The summer is barely a distant memory and already I’m cavorting with the idea of pulling on a big pair of boots until next May. I’ve been pining after a new pair since this time last year – a desire no doubt helped by the overzealous daily dose of web store window-shopping that I conduct for hours on end after a day at work. Reading this you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m talking about drugs, not the alluring curves and textures of quality footwear – though with traditional footwear and work boots on display in shops as far as the eye can see, it can be difficult not to get caught up in it all.
Luckily I’ve been through this seasons offering’s with a fine toothcomb so that you don’t have to, and the hiking boot has come out on top. Yes the mountaineer look is here to stay, and if the windows of the high street’s biggest chains are anything to go by, it’s gone viral. The boot originally used for scaling mountains and hiking in the nether regions of the world has now been transformed for those of us too suave to be seen up a mountain on a saturday afternoon - and no they're not the clunky versions seen on ramblers strolling through the country side; but sleek, contemporary styles for well, a whole different type of terrain.
Italian shoe maestro’s Diemme know a thing or two about sturdy footwear. Located in a small town in the Montebelluna district of northeast Italy, the brand is operated by two brothers: Maico and Dennis, each have a broad knowledge and understanding of boot manufacture after growing up around the industry and still work on the production floor today. Their Roccia Vet boots are sure to turn some heads in the city – coming in more colour variations than a packet of skittles, you might find yourself struggling to side with a single pair. Constructed from quality materials and utilising the traditional criss cross (not necessarily not the technical term) lacing system, the Vibram morflex sole provides ideal flexibility for lighter use as apposed to the more rigid soles suitable for actual hiking.
Diemme aren’t the only brand knocking out hiking boots these days, but they do offer a contemporary style coupled with sublime comfort from their superior ankle support. If you’re looking for a more authentic boot you can’t go far wrong with Fracap (also made in Italy) and for a more unorthodox look - the Fitzsimmons boot from Native should do the trick (imagine ‘crocs’ in the shape of a boot, if you will). Ultimately these are the marmite of the boot world, while many will consider them to be on the periphery of costume, they should rightly fit in alongside your casual footwear rotation.
Saying that, if you want to achieve the action man look whilst down the pub for a few bevvies, you can throw them on with your parka, canvas back pack and bobble hat and be on your way - Just don't go climbing any mountains in them anytime soon.
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