Here on Classic American Style, we’ve resolved to feature only those items with which we have first hand experience–items that we’ve paid for our of our own pockets.
But in this case, we’ll make an exception.
Last month, I was at the Manready Mercantile second anniversary party. A few vendors were in attendance, showcasing their American made wares. One was Helm Boots, out of Austin, whose boots are made both in Maine and in Arkansas.
I had know about Helm for a while, but I never quite gravitated toward their aesthetic, which seemed skewed toward the blue collar end of the style spectrum.
However, one of their offerings (a boot I didn’t recognize from my previous perusal of Helm’s online catalogue) caught my eye. It had a chiseled toe that seemed more Cleverly than Red Wing. It had the kind of distinctive waist you only see in vintage shoes and in higher end English and Italian shoes. And on the outside of the boot, it had a quarter panel of Cone Mills denim.
That last detail derailed me. Had the panel been suede, or some variant of wool tweed, the shoes would have been a slam dunk. But I’m just not a denim guy. I have one pair of dungarees, and they’re almost never worn outside the home.
So, to Helm Boots, I issue this challenge: Produce this boot with a cutout detail that caters to the more classically minded of its potential customers. The denizens of various internet style fora would surely gravitate toward such a boot.