The day that I think many of you have been waiting for is finally here. And that day represents the fact that my button boots that I have been working on for so long finally go live for pre-sale. Now let’s keep the fingers crossed and hope that they are received well (and even more important that they fit you all!). That being, let’s go through a bit of opinion and facts on them before we get to the nitty gritty. And let’s start with the opinion.
For the longest time I have wanted to not only make but own button boots. There were 3 problems though to making that happen (at least for owning a pair). 1. You can count on one hand how many makers are offering proper button boots as a RTW product. There are 3 to be specific (button boots with snaps buttons don’t count IMHO). And 2. Of the three, they were all too expensive for me to justify spending my money on something that I really did not “need.” And to top it all off, only 1 of them is actually easily accessible. That being, I made it a personal mission, not only to make them under my range, J.FitzPatrick, but also with the hopes to spread them to more people by making them more accessible and also relatively “affordable.”
It was a long journey though, with a lot of samples made and a lot that either broke or were rejected. You see, the button boot is one of the hardest patterns to get right as it requires perfection when creating the overlapping leather that is used for fastening the buttons. And not only that but I knew that I was not going to offer them with neither button hooks nor handsewn button holes (to keep costs down) and therefore had to make them so that they were able to be fastened (and unfastened) by hand. And that is not as easy as it sounds. It meant cutting the button holes to be slightly more open, sourcing smaller buttons and also leaving the flap a bit more open to allow for give. And even then, they are challenging to get on and off (but only at first).
Even more of a challenge was the fact that for the first round of boots, I could only use fabric for the upper shaft (which is great for me but some may prefer other) as the thick cut suede couple with a thick cut lining made it impossible to fasten and unfasten the boots. But I am already working on solution to that problem, so hopefully next year there will be more than just fabric options for the upper shaft.
But, at last, they are here and ready to be worn by the feet of smart men across the world. I know that many of you have been waiting to see the colors that they were going to come in and some of you were hoping for burgundy or maybe something else. But unfortunately I could only do so many colors as the bank roll can’t afford to do the 10 make ups I could easily do if money were endless! But don’t worry I promise that next year there will be some exciting stuff coming to the table as I am already thinking of all of the great combinations that could be done.
Some facts that you may want to take note before making the plunge:
— Buttons are plastic, not horn. This was done to keep costs down and the plastic ones are very durable and thinner, which allows you to fasten easily by hand.
— There are no button hooks provided in order to assist in putting them on. That being, they can be difficult for some, especially if you have a high instep. If your instep is really high, you just might not work in these. If you still want to take the plunge then I suggest sizing up one half size just to ensure the closure of the flap.
— The lowest button is the hardest to do/undo. But as you wear them more and more they become easier to fasten and unfasten. This is for two reasons. One you will gain technique in doing so. And two, like all things made in clothing type material, the leather liner/tweed and button holes will all break in and become less rigid, allowing for an easier time. I will soon make a video on the technique. I can do/undo mine now with one hand, therefore you will be able to as well.
— This boot is made our on NGT last. This is our new last and is the most narrow in comparison to the rest. Its narrowness feeling mainly comes from the fact that it is a much more shaped last. The space above the toe joints is more shallow and the arch is more hugging. The heel is also more narrow and thus more gripping. The toe box area (where the medallion is) is actually higher than the others as there is a slight ‘hump.’
— It will take you 5-10 mins to put them on the first time if you have never done this before. ALLOW ME TO SAY AGAIN BEFORE YOU BUY THAT IT WILL GET EASIER.
— The boot cost £395/pair (ex VAT £329.17). That is the least expensive button boot on the market so don’t miss out as I have a feeling they are going to go fast!