It is Spring in Melbourne, but the weather is still cool and great for tweed, which I love. And, the weather is turning in the Northern Hemisphere. For those of us that like to layer up, it is a great time. Footwear also follows the climate and cooler temperatures start to bring out the country brogues and country brogue boots. Their construction is both rugged and still very stylish and virtually indestructible.
In previous blogs I have mentioned a number of exquisite examples of country brogue shoes and boots. Do go back to those blogs and read about them. I have discussed the tweed Exmoor boot and contrasted it with its smaller sibling the Dartmoor tweed county brogue shoe. They look fabulous with the Moorland Green Tweed. It is the herringbone weave of the tweed that creates a striking texture with a warm colour palette of green, yellow, orange, blue and burgundy. Both have the Dainite sole. On the other hand, the Dartmoor country brogue in dark leaf calf with the storm welt and leather sole is majestic and bold and is the classic country brogue shoe. I have also reviewed the Coniston boot with its contrasting burgundy leathers. I recall referring to the Coniston as the Errol Flynn of boots. The handsome and debonair Gentleman Jim who was just as brilliant as the rugged and swashbuckling Captain Blood. I contrasted these boots and shoes with the Langdale II that possesses a more traditional persona. It is rugged and tough and shares all the same trekking attributes as the Exmoor and Coniston but it is not as ostentatious. It is its simplicity that appeals. As I mentioned in the previous blog, on simplicity, I have to agree with Oscar Wilde, ‘The simplicity of the Langdale’s character makes it ‘exquisitely incomprehensible to me’.
Vintage workwear and footwear associated with it is very popular at the moment and that is why the topic of this blog is on the Wasdale derby shoe and the Windemere boot. Whilst vintage workwear is popular the Wasdale and Windemere have been in the Herring catalogue for many years. They are manufactured by Joseph Cheaney for Herring using the 4436 last which is over 75 years old. With the Wasdale and Windemere, you are getting a true vintage legacy. One that is authentic and has lasted the test of time and is not just a passing fashion phase.
In terms of construction, they are the next level up. There is no doubt that the Wasdale and Windemere will last more than a single lifetime. They are bold and rugged with a commando sole that will last the life of the shoe. They also use a Veldtschoen construction method. Veldtschoen construction is a type of Goodyear welting shoe production method whereby the lining is welted to the insole edge or the insole bridge before the upper is attached. Once the lining has been welted, the upper is placed on top of the welts and double stitched onto the midsole. A second stitch connects the upper with the welting and the outsole. This shoe production method guarantees sturdy, waterproof shoes that retain their form.
Both the Wasdale derby shoe and the Windemere boot are the real deal and are designed to be used and abused outdoors. Nonetheless, they are perfect to wear with jeans or chinos for a casual weekend. And of course, look sublime with tweed and even corduroy.
The last is generous with a G fitting and clearly designed for comfort and to wear with thicker socks. The upper is the most gorgeous and what will become a very soft and supple burgundy grain leather. It is a no nonsense design with a traditional rounded toe with two rows of double stitching to create a most definitive statement with its bold cap toe.