If spring hasn’t arrived in your neck of the woods (pun intended), it certainly has in sunny England. As I stood watching a very enthusiastic Chaffinch bathing in a puddle that had formed on a rather lush looking green grass field, with a flock of even more enthusiastic Lambs hungrily pestering their poor mothers for more of the good stuff, I looked down at my sorry looking wellies and thought... To be honest, even Gracie, my Cocker Spaniel who you might remember form previous articles (still going strong), was judging my walking attire as the sun beamed down on the stunningly beautiful Northamptonshire countryside.
It got me thinking, why, when I work for one of the premier Goodyear-welted shoe manufacturers am I walking miles in wellies that provide my feet with absolutely no arch or ankle support and do nothing for my very pretty Cocker Spaniels credentials! Perfect for the garden, but come on… Must do better, as Gracie turns around in distain and disappears after the hare she has been trying to catch for the past few year…
To my own collection, Cavendish, Westbourne, Teign, Cranleigh, Alex, James, Vincent, really aren’t helping me out in this situation… But my Coniston in various make-ups, the most recent being our special edition with the VIBRAM rubber sole, could do the job. Derwent and Northcote in Burnished Calf, less so. Chelsea 5 in Rough-Out Suede are my weekend go-to boots (comfort and ease of use on a trainer like level), but I don’t really want them to be constantly covered in mud. The pub landlord will give me hell.
I really am missing a beater boot, a boot that I can rely on and use with confidence that the morning dew isn’t going to worry and one that I only need to brush off and clean at the weekend. A boot that can pound the pavements and cross fields. The time has come and I need to upgrade my walking footwear now the winter has succumbed and the daffodils have sprung.
Here is a selection of boots that I have my eye on, and my reasons behind my choices:
Snowdon / Grizedale
For me, the iconic walking boot. A deep toe, high leg Derby boot featuring a bellows or half bellows tongue with a shooting heritage. Snowdon is obviously the toughest boot in the collection with its Veldtschoen construction, utterly fit-for-purpose. Personally, I am a huge fan of our Rough-Out Suede, so I’d opt for Grizedale over Snowdon. Rough-Out is more water-resistant than the tannery will admit. It’s of a high substance so perfectly warm, and the comfort is unparalleled. Once the break in period has been dealt with, which for me was a few weeks, I was a convert! I love the beaten-up appearance that Rough-Out Suede takes on over time. The VIBRAM soles are fantastic and if you want grip, you just have to put up with a sole that picks up the mud…
Islay in Teak Oiled Sides
Not the ‘prettiest’ leather in the collection, not even the nicest colour. Purely tanned with specification in mind, which I respect. However, since donning (modelling) these boots on our AW21 campaign (that’s right, no faffing around with models…), I’ve had this little Chaffinch on my shoulder telling me to buy some. I bored my marketing team senseless with how comfortable these boots were straight off the bat. “You don’t need to sell it to us” they continually told me throughout our Cornish exploits! It was unbelievable. A supple, no break in period, easy to wipe clean leather, coupled with the trademark Crockett & Jones durability.
Ross in Chocolate Hurricane Hide
Since launching the Ross, it has always stood out from the crowd. The suede collar, the colour of the Chocolate Hurricane Hide, its texture, the oils that move around in the leather! If you think it looks good on your screen, or in hand, on the foot it’s as good as it gets. Also sporting the sporty side ‘v’ galosh, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the more gentrified of my selection… My concern here is that Spaniel! If I rock up to our morning walk wearing these, she’ll start striding about the village like lady & the tramp… she’s already got too much swagger for my liking, barking for her biscuit at every checkpoint along the way!
Other perfectly apt choices would be: Chepstow, a second pair of Cheslea 5 ROS or even Aldershot if the farmer would stop ploughing the conservation strips.