Monday, September 1, 2008


Apologies for the slight delay in posting, I will try to get back on track soon. I thought for this essentials, to do a more image based post. Hopefully, this is easier to follow than the usual block text and gives more actual examples of various looks.

Although I could have written about a pair of smart leather shoes for this post, which are undoubtedly an essential for men, I thought I would give attention to something that many may overlook as a purchase.

With autumn/winter rapidly approaching, boots are both a practical and stylish option for mens' footwear. For wet and windy commutes to and from work, boots are simply indispensable given that their rugged and wonderfully waterproof nature. In contrast to their inherently robust qualities, they are yet also easily paired with smart wear. They look comfortably stylish paired with both jeans and a jacket or with a wool suit. The practicality of the boots is inherent to their design, able to keep your feet dry in pounding winter rain, with grip that will stop you slipping and sliding on the pavement or when running for the train. Yet they can also be very kind to your clothing. Heavy rain, for example, can often be mortally wounding to your suit, yet the boot helps in one aspect. When walking with wet trousers, the material towards the bottom is easily ripped and ravaged. However with boots this is no longer a problem due to the high sitting point of the ends of the tousers they create.

Rather than simple explain the various ways boots can be worn and worked, I thought to rather show collection examples to hopefully inspire.

Please click for larger images.

General Tips

When choosing your boots, it is best to go with a pair that can be worked both smart and casual, as this offers the best investment. However if you decide to buy further pairs do not be afraid to look for exclusively smart or casual styles to fit in with your specific style or chosen look. The main tip for buying boots is to shop around and try to look at as many styles as possible. The vast array of designs means that everybody can find a specific reflection and extension of their own personal style. In order to have the most versatile style of boot, it is recommended to go with lace up boots rather than any other style as they tend to work the easiest, both dressed up and casually.

Fit & Comfort

When buying boots, you ought to look at the purchase as an investment, as they are easily able to serve you for as long as a decade without need to resole. It is often said that old boots are the most comfortable footwear a man can own, however understandbly this is not immediately the case. There are therefore some guidelines to follow:
  • Fit is as usual the most important consideration, yet far more important in this respect as ill fitting boots can do major damage to your feet and bones. Therefore make sure to get boots that feel snug, yet not too tight, you do not want your heels to rub against the back when moving or else blistering will be a major issue.
  • Make sure to walk and crouch in the boots when trying them on in order to get a better feel for their fit and that you are comfortable when moving.
  • When you go to the shop, make sure to wear the type of socks you intend to wear with your boots later on, otherwise you may be fooled into buying the wrong size.
  • Do not wear your boots outdoors for a full day the first time you wear them. All boots regardless of how expensive they are or how supple the leather is, require breaking in.
  • In order to break your boots in, make sure to wear thick socks, or even two pairs, so that the boots fit tightly, and make sure to lace up the boots fully.
  • Wear the boots around your home for the first few days and try to move in as many ways as possible to start creating the first creases. You also want to start wearing in the soles and begin to mould the innersoles specifically to your feet and the specific pressures applied by you when walking and moving.
  • You may get blisters the first time you wear your boots, in which case allow these to heal before attempting to wear your boots again.
  • The more you wear in your boots the more comfortable they will become, and the more supple the leather will become. You can later begin to wear normal socks as the boot will have literally moulded to your feet.
  • Avoid techniques to speed up the breaking in process such as using oil or a hammer on the back of the boot, as this can cause damage and considerably shorten the lifespan of your boot.
  • Depending on the toughness of the leather and structure of the boot, you should be able to break in your boots reasonably quickly and with ease. Boots such as Dr Martens however are notoriously hard to break in and may take a number of weeks.
  • Your boots should now last for many years to come. Even once the sole has worn away, they can easily be replaced at a cobblers (shoe repair shop).
Thank you for all of your wonderful comments, I shall try to comment back as soon as possible :)