Thursday, December 23, 2010

listen to the sound of my big black boots

by frédérik sisa

When I was much younger and, arguably, much sillier, my eye got stuck on these bad boys and I bought them:


Unfortunately, they didn’t end up meeting my delusional expectations. For one thing, they murdered my heels, which meant I probably didn’t wear them enough to break them in but couldn’t really break them in without fussing with band-aids and the like. Catch-22. Then there was the fact that they took forever to lace up. And if that wasn’t enough, there was also the fact that ultimately most of the boot would get hidden beneath my pant legs, so what was the point of all that effort to achieve the look of a shoe? Besides, it was a lot of boot for a guy who essentially wears sandals most of the time.

I eventually did find a way to make the boots work, by punking it up with, ahem, jean capris and some tough-looking shirts. But still, the boots don’t quite fit right at the ankle. So much for my docs.

The other pair of boots I had was from Aldo; chunky-soled, hardware-enhanced badassery that people nicknamed my “moon boots.” Ah, those were a great pair of boots. Alas, they expired and that was the end of that.

Bootless, I eventually had to set out to fill the gap in my wardrobe. Plenty of sandals and a few shoes, but nothing really hardcore and rugged. Sometime last year, when my wife and I went to the Army surplus store to get some camping gear I spotted the combat boots. Light bulb! Unfortunately,I didn’t find anything that looked or fitted right. A typical brand in stores is Altama, like this pair:

(Image borrowed from www.altama.com.)

Not quite was I was looking for.

Another issue was whether or not to get leather. As an approximate vegan, I struggle with wearing clothes or shoes made from animal products. However, when I looked up vegan combat boots I typical found forums with conservations like this:

Boot wearer: Help! Does anyone know how to break in a pair of vegan combat boots? Potentially helpful person: How long have you been wearing them?
Boot wearer: Two years!

Needless to say, it wasn’t very encouraging and reinforced my suspicion of synthetic materials. So, leather.

A bit of online searching yielded an exciting discovery: Corcoran boots, a brand that’s been around a long time. “From the ‘Original Jump Boot’ that carried paratroopers behind enemy lines in Europe to the newest ‘Combat Boot’ currently being worn in operations in Iraq,” as their website puts it. They have a great selection, but I ultimately settled on the very well-reviewed field boot because of its classic design and cap toe, as well as the fact that they’re made in the USA:

(Image borrowed from www.corcoranandmatterhorn.com.)


Here are the specs from the website:
  • Full grain leather
  • "Spit Shineable" Leather Toe Cap and Counter
  • Unlined
  • High Speed Lace System
  • Internal Ankle Support
  • DRYZ® Cushioned Insole
  • Ribbed Steel Shank
  • Garrison Army Munson Last for Superior Fit
  • Welt Construction
  • Vibram® #134 Rubber Outsole

After a few weeks wearing them, I can safely say that these boots are flat-out awesome. They look great, are quick to lace, and are very comfortable too – I didn’t even have to break them in. Figuring out what to wear with them has been a fun adventure too, and I’ve been playing around with hard and soft style options to achieve a balanced look. For example, this quirky, eclectic, and edgy ensemble consists of the boots, black skinny pants, a loose black sweater, a long vest (grey, with embroidered patterns along the edges) of the kind Indian men wear, and an old-fashioned cap:


There you go. Corcoran field boots.

On that note, this will be the last post of the year. I wish you all the best for the holidays and will see you in January with all sorts of fun fashionable discoveries from the December edition of Unique LA. Until then, I leave you with Trent Reznor’s latest endeavour, How to Destroy Angels, and an appropriate track called BBB:


2 comments:

anjali said...

hey Fred, this is sherwani jacket/coti(vest). I really liked how you used it with western outfit.Nice job

Frederik Sisa said...

Thank you, Anjali. I appreciate it!

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