Desert Boots: A brief History

Popularised by another English footwear company in the 1950’s (who shall remain nameless), the desert boot actually did come from the desert.

Originally found only in the bazaars of Cairo and then on British soldiers in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II, this trusty little boot design has found its way into the lexicon of classic men’s footwear.

Also known as a Chukka Boot in some parts of the Americas; however, a proper Chukka boot has a leather sole. The name possibly comes from polo, where a chukka is a period of play. Polo players often change out of their tall riding boots into a shorter Jodphur or Chukka boot between games. Both styles use a similar, clean, plain-toe upper design and are usually made of suede.

Adopted by both the beat poets and the landed gentry, a desert boot is as comfortable in a city office as it is in a country pub.

The secret to a good desert boot is the combination of a soft, unlined suede upper and an equally lightweight rubber sole. If the upper is soft and the sole is rigid – it defeats the purpose.

The Martel+Ram desert boot is #madeinitaly, with a water-resistant suede [to withstand those country walks and the morning commute]. This soft suede has a water-resistant treatment added in the tanning process as opposed to just sprayed on to the skins after the fact. This unique suede tannage is called GO-RAIN and was developed in Italy specifically for the inclement English weather.

The Martel+Ram desert boot also employs a more modern Vibram Morflex sole – which is far more lightweight and durable than sticky, old-school crepe rubber.  Natural ‘crepe’ rubber sheeting was used for the sole in the original design. Anyone who has ever worn a shoe with a crepe sole will know that not only do they attract every piece of dirt and lint due to the sticky quality of the natural rubber – they also melt onto hot payment!

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