Hipster subculture is often synonymous with fashion that ranges from nostalgic to offbeat, a mix of obscurity and authenticity. When it comes to hipster boots, we find what’s often meant by the term is timeless style that’s handcrafted and small-batched. Our leather boots fit the bill. Working only with family owned and operated facilities, all our products are handcrafted in small production runs from the highest quality leather. HELM offers modern interpretations of the classics so often coveted. Keep reading for more about or heritage and sourcing…
What makes a footwear qualify as hipster shoes? In our book, hipster boots are styles built to last, not mass produced, with designs that maintain appeal over generations of wear. Classic styles with traditional details, from toe caps to mini lug soles, can pass for work or leather hipster boots. HELM boot designs take inspiration from American heritage boots, updated with unique, modern trims and signature details. In our line of men’s boots, a few stand out that fit the singular styles of hipster boots.
As a company based in Texas, boots are a way of life. From steel workers to sportsmen to crafts people to field gear, boots have a storied place in the American fashion landscape. Practical, utilitarian and tough, a good pair of leather boots is a reliable and necessary tool designed to transport the wearer safely and comfortable through a range of environments. In the 1950’s, advertising in the boot industry began a conscious effort to market work and field styles as approachable fashion staple pieces. The Blutcher boot, named after a 19th century war hero, is the original lace up ankle boot worn by laborers. The Blutcher boot has seen many translations and iterations over the years, from inspiring high top sneakers to military combat boots. Today, classic leather boots are a ubiquitous fashion accessory worn all over the world. Waking up in the morning and pulling on your favorite pair of dependable boots has us feeling ready to take on anything that might come your way. Our styles are
The relentless pace of technology and science has changed the tapestry of our society in quantum leaps over the past few decades. As boot makers, some of the most exciting advances in shoemaking have been ways to make practical goods more adaptable and comfortable for daily life. From weatherproof leather to cushioned insteps, leather sneaker designs have never been better. Investing in a sneaker that has the construction of a boot is a sustainable fashion choice that will ultimately lower your cost pe wear. Leather uppers can last upwards of twenty years. Most sneaker construction entails synthetic material and glue. HELM sneaker boots are 360 sidewall stitched and fully leather lined. Your HELM sneakers will contour to the shape of your foot (just like you best loved boots) and stay fresh-out-of-the-box crisp for years to come.
Chelsea boots and ankle boots gained mainstream popularity in the 1960s. The Beatles famously ushered the easy and refined style into the zeitgeist with a string of television appearances and media spots wearing heeled Chelsea boots. In western wear, the roper boot style has been a popular casual staple for decades. Our Pablo takes design elements from an Italian motorcycle boot, a roper boot and a traditional leather Chelsea boot. The Pablo is a modern zip up leather boot with a round toe last profile.
Investing in Craft
Why invest in a pair of quality handcrafted men’s boots? The short answer is trust. Supporting the work of thoughtful craftspeople is essential if you want to enjoy your footwear for generations. HELM leather boots are crafted and made using only the finest materials. Our leathers are between 2mm and 3mm in thickness. The hides contour beautifully wear after wear and take and develop distinctive patinas with age.
There’s an expression among bootmakers: Buy once. Cry one. This quip is mostly a shot at the break-in process for tough, high quality hides. New boots are like baseball gloves: You have to earn them and it sometimes take a bit of oil and action to get them fitting flawlessly. At HELM, shaving time and discomfort off our boot break-ins has been a top priority from the beginning. We’ve always set out to build the most comfortable pair of men’s casual leather boots anywhere. When you buy a pair of HELM, we’re welcoming you to our world. You can always expect 1-on-1 customer service from a small team of devoted boot lovers. We’ll walk you through your break-in process and work with you tirelessly to optimize the fit and feel of your new leather boots.
Opting for natural materials that maintain integrity year over year is ultimately not only better for your wallet, but beneficial to the environment. When you buy less and wear more, you’re keeping used products out of landfills and increasing the life cycle of quality goods. Upcycling, resoling and passing down your best loved boots is an easy way to go green by saving green.
