Put up your Dukes

Bored of floating around on the fickle winds of fashion? I think that you need something reliable in your life.

As a country boy, I work on the premise of ‘If it’s not in fashion, then it can never be out of fashion’. And I pride myself on my mantra of ‘Tradition, tradition, tradition’.

However, contrary to what you may now think, we don’t just wear baggy-arsed red corduroy trousers with turn-ups at half-mast. When not slowly pickling oneself in port for the six months of darkness, the winds of fashion do occasionally blow through the ‘the sticks’.

These winds tend to bring variations on tweedy classics and the odd flowery printed pair of wellies. This time, though, change is here to stay.

Dukes Boots is a new British brand, designing and producing handmade chelsea boots, monk straps and riding boots – all staples of the self-respecting country-type’s wardrobe.

Dukes was setup to produce a line of footwear delivering handmade, high-quality shoes at prices that shoes should cost. Your feet are important, but then so is being able to afford to eat. That’s not to say that these boots are cheap and nasty; they’re of the highest quality and feature designs which allow them to maintain the classic look and feel, but with a tasteful spin and even the ability to custom design your own pair with their bespoke boot builder.

Shoes and coffins are always in demand, but you will only notice if one of those is poor quality. The integrity is ensured by the nature of the boots being handmade. Crafted in Spain no less, each pair takes a painstaking twenty-one days to make, and before the mention of them being made anywhere but Northamptonshire has you charging up and down the drawing room wielding a poker whilst remonstrating about ‘bloody foreigners’, the Spanish produce some of the finest leather riding boots in the world.

Daisy Livett, director of Dukes Boots, says: “The core focus for Dukes was to produce a line of heritage British footwear which branches out into more modern takes on the traditional designs”

As a business Dukes boots have it right; a traditional heart and a solid product but with the ability to add variation which doesn’t lose the origins of what it’s about, only enhancing it.

Daisy goes on to say: “Keeping Dukes fresh and current is highly important to me. I don’t want the brand to become boring! I’m constantly working on new designs and ideas, just sticking to the core boot shapes and adding a little twist.”

People with beards and skinny jeans will also be pleased to learn that Daisy has no plans to sell out to the Man: “The plan for the future of Dukes is to keep everything organic and controllable, as I don’t want jeopardise the quality of the boots, and that’s what it’s all about. I would like to see Dukes being stocked by independent British boutiques where I believe they’ll fit well. One day, it would be great to have a little shop for Dukes alone – but who knows? Maybe that’s a few years down the line yet.”

So, whether stepping out of a Land Rover or sauntering onto your 30-metre motor yacht, there will be a style to suit and a dash to be cut. And it looks like they’re here to stay.

Get you pair now at: www.dukesboots.com


Oliver Smith

Smith is our Automotive Editor. Having worked with some of the world’s finest British sports cars he is a keen historic racer and enjoys in his own words ‘the evolution of engineering’ in modern machinery.

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