Top 5 Boots at Liberty Fairs

February 12th, 2015

At Liberty Fairs NYC we had the chance to take a close look at some of the best gear hitting the menswear market come Fall/Winter 2015.

You already know we love a well made boot. Here are five stand-outs from the show.

Together, these five different styles would be a very well edited boot wardrobe.

1. The Plain Toe Lace-Up

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A sleek plain toe with a sharp-but-sturdy sole is a very versatile boot. These blue suede beauties are handmade by Oak Street Bootmakers, in a Chicago factory who exclusively uses renowned Horween Chromexcel leather. In case you didn’t know: “Horween Chromexcel undergoes 89 separate processes taking 28 days and utilizing all five floors of the Horween facility in Chicago. Over the past 100 years very little has changed in the formula. Food-grade beef tallow, cosmetic-grade beeswax, marine oil, chrome salts, tree bark extracts and naturally occurring pigments are combined. The mixture is then applied using heat, steam pressure, the hands of craftsman and time. This ultimately yields the soft, supple and durable leather that is used for your shoes or boots.”

2. The Sleek Chelsea

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A sleek chelsea boot is a wardrobe changer. In a dark leather with a sharp toe it has a certain elegance and sexyness to it. If you own a well-made pair, you know what I mean. It’s a versatile boot, too. Once you find the right pair, you’ll be reaching for them all the time, especially when evening comes. This sleek oxblood version is made by Japanese brand Caminando, who is gradually making their way into the US market, with a really impressive offering of sleek, simple, and affordable footwear.

3. The Weatherproof Mock

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You need one reliable rain boot that is fully waterproof, high up the ankle, and has a non-slip sole. This 8″ moc by Lanona, also made from Horween Chromexcel leather (in loden green), is a great choice. The best part is, buying these is supporting a small business  – a really small business.  The leather work is done in Maine, and the founder is still hand-pouring the soles in a small workshop in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Gotta love it.

4. The Wingtip Brogue

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We’ve been talking about the wingtip brogue boot since 2011. These aren’t going anywhere, and they can be worn with just about anything. This caramel brown pair, handmade in Northampton England by Trickers, is a real showstopper. Although, if you’re looking to maximize your wearability, I might consider going a shade or two darker.


5. The Sleek Alpine Boot

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This is a style that often gets slept on. These sleek all-black leather alpine boots are handmade by Danner, who’s been making hardcore American boots since the great depression in 1932. These are perfect for snow and ice, or a ski trip, but they also just look badass with any kind of casual, or semi-casual, winter look.


What’s your favorite pair of boots? 

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.

  • JoeFromTexas

    Wait, is the navy suede Oak Street sueded chromexcel? Or chromexcel roughout (and if that’s the case, I didn’t know that existed)?

  • James

    Are the plain toe Oak Street Bootmakers available yet? The website doesn’t have anything for them.

  • Arjun

    What’s the general consensus on the Balmoral Boot? I’m a fan – but it doesn’t seem to be in the discourse of modern fashion (outside of hardcore shoe enthusiasts) – and it’s often hard to come by without shelling out some serious cash due to the seeming lack of demand. Juan referred to a J. Fitzpatrick below, and I know he carries some incredible two-toned balmoral boots, along with a sweet snuff suede pair, but besides that you’re talking Carmina as the next cheapest option and then on to John Lobb and that general ilk. Just wondering what people’s opinions are, since a balmoral isn’t often mentioned on a “Top 5 Boot” list.

    P.S. Appreciate all the hard work you guys do Dan. Been following AOS/TSBMen since 2011, really changed my entire approach to the game.

    • J

      Meermin often has at least one type of balmoral boots up for funding on their MTO program

      • Arjun

        Good call. Forgot about that. I know they’ve done suede/leather two-tone in the past. I’ll need to be on the lookout if they have an all leather model.

    • Juan Zara

      Aside from Meermin, Herring Shoes has some Oxford boots for sale. But, as with everything made in Northampton, prices are steep (around the $500 mark.)

      J.FitzPatrick, as mentioned, has some as well, and they’re incredibly well-made. Carminas are on a completely different level, though, and can be had for a reasonable price (around $400-450, maybe a touch more for boots) if you happen to be in Madrid. Their in-store sales, as well as Meermin’s (and Berwick’s, another Spanish brand well worth checking out, and one that has stocked oxford boots in the past), are unbeatable.

      Your best bet, however, might be Allen Edmonds’ Fifth Street boot. They’re a bit lower in height, though. But for $385 they’re a great deal.

    • Andy

      Balmoral boots, undeservedly in my opinion, don’t receive much attention on AoS. I’m interested in the team’s view on them as well.
      In addition to the brands already mentioned, you can also look at Markowski and Septieme Largeur. Both brands are in between meermin and jfitzpatrick / carmina pricepoint.

  • cam

    gotta be the yeezy boost 750’s no?

    in all seriousness, i am constantly wearing my 8″ bean boots and a pair of bean signature eastport handswen ranger boots. ive been contemplating full on d$@&riding and getting a pair of suede chelseas but not sure if i can bring myself to it yet. quoddy has a pair of tweed-panelled leather chukka/rangers over at mrporter that ive been eyeing heavily. love the selections above too esp from the guys at oakstreet.

  • Miguel

    I prefer the three in the middle, the sued cap-toe, the Chelsea and wingtip brogue.

    How about some water proof chukkas, those can be wore with jeans and trousers.

  • Juan Zara

    My favorite boots are a pair of black Jodphurs from Alfred Sargent I got on a trip to London, but all of these are damn sexy! The rough-out Horween Cordovan plain-toes take the cake, though. I’d be interested to see the whole process the leather goes through to obtain that finish!

    Also, I’ve desperately wanted a pair of alpine boots since I saw these beauties made by Justin FitzPatrick:

    • Vincent Nappi

      I never thought I’d ever see a slick pair of alpine boots. Those are great.

      • Juan Zara

        Same here, these are just awesome though. A bit steep though at £395.

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