All HELM boots and shoes are made to be worn. Treated fairly, our leather uppers will last 20 years. Our men’s leather boots are resoleable and you always have the option to mix and match sole options to fit your lifestyle. There is no limit to the number of times a HELM boot can be resoled. Wear pattern and resole rate is highly individual. We often compare it to tread on a tire. Personal gait, lifestyle, environment, and use all contribute to how long your boot resole will last. Click here to read more about or Resole Program.
The Lou is named after our friend and acclaimed chef, Lou Lambert, who not unlike this boot is classic, hard-working and able to make just about anything happen. The Lou boot is part leather sneaker boot, part heritage boot. The malt Harrier sole offers traction and non-slip capacity. A cushioned instep, gusseted tongue, and supple full grain leather upper and interior allow for a fit that contours to the custom shape of your foot with time. We often hear the Lou Boot is the most comfortable style in the lineup.
The Muller brothers are longtime friends of the HELM team known for their fun, artistic, and hard-working attitude. It’s only fitting that we named our first US-produced boot after them and much like its namesake, the Muller leather Bulcher boot became a hit. The classic heritage profile of the Muller make it a popular choice for those drawn to the hipster boot aesthetic. The style takes cues from nostalgic Americana handmade leather boots updated with contemporary detailing, from the poured rubber sole to burnished brass hardware and thin waxed laces. When folks come into the shop requesting hipster boots or hipster shoes, we often start with a Muller. The style walks the line between throwback and contemporary. We think it marries the best of both.
The first of its kind at HELM, the Charlie is a sleek and stylish hybrid of a sneaker and a boot. Made of soft Castello leather and featuring an extra padded ankle and tongue, the Charlie is instantly comfortable out of the box. The construction of our first sneaker is in line with traditional boot making. The rubber cup sole is sidewall stitched for durable wear. Popular d-ring hardware and two speed hooks make the Charlie sneaker in leather or suede a sporty, instant classic.
Perhaps the most adaptable leather boot in our entire offering, The Hollis marries the timeless appeal of a heritage work boot with the polish and tailoring of a contemporary men’s dress boot. A cap toe and rubber mini-lug sole are both design signatures of heritage leather work boots. The Hollis combines these rugged, functional details with a tapered toe profile for a look that is instantly more refined and a fit that feels more tailored. The Hollis leather boot fits close to the ankle, complimented by thin cotton laces and burnished hardware. Handsome, tough, and easy to dress up or dress down, this leather boot is one we recommend to folks looking to streamline their closet. If you are searching for one leather boot to wear to any occasion, The Hollis is built to have range.
A clever mix of a zip up moto boot, roper boot, and sneaker, The Knox is a lightweight and easy ankle boot ideal for travel and built to last. The sneaker features a sturdy zipper design, reinforced pull tabs, and sleek, minimalist aesthetic. Able to be worn with casual outfits or styled with business looks, The Knox sneaker in leather or supple Rusan suede is a unique and modern shoe that’s as comfortable as it is distinctive. Easy to get on and off and lightweight in a suitcase, The Knox is a staff favorite for travel.
A low profile ankle boot, The Declan is a sleek, modern update to a classic desert boot style. Originally designed for military use in arid, desert environments, chukka boots and desert boots are easy wardrobe essentials for Spring and Summer. The Declan features a poured rubber and leather sole with minimal lacing. Its minimal aesthetic makes it an unassuming and polished choice for weddings, special events, and business functions. In general, low profile boots require less tailoring to pair with suits. The Declan is our go-to recommendation if a guest stops by the shop needing a leather shoe or leather boot to wear to a special event the same day. It is wildly comfortable out of the box and so easy to break-in it’s ready to hit the dance floor straight out right of the box.
