Fashion Terms Explained…

1 04 2011

B is for…


The array of men’s boots on the market today is baffling, but until World War I, the boot was the primary choice of footwear. In fact, the shoe was once known as the low shoe to differentiate from the high trench boot and all the connotations of war and destruction that came with it. The “low shoe” caught on and the boot began it’s decline in popularity.

The Voortrekker Boot

The Original Clark's Desert Boot

The Doc Marten's Boot

Just as war caused the drop in popularity of the boot, war brought it back into fashion! The Voortrekker boot, from the Dutch “those who trek ahead” was a boot once used by Dutch pioneers in the 1830’s to push inland from the Cape colony into the wilderness. It was then adopted by the South African divisions of the eighth army as a practical form of footwear in the North African desert during WWII. The Voortrekker was combined with the Chupplee sandal worn by Indian troops on the North West frontier by Clarks to make the original desert army boot.

The boot evolved in the fifties to combine comfort and fashion to form the Chelsea boot. Men liked the unbroken line of the narrow trouser over the boot, then the emergence of punk in the seventies with the Doc Marten boot and to fast forward to present day, where the Brogue, Military, Desert, Chukka and Ankle boots are all extremely popular, and are widely available from many popular stores such as Schuh, Dune, All Saints and Chelsea Cobbler. Here are some modern label’s interpretations of the beloved boot:

The Chukka: Chukka boots or turf boots are ankle-length with two or three pairs of eyelets for lacing, usually made from calfskin or suede.

Ted Baker MASOU Chunky Chukka Boot - 150.00

Camper 1913 Chukka Boots, Schuh - 100.00

Schuh Andix Punch Chukka Boots - 67.00

Military: designed to be worn by soldiers during actual combat or combat training as opposed to during parades and other ceremonial duties. Modern combat boots are designed to provide a combination of grip, ankle stability, and foot protection.

Scotty, Dune - 88.00

Firetrap Veloce 4, Chelsea Cobbler - 63.00 (Was 100.00)

Military Boots, All Saints - 165.00

Desert Boot: A combination of the Chupplee sandal and Voortrekker boot used during the Battle of North Africa.

Clarks Originals Desert Boots - 80.00

Bertie California Desert Boot, Chelsea Cobbler - 65.00

And there you have it: a Superbite sized history of the humble boot!




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