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.
We’ve written about Natural Leather Boots before, but unfortunately most of them are now sold out. That’s why we’ve compiled a new list of the best natural leather boots on the market.
If you’re interested in seeing a pair of boots age with each and every where, there is no better option than natural leather. While these are not necessary untreated vegetable tanned leather, as is common for belts and wallets, even those treated with tannery finishes still patina to perfection.
1) Rancourt: Blake Chukka Essex
Rancourt’s line of Horween Natural Essex boots are fantastic, with their Blake Chukka being just one of many options. The Essex leather used for these boots is tanned with the methodology developed for Shell Cordovan, but applied to cowhide; these boots are fully lined for comfort and solidity, and feature a natural latex Lactae Hevea sole. Despite the boot being named “Blake” they actually utilize Blake/Rapid construction where an interior Blake stitch connects the insole to the midsole and an exterior Rapid stitch connects the midsole to the outsole (or, in this case, a latex slip-sole that is then cemented to the latex outsole).
Available for $345 from Rancourt.
2) Butts and Shoulders: The Natural Boots
Butts and Shoulders isn’t the most well known brand, but their dedication to using natural leather from butt and shoulder cuts is commendable. These boots are Goodyear welted and feature a natural rubber half-sole, which helps ensure good grip without breaking the natural aesthetic. The natural state of these boots insures they’ll get better with age, so just make sure you have room in your footwear rotation to really break them in.
Available for €395 from Butts and Shoulders.
3) Viberg: Scout Boot in Natural Japanese Cowhide
We love Viberg’s Service Boots as much as everyone else but that doesn’t minimize the beauty of their Scout Boots at all. Their Natural Japanese Cowhide iteration features their traditional stitchdown construction on top of a Vibram Morflex sole, giving the wedge sole aesthetic while remaining light and flexible. They’re finished with a rolled top edge, antique brass eyelets, and pull-tab, a look that is completed with the heavy-duty leather laces.
Available for $700 from Viberg.
4) Truman Boot: Natural Dublin
Truman Boot’s Natural Dublin boot is constructed with Horween’s Dublin leather: a vegetable tanned leather that is full of oils and waxes, which imbues the leather with lots of pull-up. This pair features a commando outsole for maximum grip, along with polished brass eyelets, 270º Goodyear welt, and tonal midsole color to give the boots clean lines.
Available for $440 from Truman Boot.
5) Wesco: 10″ Engineer in Natural Eessex
If you’re more interested in Engineer boots than standard lace-ups but still want the ageing potential of natural leather then look no further than Wesco’s 10″ Engineer in Natural Essex. These boots feature Wesco’s renowned stitchdown construction, and a vintage look given the flat toe-box and rubber half-sole. These boots feature straps with polished brass buckles at both the calf and instep, ensuring a comfortable fit.
Available for $800 from Iron Heart.
Plus One – Carmina: Natural Shell Cordovan
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème there is no better choice than shell cordovan, and Carmina’s Natural Shell Cordovan boots are one of the best options out there. With a 360º degree Goodyear welt, hidden eyelets, and three brass speedhooks, these boots are attractive, easy to dress up or down, made to stand up to years of wear while being of high enough quality to be rebuilt when the times comes.
Available for $990 from Carmina.