How to Style Hipster Boots
Searching for a pair of hipster shoes or leather heritage boots often denotes a classic style that aims to blend old and new, modern and nostalgic. One of the best ways to showcase a new or favorite pair of men’s leather boots is to pair them with a set of well-tailored trousers. Working with a local tailor to custom fit your pants, jeans, and trousers down to the proper length to compliment your boot adds an extra dose of refinement and finesse. It might surprise you what a significant visual impact small alterations can make to the overall look of an outfit. We’re breaking down our three most asked about ways to style men’s boots below. Keep reading for more tips…
Rolled jeans and French cuff trousers are an appealing and easy way to show off your best loved boots. One of the easiest way to showcase a Chelsea boot, ankle boot or even men’s lace up boot is a to roll your jeans.
Long Roll style is a technique ideal for heavier indigo denim or canvas pants. To long roll your pants, simply roll your jeans up with a single two-inch fold and tuck the hem behind the roll.
Pin tuck or French cuff rolls are ideal for lightweight fabrics and materials, from chinos to cotton. Learning how to French cuff your jeans is simple, but may require a couple rounds of effort to get the look exactly to your liking.
How to French Cuff Jeans
Start with uncuffed jeans or trousers
- Pinch an inch of material at the seam and fold over until tight and flat against the leg.
- Keeping a hold of the fold, roll up with one fold.
- Tuck fold downward to make sure the roll is not bunching and roll up once more.
- Repeat on other leg.
Straight Leg and Skinny Jeans
Ankle boots such as desert bots and Chelsea boots are perfect styles to pair with tapered leg or skinny leg jeans. With a lower profile or more tailored ankle, these styles often do not bunch under a more structured ankle cut trouser leg. Lace up boots style well with straight leg jeans. Taking your favorite pair of boots with you to the tailor or retail shop (many retailers will offer complimentary hemming) is the best way to confirm your favorite pair of jeans will be cut perfectly to your men’s boots.
Suits and Smart Casual Looks
From time to time we get asked at the shop, “What are the best men’s leather boots to wear with suits?” The four most popular styles in the current lineup to wear with suits are The Declan, The Zind, The Pablo and The Muller. When a guest comes in wondering what men’s dress boot will be right for a special event, we often first start by narrowing down the hunt to toe profile preference. For those who prefer a roomier toe shape or round toe boot, The Pablo and The Muller are ideal. If you prefer the look of a tapered toe or traditional men’s dress shoe but are looking for a men’s leather dress boot to wear with suits, we recommend The Zind or The Declan. The Declan and The Zind feature narrower toe profile and sleek, streamlined designs. The Pablo reads as a more sophisticated roper or western boot. Whereas, the Declan can often be interchangeable with a dress shoe.
How to wear boots with a suit always comes down to immaculate tailoring. If your suit trousers are too long, the pant leg may pool at the top of your boots. Low profile boots and shoes seldom have this issue. A desert boot or ankle boot style may not require additional tailoring when worn with a suit. If pairing a heritage boot, lace up boot, moto boot or roper boot with a suit, be sure to schedule a session with your tailor prior to your event to confirm your pants are optimal length to pair with boots. Oiling and conditioning boots prior to an event will keep your leather looking revived and handsome.
Taking care of your footwear is critical to its life. We have identified these main products in order to keep your pair looking fresh and healthy:
- Blackrock Leather 'N Rich: Our best-selling leather conditioner; conditions and hydrates leather. Good for eliminating scuffs and creases, and a faster break-in time.
- Pure Polish (pigmented and non-pigmented polishes): Colored polish revises the color in your footwear and belts. High Shine Boot Wax will keep your footwear looking its best without affecting the color.
- Otter Wax Leather Sealant: seals out and repels moisture, keeping your leather healthy. Reapply when water no longer beads after it hits treated spots.
When taking care of suede footwear, these products can help protect and clean:
- Shoe Keeper - Suede Protector Spray: Easy-to-use spray protects your fine suede and nubucks from stains and damage.
- Otter Wax Suede Cleaner: A nourishing alcohol-free treatment suitable for use on all types of suede and nubuck to remove stains, blemishes, and odors.
- Tampico Suede Brush: A versatile brush that's great to have since it can be used to clean a wide variety of fabrics, leathers, and suedes. Natural bristles are relatively stiff, allowing to scrub away dirt and debris, but soft enough to not scratch leather or pull at the threads of fabric.
