Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Cheap, Cheerful Chelsea Boots

What is beloved in bootwearing is a balance of style and substance and the chelsea boot is the epitomy of this. Lets say we're going to a dancehall night and we're looking to have a drink with the latest date and chat over a few drinks and maybe show her how well you can move to My Boy Lollipop. Some might stick to their Dr Martens and some to their trainers but some of us like to add a little style to the occasion. And that doesn't need to cost with these:

Grafters Chelsea Dealer Boots

Retailing at around £30 these simple, sturdy numbers would be decent anywhere around town and will certainly last. A comfortable number right out of the box these don't require any wearing in and don't shout too loud. All they're concerned with is keeping your feet comfortable and the Air Sole makes sure of that:
Normally the kind of grip you would see on a pair of Dr Martens Chelseas but there is all the quality and at a fraction of the price. Random Factoid: Star Wars Stormtroopers wore chelsea boots stained white in the 1977 film.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Bad Girl Booties!

I love bad girls and bad girls wear bad girl boots so today's post will be dedicated to a pair of boots reccommended by a bad girl I know. she is the kind of girl who likes to stomp around town making sure everyone notices her. Making sure she surprises and sticks out from the crowd and thats why these boots are so well suited to her:

The Mad Fish Big Zipper

Whats the first thing you notice? Thats right the skull and crossbones sidestraps, they just look beautiful and scream "You mess with me and you're messing with the best." And with that slightly raised, glam-rock influence platform sole they know where punk's roots are. Made entirely from non-animal products, including all glues and adhesives, this is another vegan friendly boot manufacturer with a model that is becoming a 21st century, postmodern classic. Style is the mainstay with this design and the silver lines up the back along with the screw in metal plate motif running through the boot add industrial chic to the mash:

With that 16 hole lace up front and a big zip at the side for easy access you can go out, get wasted, grab a partner, get home, get em off and get to business:
Retailing at around £60 this is a bargain if you're looking for something thats eyecatching and this is your style. At the same time the girls that wear these aren't the pogoing type. These girls tend to sit in the corner and drink and drink and DRINK. So I'm guessing the boots aren't that great on the dancefloor either. In terms of punishment, these boots need to be taken care of. They're not for taking on a hike, in fact they aren't for walking at all. These are for looking badass.

I Love To Go A Wandering...

Mondays get you down but its one of those days when you start to daydream about all the fantastic travels you can undertake when you have time spare. I love a jaunt in the countryside, among the hills and the trees, in the mud and in the sunshine, it keeps me fresh and happy. So wheres the boots to wear for such an occasion? Theres all sorts of dangers to look out for so one needs to be prepared. I'll be looking at a hiking boot today and one that has caught my attention is:

The Grisport Peaklander Hiking Boot

Made in Italy, this is a comfortable boot that will take a lot of punishment. The leather has plenty of give and they will not need much breaking in at all. Just pull them out if the box and head for the hills!  Technically speaking there is good cushioned ankle support and the sole has an excellent moulded arch, giving you plenty of podiatry. They are leather with a Spotex membrane lining to help your feet breathe, avoiding too much moisture. The track-on sole is quite the talking point though:

There is an excellent grip there, perfect for hiking and from a new manufacturer and giving us a good price that we normally saw from Vibram in the past. Its a good deep grip and resists twisting well providing the foundation for an excellent new boot at a reasonable price.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Music Sundays!

So my Sundays I'll be posting music to wear boots to and the odd gig too. My friends in Leeds are organising a massive all day Rage Against Racism Oi!/Punk/Ska/Dub Festival down there at The Well on June the 18th, and there should be plenty of people wearing boots to this:


As you can see the line up looks fantastic and the recent reformation of the Oppressed has been a classic. So heres a song about boots by the Oppressed...enjoy!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

These Boots Are Made For... Veggies?

Yesterday I was looking for functionality and today I've got a great big boot for those of a more conscientious nature. Boots aren't the first thing that pops into your mind when you consider vegetarianism, even though many of us are changing our dietary desires with the rise of factory farming and poor animal welfare. Hell, even Mike Tyson has gone vegan citing that meat and additives in food were a big problem for his anger issues.

So theres boots for the vegetarian, made with no animal products from Vegetarian Shoes, a producer that has been hand making vegetarian shoes since 1990. Now expanding production into factories with good working conditions across the UK and Europe. These boots are made from a synthetic microfibre that is as breathable as leather and  manufacturer has a wide range but I'll be looking at:

The Airseal 20 Eye Black Boot

 Now this monster probably makes even Mike Tyson consider it a little too beefy, but theres no meat in the production of these. Its a proper stylish boot for the hardcore dandy. They will take a little wearing in but, being microfibre, its not as tough as leather but it still remains as durable if you're looking to go out on the prowl. Lets say you're wearing these for a good tramp up a hill they are just as useful as they would be for heading out to see The Oppressed. there is plenty of calf support there and they won't be cutting into your skin too much. At most you'll get a couple of blisters for the first couple of weeks.

The grip is quite simple so it won't be the finest for heading off on a proper ramble,  but a sensible head walking in the hills, knowing your equipment should be decent enough. On the dancefloor, the aircushioned sole will come in useful and you'll be pogoing along like the maddest hatter at the tea-party. And to me thats what sums this boot up. Its a top hat and tails, cheeky grin and a charming wit of a boot, with some added nuts for entertainment. It has its limits but it can deal with anything once its put its mind to it.

Friday, 20 May 2011

I like Big Boots and I Cannot Lie!

Boots are a little love of mine. I love getting a fresh pair and wearing them in, the feeling you get when you've made a new pair comfy and they are just beginning to feel like a glove. I love the firm grip they give you when you walk on terrain not made for dull, weak city shoes to walk on but that is simply there to be roamed upon as our ancestors did, foraging and hunting back in the day. On top of that the range of boots has changed so much over the years. There used to be the army issue Doc Marten that has become a staple of the skin and punk scene that is now marketed for consumption as one of these. Whilst of course there are many types of boot out there to look and laugh at. Meanwhile the industrial boot remains issued cheaply and is available under new brands for just a fraction of the price.

Its the range of boots that I want this blog to be about but also my experience with various brands, their ability to be worn for a ramble, at a gig or just as a fashion accessory. How well worn can you get your boots. I will be reviewing boots and other footwear for looks, durability and price.

The industrial boot is still available for anyone to purchase and has a classic look and there are many brands too. My current favourite is the Grafters M124A:

I get this from my local industrial boot supplier for around £30. It has a steel toecap and is made in Sheffield under good labour conditions. They take a fair bit of punishment, they look good and you can take them anywhere. The grip is solid welted rubber made from old tyres. It has about a 2 cm deep moulded grip that can take you anywhere you want to go, with a zigzag pattern that keeps a firm hold on the environment. It is about 8 holes as you can see so is pretty casual and not too hardcore looking. There is cushioned ankle support and, on wearing, it has that wear anywhere quality to it that ties you in, and you get a spare pair of laces too! You might get a blister or two the first couple of weeks when you're wearing these in but they do feel comfy right from the get go. So none of that cutting into the skin you might get from a pair of Docs. Tramp around town fine, but they will feel a bit heavy on the dancefloor with none of the air-cushioned pogo bounce you will feel from Docs. Still you can give your calves a good workout trying to beat your oc wearing mates and, if you have mates like mine, there'll be a couple who won't bounce that high anyway.

A good mosher, a good rambler and good for getting around town. Simply my current 5 star favourite.