There’s no denying it, there’s a distinctly autumnal feel to London’s streets this week, with crisper breezes and the odd leaf crunching under foot. But, there’s no need to mourn the end of summer – now you have all the pleasure of getting stuck into proper footwear again. Come September there’ll be no more sandals for us. Did I hear a sigh of relief at the back? Here’s five pairs of real shoes to see you through to the new season.
1. Grenson Arlo Chelsea boots
Grenson make the kind of real footwear that your grandpa would recognise. Founded in 1866 in Northamptonshire, it supplied the boots and shoes for the British Army during both world wars, and has a storied history of producing fine British footwear. But, don’t let the timeline fool you – there’s nothing fusty about Grenson in 2018. These Arlo boots are a good example of its ethos; to create contemporary versions of classic shoes, with these wing-cap brogue Chelsea boots given a modern feel; care of chunky Richfield Commando Soles and contrast stitching. Pair them with your favourite selvedge denim jeans and a chore jacket for easy weekend style.
£245, shop now
2. Oliver Sweeney ‘Grandola’ leather trainers
Famed for its Italian-made designs, you wouldn’t expect Oliver Sweeney to branch out into anything as quotidian as the humble sneaker. But it has, and the results are, of course, so much more than basic. Crafted from dip-dyed calf leather, for a deeper hue and a slightly ‘worn’ finish, they feature hand-stitched detailing for that quintessential Sweeney feel. The contrasting rubber soles give a sporty finish, too. We think of these as the intelligent way to wear some athleisure style this season.
£179, shop now
3. Sorel ‘Madson’ boots
Even if your idea of hiking is strolling through Regent’s Park on a Sunday afternoon, this season the great outdoors will have a major part to play in all our wardrobes, so take note. Both practical and bang on-trend, these hiking boots are the real deal: they’re by Canadian brand Sorel, which specialises in footwear for people who actually climb mountains. Crafted from rubber-trimmed waterproof nubuck, with contrasting red hiking laces and padded leather collars, they’ll be equally stylish on your weekend strolls, as they would be in the Brecon Beacons. Wear them with cuffed denim and a corduroy trucker jacket.
£170, shop now
4. Quoddy Telos chukka boots
Quoddy is one of our go-to summer footwear brands, known for their classic boat shoes and suede moccasins. However, they also do proper, puddle-beating footwear in form of these chukka boots. Modelled after traditional moccasins, and crafted from hard-wearing Horween leather in a shade of louche-sounding ‘Cavalier Whiskey’, they’re just heavy enough to tackle the new season chill under foot, while remaining a solid option for late-summer wear. They’ll look best worn with denim and a plaid shirt.
£300, shop now
5. Vans Old Skool suede sneakers
Every man’s got a pair of Vans in his wardrobe. They’re a true casualwear classic. But for next season, you’re going to need another pair – this emerald green suede style, to be exact. A key colour for AW18, they’re also the perfect mossy shade of textured suede to evoke the great outdoors. Which is what next season is all about, after all. So if you’re not down with the anoraks and hiking boots (see no.3, above), these are the next best thing.
£75, shop now