While labels both high and low have been gripped by sneaker fever in recent seasons, the romance was bound to end at some point. If the industry insiders and buyers we’ve been speaking to are anything to go by, boots are set for a big comeback this fall, with the hiking boot playing a key role (alongside the ever-chic Chelsea boot).
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Rugged, hard-wearing and typically waterproof, the hiking boot (sometimes referred to as the trail boot or mountain boot) is in its element in foul weather – certainly an appropriate choice for the fall and winter months. Brands like Danner and Diemme have been producing heritage trail boots for years, with waterproof uppers riding atop rugged, high-traction soles (typically Vibram-brand) and typically finished with metal “D-rings” lace stays.
At fashion’s high end, we’ve seen Alexander Wang produce modern takes on the rugged mountain boot – in both his mainline and with Balenciaga – while Acne Studios have created a suitably bizarre iteration and Virgil Abloh’s OFF-WHITE label has joined the hiking party, too. At the other end of the spectrum, The Hundreds paid tribute to classic trail footwear with their recent Timberland collaboration – complete with striking colorways reminiscent of Nike’s original ACG program.
While a decent pair of hikers will probably set you back a couple hundreds bucks, prices can – as with everything – rocket when you go to luxury labels, with Feit’s beautifully hand-crafted boots coming in at just under a grand. Whatever the price, hiking boots all share the same hardy, rugged practicality that makes them an ideal choice for the Fall/Winter season.
The hiking boot’s resurgence is proof of fashion’s continued lean toward utility gear – proving that style doesn’t need to come at the expense of practicality. We’ll be wearing ours with sweatpants or washed denim and some heavy-duty outerwear – maybe a shearling or overcoat.
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