At this point they’re so commonplace that we hardly even notice them, but the lingering aftershocks of the early aughts workwear movement can be felt with no greater force than within the spectrum of winter boots. Between beefed-up Midwestern farm boots, round toed Northweastern hiking shoes, and even the now very countrified New England brogue boots, it’s as if you can’t get a boot produced these days without conjuring up at least one of the oft-abused heritage buzzwords, be it “rugged,” “vintage inspired,” or “Americana,” (regardless of if it’s actually made here or not.) With an over saturated market full of chunkier boots in colors that reflect every shade of the molting leaves, it’s hard to see through to the other side of fall footwear, those sleeker, rich leather dress boots that reflect a more European sensibility. At the front of this class is my most sought after boot for these next few months: the Jodhpur.
Named for the Indian city in which they were first produced, the Jodhpur was Initially designed to be a riding boot for the English colonists that had made their home throughout the country. Typically made from a soft leather such as calf skin, the Jodhpur has an opening in the back that’s closed off by a monk strap that wraps around the ankle. A traditional Jodhpur has a clean vamp, devoid of laces, elastic, or anything that would have interfered with riding, leading up to the strap across the boot’s quarter. The Jodhpur’s minimal design make it’s one of the few boots left these days that can actually be worn formally without breaking up the lines of a suit.
Contemporarily though, the Jodhpur boot does come with a pretty large caveat attached to it-it’s very hard to find an (accesible) pair. I’ve scoured eBay for months now, and the closest I’ve come has been a few hundred dollars outside my price range. It’s pretty much the same story for full retail, Ralph Lauren, Crockett & Jones, J.M. Weston, they all make some incredible options, but they all also hover right around a thousand dollars, which by anyone’s standards is a pretty hefty investment for a pair of boots. Regardless, I’ll keep looking, because truth be told for fall footwear, it’s hard to find anything that comes close to that unique appeal of a Jodhpur boot.