Preparing for Winter 1 - Boots

Sunday, November 4, 2012
For the last two Autumn/Winter periods, I've spent an inordinate amount of time wanting, looking for, an ultimately not buying a pair of brown brogue boots.

On the one hand, they are exactly what I need. A little warmer, a little chunkier and a little more suitable for wet (or even snowy weather) than normal shoes and yet (if well chosen) able to pass for a pair of casual, but perfectly smart, brogues when your trousers cover the ankle section.

The trouble has always been finding the right pair. It's important that they basically have the shape and style of a normal pair of brown brogues, so anything overly chunky was out. On the other hand, ideally I feel it needs to have rubber soles since it is at least in part a practical purchase. Colour, too, becomes tricky when, of the half-dozen or so shoemakers I would consider buying from, each may only make one or two varieties of boot, and some offer none.

And so time passed, and I never bought a pair. Finally, though, I have bitten the bullet and gone for what is very nearly my perfect pair of brown brogue boots.

They're made by Crockett & Jones, and are a neat and smart pair of open-laced boots with a classic full-brogue that, when I am wearing trouser, are barely distinguishable from many shoes. The colour is beautiful - a properly dark almost mahogany tone that I've taken years trying to polish into my other brogues. If they have a flaw, it's that they are not rubber-soled. Crockett & Jones do offer it, but it required returning them to the manufacturer and paying an extra £60. The money isn't so much of a problem, but the wait was. Deferred gratification has never been my strong point. I shall wear them as they are and, when they need resoling, will probably have them changed at that point.

They're warm, comfortable and beautiful - form and function combined, which is always nice, particularly if you enjoy walking for miles around London as much as I do. Although largely designed for country wear, they're perfectly acceptable to wear with pretty much anything you might wear brown brogues with. I particularly like them with one of my pairs of fairly casual, but brightly coloured corduroy trousers. At the same time, they could certainly be worn with a tweed suit and possible with other very soft, casual or light-coloured suits.