Menswear Monday: The Summer Uniform, Part 4

The Desert Boots Clarks Desert Boots in TaupeWhen the slip-ons get too casual and you still want to be comfy, look no further than a pair of desert boots.  The beginning and end of this timeless style is Clarks.  Sure, other brands make desert boots, but other brands make boat shoes, too, and you don’t see anyone fleeing from Sperry, do ya?

What makes a desert boot a desert boot?  As the name would imply, it was originally designed for the British military’s campaigns in Africa, and is comprised of three key features:

1)      A crepe sole.  Because of the hot sand, soldiers need a durable sole that would not transfer heat to their feet.  The soft crepe is actually rubber, but its texture recalls crepe paper, hence the name.  Crepe soles can be resoled, so the boots themselves would last virtually forever.

2)      Two eyelets.  To keep sand out, the eyelets for tying the boots started rather high on the tongue.  It gives a more boot-like than shoe-like silhouette.

3)      Suede Upper.  You can find desert boots in other materials, but if this is going to be your kinda dressy shoe, you don’t want smooth leather or canvas.  Besides, suede breathes well and ages magnificently, particularly since you wear desert boots sans socks.

So throw on the khakis and boots, and get ready for your night on the town.  But wait: you can’t just wear a t-shirt out and about?  Come back next week.  We have answers. - Rob Hays