Making leather boots and shoes isn't just a hobby for us - it's a passion. Because we know how important it is to make sure the perfect style ends up on your feet, we've pulled together the questions you should be asking before investing in a quality pair. Instead of throwing a ton of info at you all at once, we're breaking it down into a series of emails. So let's kick it off with question number one....
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES AND STYLES?
Boots tend to get lumped into one category of footwear, but take it from us, there's more to it than that. Chelsea, chukka, dress, zip, cap-toe, blucher....the list goes on.
While we think every closet should have a good variety, we also think finding your go-to design is a must, so the first question to ask yourself - "Where am I going in these boots?" Do you need to be able to go from the business meeting to a dressed-up dinner after work? Are you on your feet all day? Are you going straight from the office to the job site?
Read on for just a few of the style choices out there...
The chukka boot gets its name from a period of play during a Polo match. We like to think of the chukka as the perfect combination of a boot and a shoe. A gentleman's style - always sophisticated whether dressed up or down.
- Mid-height that usually doesn’t extend beyond the ankle
- Patterns tend to be simple, with 2-3 eyelets max
- Usually designed using suede or leather material for the uppers
- Perfect year round and as a summer boot.
HELM Chukka | The Declan
The Blucher boot (pronounced blue-ker) has German roots. The style was created by a Prussian Field Marshall who wanted boots made from a single piece of leather for added comfort for his troops. Styles like the Lou take the blucher style to the next level by adding a harrier sole for increased cushion and traction.
- Features open lacing down the front of the boot
- The vamp (main upper of the boot) is constructed from one piece of leather
- The eyelets are sewn onto the vamp, meaning the flaps where the laces are don't come together at the bottom
There's usually two versions to focus on when choosing a blucher style - cap or plain toe.
Cap toes feature horizontal stitching across the toe box. While boots like this tend to nod towards classic Americana style with a more rounded and casual look, in a shoe it can be considered a dressier option (think Oxfords.)
HELM Cap Toe Blucher | The Muller
A plain toe is, well, exactly what it sounds like. It skips the stitching along the front for a streamlined look, giving the boot a more European feel. Visually, the absence of the cap toe creates an elongated and sleek profile.
HELM Plain Toe Blucher | The Zind
The Chelsea boot is traditionally constructed with elastic. Originally designed for royalty and made famous by The Beatles in the 60's, it lends its signature style across all walks of life. The Pablo is simply a Chelsea boot with a zipper as a nod to a perfect fitting Italian moto jacket. Zip up, step out.
HELM Chelsea | The Pablo
- Close fitting so no need for laces
- Typically ankle height
- Convenient, comfortable and classic
That's a whole lot of info to consider and we're just getting started. Check out Volume II in the series - how to choose the perfect sole.