Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
It should come as a surprise to no one that I love boots of all shape and sizes — from the most classically designed pair that is perfect for everyday wear to the ultra unique that only leaves the closet a couple of times a season. The boots in this list will definitely fall in the latter category for most of us, but some of you might just find your next pair of daily wear boots (and more power to you).
1) Viberg: Apsley Boot in Natural Waxed Flesh
Viberg’s Apsley Boot became a grail for many people as soon as it was first revealed. The goal: to replicate the boots worn by Apsley Cherry-Garrard during the 1910 Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica. This pair is constructed using naildown construction, while most Vibergs feature 180° stitchdown/naildown hybrid construction or their semi-recently introduced Goodyear welt construction. Keep in mind that these are some pretty serious boots with their double midsole and commando outsole, but if you think you can pull them off and don’t mind the price then there is little reason to pass them by.
Available for $700 from Viberg.
2) Guidi: Classic Hiking Boot in Grey
Guidi might be a bit more avant garde than many Heddels readers are used to, but for those of us who enjoy their unique aesthetic or are just looking for a pair of sometimes-boots their designs are close to perfect. The Classic Hiking Boot might seem almost ordinary based merely on a basic description of its design: a lace-to-toe hiking boots with D-ring eyelets, padded tongue and collar, 360° Norwegian welt, and lugged outsole. However, the ash grey leather features an almost powdery looking texture, the rugged finishing on the leather midsole and heel-stack, and the way the brass hardware almost seems to bleed onto the leather gives this boot a very distinctive look.
Available for $1070 from Atelier New York.
3) The Flat Head: Shell Cordovan/Deerskin Hiking Boot
Like many hiking boots, these Shell Cordovan/Deerskin Hiking Boots from The Flat Head share a lot of similarities with roofing boots but the padded throat definitely throws them firmly into the hiking boot category. This pair is constructed from Japanese Shell Cordovan from Shinki Hikaku with American deerskin accents and features 360° stitchdown construction with a Christy sole. This pair features lace-to-toe lacing and a removable kitlie, which go together wonderfully.
Available for $1496AUD from Colection.
4) Ralph Lauren Purple Label: Findel Burnished-Leather Hiking Boots
Ralph Lauren Purple Label has a way of creating unique and artistic pieces that still seam polished and timeless — it’s a feat that is matched by few other companies, and surely deserves credit where credit is due. Their latest hiking boot, the Findel, has many elements of a traditional hiker but it still stands out; the contrasting heel piece matches the leather used to line the boot as well as the Norwegian stitching around the perimeter of the boot. The construction appears to be Norvegese, which is a modified stitchdown construction where, in addition to the upper being flipped out and stitched directly to the midsole and outsole, the upper also features decorative stitches connecting it to the leather insole. There are many hiking boots out there, but if you want your pair to be sleek, classy, and built to the highest quality standard then look no further.
Available for $1500 from Mr. Porter.
5) Diemme: Roccia Vet Boot in Beige Felt
Diemme produces some great hiking boots, but their latest Roccia Vet Boot in Beige Felt is a real standout. It features 360° stitchdown construction, which is pretty common for premium quality hiking boots, and other basic hiking boot specs: D-ring eyelets, lace-to-toe vamp design, etc. But the real standout is the felt material used for the upper; not only does it give a great texture to the boot, but it matches the suede accents used around the throat of the boot and makes the stitchdown look that extra bit more special.
Available for $355 from End Clothing.
Plus One – Feit: Military Hiker II in Black
Feit is known for their minimalist shoes designs, and their Military Hiker II continues that trend. It is an extra tall hiker with the elongated ankle made from a black suede and the rest of the boot made with a smooth, black leather. It primarily features blind eyelets but with a single nickel eyelet and nickel speedhooks at the top of the boot. There is minimal visible stitching through, although some extra thick accent stitches are see at stress points. It features a 360° Goodyear welt with a double leather midsole and cemented on lugged outsole.
Available for $800 from Feit.