And now we’re moving on to another menswear staple that has become more attainable and readily available lately: benchgrade shoes. While it’s a loosely defined term, depending on which shoemaker you ask, it’s generally accepted that benchgrade means you're getting welted soles, shoes made in smaller batches and hand-finishing during some if not all stages of construction--while not necessarily made-to-order or custom. And we’ve been noticing that the going rate for a quality budget-conscious pair has settled right around $300.
It’s a safe bet you’ll be kicking through some leaves in the near future, and you’re going to want to be dressed for it.
So we thought we’d break down the vagaries of rugged footwear into three distinct categories. Each one has its own brands and its own rules—from the rugged Red Wing to the gentlemanly cordovan equivalent—and we’ve got a favorite in each category.
One of the perks of the blogging life is that we occasionally get to sit down with brilliant designers. Now is one of those times.
The gentleman in question is Tim Little, the Creative Director at Grenson, a mastermind of broguing who happens to have a few exclusive vibram-soled items available exclusively from our friends at UrbanDaddy Perks. We sat down with Mr. Little to talk boots, heritage, and the intersection of British and American workwear.
What’s your philosophy for designing these boots?We try to take the essence of what the company is—the heritage, the history, everything we're good at—and make that relevant for today. Everything comes from a very long line of what we¹ve done over the years. We use all the same styling from the past 100 years of Grenson, but we updated it, changed the materials slightly, to bring it up to date.
If you direct your attention to the column on the left (and maybe down a little bit), you might notice a brand new set of must-haves dropped in for fall, with this Italian Army boot from Grenson leading the charge.
Sadly, the shop where we found it has already sold out of the boots, but after a little digging, we’ve found a place where you can preorder from the next batch. Anyone who’s curious can place a special order with Black Dog Showroom by email or at 212-956-1425. It should be worth the trouble.