I’ve just returned from a week in Tiverton in South Devon. For the geographically challenged it is what’s commonly known as the countryside. A place of thickets, mud and weasels. Enormous hounds rub their nostrils on your trousers and you have to travel everywhere on wonky stepping stones. Everything’s wobbly. You’re always slipping down, or hauling yourself up. Things are always snapping, or crunching or falling over. Not least your phone signal.
And everyone stares at you. In London you get used to a comforting duvet of anonymity. In the country your business is everyone’s business. You can feel the eyeballs on you, people by the roadside, people outside a pub, people standing in fields like scarecrows, all unashamedly gawping: a couple of times I had to check I hadn’t left the house accidentally dressed as a one-man-band.
Evidently there’s nothing like a Sasquatchfabrix jacket to suggest you’re not from around these parts.
All of which leads me to believe that while these fantastic shoes (from The Bureau’s latest collaboration with Trickers) look like they’d be at home in the countryside, I not sure they actually would. They’re too pristine, too fancy boy. And as I’ve observed, everyone in the countryside wears stuff made out of nettles and otters.
No one needs an introduction to Trickers. Suffice to say we’re talking US Horween leather, natural stitching on the upper, yellow on the welt and a Vibram 2060 outsole: simple, clean and, in my view, deliver a more contemporary feel than a brogue right now. That toe cap detail does it for me every time.
Structurally they could, of course, handle anything the outdoors could throw at them: sodden grass, manure, slippery footbridges made entirely from moss. But at a robust £465.00, would you want them to? And moreover, would anyone from Countrysideland actually appreciate them? My experience says not. If you don’t want everyone from the ploughman to the village idiot eyeballing your fit, stick with wellies and a nasty cagoule.
These shoes have gone to the top of my wants list. But if I get them, my use case will be exclusively urban. It’d break my heart to get soil and bits of flies on those midsoles. Far better to let them live out their lives under poncy cafe tables. I’m thinking less National Trust, more Soho House.