Here are some other helpful accessories:
- Cedar Shoe Trees: our shoe trees help keep your footwear looking its best by absorbing moisture between wears, and during longer periods of storage.
- HELM Shop Rag: Made of 100% indigo cotton, this cloth is a great companion when using waxes, polishes, and sealants.
We conveniently recommend the best blend of care products for each pair of footwear after you add it to your cart. Note: pop-up blockers must be disabled in order to see HELM's recommendations.
Shipping, Exchanges, & Returns
We offer free standard shipping on all U.S. domestic footwear orders, or any order placed that exceeds $50.
HELM will gladly accept exchanges on unworn and unused HELM footwear within 30 days of purchase and will cover the cost of shipping for all U.S. domestic orders. If you wish to make an exchange, please visit: helm.happyreturns.com and select the "Exchange" option. Choosing this option will allow you to tell us what you'd like to have sent in place of our original order.
- All exchanges must include a proper return authorization number on the shipping box in order to be processed. The RMA number will be assigned at helm.happyreturns.com.
- Exchanges will ship once the original purchase being returned arrives at the HELM Returns Office.
- Footwear must be unworn and in perfect condition in original shoe box. If boots have been worn, we are unable to accept an exchange.
- Gift cards are not eligible to be returned or exchanged.
- Free shipping on all U.S. domestic orders.
- Customer is responsible for shipping and customs on all international exchanges.
HELM will gladly accept returns on unworn and unused HELM products within 30 days of purchase & will cover the return shipping on all U.S. domestic orders over $50 by providing a prepaid return label. If you wish to make a return, please visit: helm.happyreturns.com
- All returns must include a proper return authorization number on the shipping box in order to be processed. The RMA number will be assigned at helm.happyreturns.com.
- Footwear purchase may be refunded within 30 days of the purchase date on the receipt.
- Refunds will be issued in the form of payment used to make the original purchase. Refunds can take up to 3-5 business days to reflect on credit or debit card accounts depending on the bank associated with the card.
- Footwear must be unworn and in perfect condition in original shoe box. If footwear has been worn, we are unable to accept a return.
- Any original shipping costs will not be refunded although we do offer free return shipping on all U.S. domestic orders over $50 by downloading a prepaid shipping label through our returns and exchange portal.
- Customer is responsible for shipping and customs on all international returns.
- Items marked "Final Sale" are ineligible to be returned.
Our Loyalty Program
The HELM Crew is free to join, and it's your ticket to savings, exclusive access, sneak peeks, and unique experiences. You start earning Crew Points with your first purchase.
Every dollar spent earns you at least one Crew Point. We'll give you 100 points just for signing up, and more points for engaging with the community.
Being in the Crew isn't just about saving. You'll be among the first to know about sales, new releases, and exclusive events.
The perks get bigger at our VIP HELMSMEN Tier, including a password-protected private shopping experience, wear-testing raffles, and design feedback on future products.
We make Footwear for Life. Styles designed for every occasion, and made to last. But we aren't just here to sell boots and shoes. We are in endless pursuit of impeccable design and unmistakable, life-defining experiences; the coolest places, the most delicious food, the perfect soundtrack for every moment, fascinating people, and the partners who share in our pursuit to find these things.
There are more than 153 steps involved in making a pair of HELM footwear, performed by 14 master cobblers. We're relentless about craftsmanship and have spent years refining our process. Every pair of HELM reflects the dedication we have towards our craft and customers.
Everything we make is inspired by a story and a place. We want our footwear to be as long-lasting as the culture that inspired it, and we combine timeless construction methods with premium leather and materials to create footwear built with a purpose, and shoes made to endure the years, for people who take care of them. HELM footwear is meant to be worn for life.
We want every HELM purchase to be deeply meaningful to each customer, and our commitment to excellence lasts beyond checkout. We are here to serve you with unparalleled customer service and inspire you with tailored customer experiences, and share with you the things that inspire us, like we do in our iconic weekly Saturday Six.
Our goal since day one has been to create footwear that is versatile, timeless, and functional — able to be worn in the workshop or boardroom. You can spot every pair of HELM by its signature white midsole.