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Walking Tall

By Stan Mukoro
“As a child, I had to be coaxed out of my Roy Rogers boots nightly.” – Tyler Beard
A good boot is like a best friend. Once you find them, you keep them.

©2009 MUKORO|BESPOKE, LLC - Stan S. Mukoro, “The Eye of Style” is the contributing style editor of Allure Magazine. He is a style mentor living in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact:
©2009 MUKORO|BESPOKE, LLC - Stan S. Mukoro, “The Eye of Style” is the contributing style editor of Allure Magazine. He is a style mentor living in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact:

Boots, like jeans, have become an essential in men’s wardrobes. They are available in many styles, shapes and price ranges. From casual to sophisticate, boots are functional footwear. When I am not working, jeans and boots are my uniform of choice. Show me a man who collects boots, not just black ones, but distinct types and I can bet he is among the gamut of stylish men.

Boot collectors are perfectionists that recognize the long-term value of these footwear heroes. If not worn perfectly, your fashion statement is ruined. A regular shoe or low cut boot interrupts the lines of the pant or jeans. A good boot, however, delivers a fluid look. Anything less is a depressing experience for the wearer.

Start with the basics. Decide how much you are going to spend. Generally, they can start below $100 but can easily grown into the thousands depending on the materials used to construct the boot. A traditional black leather Chelsea boot is my recommendation for a first pair.

They are timeless, versatile and allow an opportunity to really decide what you want and need in terms of desired fit and style. Your first pair of boots should be comfortable when you try them on for proper fit. Crammed toes will make you sorry you mistreated them. Believe me. If you choose to experiment in more fashionable colors like burgundy, classic tan, navy or exotic skins like leopard, goat or ostrich, just remember fit is above all else. A nice looking, comfortable pair is a very wise investment.

During my travels, I always keep my eyes peeled for extraordinary boots. Vertice, a boutique in London on South Molton Street, has been a rich resource in fulfilling my desires. They are a leader among the men’s boutiques carrying unique but edgy designers like Gianni Barbato. I purchased an unusual pair made by DSquared at Vertice that I affectionately nicknamed “Frankenstein” because they look like they’ve been assembled using several different pairs and stitched together slovenly in multiples places. Great boots make a bold fashion statement.

Living in boot-scootin’ Texas for 17 years resulted in an appreciation for the legendary cowboy boot. I couldn’t resist the urge to seek out of pair with European flair. After more “sole” searching on Bond Street in London and Madison Avenue in New York, I discovered Cesare Paciotti. Although the cowboy boot  located by him was the classic style, it had alternative appeal with a dash of creativity. It was the perfect balance and I was sold.

Choosing a great pair of boots is simply about understanding the relationship between you and the boots. Take care of them and they will take care of you. I encourage you to window-shop and compare prices at a few places before you make any decisions. Boots are stylish and pragmatic; you can’t go wrong with the right pair.
Weekly tip: Invest in a pair of clip-on jean straps to prevent your jeans from bunching up around your knees.


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