If you’ve happened upon a tumblog with at least one reference to cordovan or Daiki Suzuki lately, then you’re well aware that there’s a workwear strain currently running through the world of men’s style. Strains, of course, can quickly morph into trends, and we all know where we go from there—pretty soon you’re seeing coal miner’s helmets at Sunday brunch in Santa Monica. And while the look can get a little costume-y, what we’re ultimately talking about is a renewed appreciation for functionality. Workwear fabrics tend to be comfortable, warm, and built to last, and with an aesthetic appeal that’s been honed and perfected over decades. All of which are indispensable traits in footwear, as well.
Which brings us to the pivotal role a work boot can play in your arsenal. Red Wings, Timberlands, Wolverines, Gorillas, and Danners–to name a few–are all made to withstand lumber yards, construction sites, and pretty much every other place where men make their living by lifting, moving, chopping, and activities that make cube-dwellers like us feel useless. So yes: they’re built to last.
And allow us to bring your attention to one of the genre’s less heralded traits: versatility. A classically designed pair can work just as well with wool tweed slacks and a tie as it does with raw indigo denim. In the fall and winter, your work boots can play the same role your canvas sneakers do during the year’s warmer months. Perfect for Sunday mornings and Saturday nights. Want to pair them with a suit? Absolutely, but best to keep the boots brown and the suit navy or wool flannel. Apply some leather dressing (or just wear a pair of Edward Green Galways), and you’ve got a seasonally appropriate, country gentleman sort of look.
In other words, you’ll get both durability and stylish adaptability—things that’ll stand true long after the tumblogs have moved onto karate shoes.