So now I actually own them I can finally break cover and say there is only one military style ankle boot to be wearing in London this winter and it’s the Emmeline boot by Dr Martens.
Yes that’s right Dr Martens. Why would a woman even consider wearing a shoe brand that she last wore when she was at University more than 30 years ago? In fact, that she wore exclusively at university and only changed colour/style (black eight eye boot – cherry red 3 eye shoe – black Chelsea boot) to match the latest music influence at the time.
Because it’s the only one to wear.
But let’s talk about the only true alternative to this beautiful boot in a minute.
First, why do I love the Emmeline so much? To be honest it’s quite hard to explain why something so plain, so understated and unembellished should cause my heart to beat so fast when I see it in photos and, now, joyously! on my own foot!!
But I think the answer is there in my own description.
It’s plain and unembellished and has no studs, no buckles with metal clad straps, no contrasting stitching and no patterned laces. It’s the perfect antidote to the Givenchy inspired punk/heavy metal/western mashup style of boot that’s been pretty much ubiquitous on London streets for at least two years now. And let’s not forget the recent spate of pimped-up hiking boots, the equivalent of driving a Landrover Defender with a winch bumper bull bar and snorkel air intake around Peckham (yes there are people who do this).
All this ankle boot excess has led me to avoid the military boot issue entirely and last Autumn opted for the elegant but chunky heeled variety of boot from Miista, making my statement by choosing the burnt orange shade which stood out nicely from my dark winter wardrobe. I still love and wear those boots, but they tick different boxes on the footwear requirements list. They are dressy and smart, great for lunch dates or business meetings.
What I need now are London striders. Boots that will do the Green Park Jubilee to Piccadilly line marathon without a pinch or rub. Boots that will tackle wet tube station stairs and Covent garden cobbles. Boots that will do all the above but not look like hiking boots or something you would find under Jonny Depp’s bed. Non-shouty boots with elegance and style. Boots that have just the right amount of narrowing towards the toes but without a point. With the right thickness of sole without the chunky tread. With the sleekness of smooth leather and minimal stitching.
And let’s not forget they are classics. As Tolu Coker, winner of the Fashion Scout Merit Award at London Fashion Week says of Dr Martens: “They will always have a place because they’re timeless. This idea of relevance, it’s a fad. Things go in and out of relevance all the time and that’s got little to do with anything – there are things that stand the test of time. Create something classic and they transcend the trends.”
So only these will do.
Dr Martens Emmeline Boots £129
Unless you have £690 in your boot budget for these beauties by Saint Laurent. The only possible alternative. They also have the non-shouty sleek elegance of the Emmeline but with the discreet designer heritage. I say discreet because what’s best about these boots is that the only person that would ever know they were Saint Laurent is you.
No visible branding.
The only question left to decide after you have found £690 down the back of the sofa then is:
Are they £561 better than the Emmeline?