly warm feet and better grip on slippery surfaces, the versatility of men’s boots ranges from classic elegance to youthful intelligence and rebellion. There are also no limits to the men’s boot in terms of the type of closure. They are available with open lacing, with a closed front and with buckles.
The Beatles appreciated the benefits of men’s boots and didn’t enter the scene without their Chelsea boots. On the other hand, the George Boots first adorned the feet of the British Guard and with their early and late fashions, they became a must for all gypsies.
Of course, one should not neglect the traditional shoes of North American drivers in the series. Originally designed as a pure work shoe, the cowboy boot still gives its wearers an individual fashion style today. But long before the 19th century, boots were an integral part of men’s fashion.
The changing history of boots
Since about 1620, riding boots have enjoy edgreat popularity in European fashion, with the knee-high upper that can be pulled up to the ankle if desired. Their raised heel made it easier for the rider to ride and at the same time guaranteed a good grip on the horse. Only in the event of heavyrainwas the wearerwelladvised to get to a dry shelter as quickly as possible. Much to the displeasure of his owners, the funnel-shaped upper part of the upper shaft quickly fills with rain water and after a while it pours into the lower part of the boot. Under Louis XII, a lighter and at the same time lower version of the boot was in vogue, the Lazzarines or Landrines. But his successor banished them from courtly fashion: Louis XIV only tolerated men’s boots for hunting or military purposes.
First around 1770, men’s boots return to the European continent as an import of English fashion and from then on, they remain in the blue-blooded and also bourgeois wardrobe. Under Louis Philippe (1773 to 1850), a pair of light low shoes and a pair of high boots were part of the fixed inventory of men’s fashion – but classically made of very hard black leather. At that time, it was perfectly acceptable to wear the half-height boots in brown, mauve or beige only. In aristocratic circles, many trusted Nicolas Lestage’s work. The French shoe maker from Bordeaux had once offered the king a pair of seamless boots. The upper of these leather boots nested so comfortably against the royal calf that Lestage received a coat of arms in gratitude, on which a golden boot praised his mastery of the shoe.
However, today’s Chukka boots, Chelsea boots, George boots, and men’s boots in general would not be conceivable without the idio syncratic George “Beau” Brummel (1778 to 1840). The Briton is considered a dandy par excellence and would never have left home without his beloved Bottine, a lace-up men’s boot. In the context of mechanization and industrialization, lace-up men’s boots later became the fixed repertoire of the budding bourgeoisie. Today’s men’s boots and their design can be traced back to these original boots. Among the most famous are probably the George Boot, Jodhpur and the Chelsea Boot.
Men’s boot variants at a glance
To avoid misunderstandings : today, shoe lovers understand by “men’s boots” shoes with an upper that extends at least beyond the ankle, but no more than 20 centimeters in length. Although the height of the upper and lacing may vary, high quality men’s boots usually have adouble outer sole. The three most important representatives at a glance.
– Chelsea Boot
The Chelsea Boot, named after the London borough of the same name, features an undecorated stem and two rubber side inserts. Formerly developed by the London shoemaker J. Sparks Hall around 1837, this special model of men’s shoe has long polarized the opinion of shoe lovers. As late as 1920, Chelsea boots were considered “extremely unattractive” in a gentleman’s breviary, so their use was limited to equestrian sports for the time being. But with the success of the Beatles, the Chelsea Boots alsobecame a popularshoe. Sincethen, betterknown as the “Beatle Boot”, the narrower men’s boots are now enjoying great popularity. Chelsea boots can becom bined with casual wear and jeans as well as a suit.
– George Boots
George boots are a relatively young model of shoes. King George VI ordered this men’s shoe with his Major General George Le Fèvre-Payne to give his soldiers a more modern look. The basic cut on the top of the men’s boot, which goes over the ankle, is reminiscent of the classic derby. Its characteristics are its smooth one-piece front, wide side quarters and open 3-hole lacing.
In the smooth leather version, this elegant men’s boot is the perfect match for a business suit. The suede George Boot, on the other hand, is more suitable for less formal occasions.
The roots of Jodhpur are again in India. During the colonial period, British soldiers did not abandon their favorite sport, polo, even far from home. But the usual riding boots proved to beun pleasantly warm in tropical temperatures. In favor of a more airy version, the soldiers cut off their boots and Jodhpur was born. The characteristic of this men’s boot is the strap that runs around the foot, which provides better support for the foot. The Jodhpur is still considered a popular riding boot today, but it has long met the requirements of a modern business shoe. However, this model of men’s shoes is best worn with narrow, tapered pants.
Soberly considered, men’s boots simply offer better wind and weather protection than their mid-height counter parts. At the same time, the boots are visually more striking and – unlike the traditional Captoe Oxford or Full-Brogue Derby – they look a little younger. In short : quality boots are an absolute must in every man’s wardrobe.