A lot of people ask me what my favorite pair of shoes are from my J.FitzPatrick collection. One might not realize but that is akin to asking which child is your favorite. The answer is complex and often there is no ‘one’ answer. So, I like to think of it in terms of styles of footwear like oxford, boots, monkstraps etc. That makes it a lot easier to give an answer.
Being from Seattle, where we have several mountain ranges at our grasp, a ton of forests, and a lot of rain, you tend to see a lot of hiking-style boots growing up. The one I loved most was always the Alpine-style ones with the D-ring lacing system. The issue was that I wanted to dress nicely and not be like your typical Seattleite wearing a suit and hiking boots, so I knew that I needed to refine it somehow.
Having been inspired by an obscure Japanese shoemaker around 20 years ago, I knew that I needed to put it on a dress shoe last and ultimately slim it way down. Because in reality, I didn’t want so much a hiking boot, but rather an all-weather city boot. I did just that and the Black Calf and Rugged Brown models have been top sellers ever since.
As I love the model though, I have always tested in it other colorways/materials. In 2021, I thought I would have a stab at making it in a robust Dark Brown Suede, which ultimately is a popular choice for many other models. I thought it would be a no-brainer. But 2021 sales were dismal. I felt that maybe it was because we started offering them late in the season.
Here comes 2022 sales and the same. In fact, we sold more loafers than boots last Winter. It was weird. And while I have a feeling this Winter will be quite cold and we will sell lots of boots, back-to-back years with poor sales cannot be argued with and they must go, so that they can be replaced by a new colorway.
I have the feeling that the issue is not their beauty. The model is popular. Dark Brown Suede is popular. But sadly, people have this great misconception that suede is fragile and easy to ruin when that could not be further from the truth. I have worn these boots more than any others since 2021 and they are going really strong. I do a good amount of walking outside on a daily basis and I especially wear them on rainy days. Of course, not in snow, but anything other than snow, bring it on!
I know that this fear has definitely prevented people from jumping on them. This is sad, as I would love to have these be a staple in the collection. But since this is how we run the brand, the Dark Brown Suede Snoqualmie must go.
Therefore, we have what is left of my favorite pair of boots at $345. But I know that they will start to go quickly as we sold a few pairs yesterday and have a feeling we will sell a few more today.
That being, if you were one that had your eye on these but never pulled the trigger, now is the time before they go. I promise that you will enjoy them as much as I do!