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For the new Autumn/Winter 2016 Wonders collection, colours are versatile and the finishing are classic and quirky. The flatform heel adds a little height, but with no discomfort.
3202 Perilla has a solid, chunky wedge heel and features a beautiful burgundy patent leather upper, with a cute fringe and mock laces. Available in black and cherry.
With a slightly lower heel, 3350 Juniper is your go to wing tip brogue for working through winter. Its corrugated sole unit makes it super light and super flexible.
3344 Lovage has a lower heel too, and a little fringe in mink. They’re smart, comfortable, and like all Wonders shoes, totally unique.
3348 Saffron is a great ankle boot from Wonders this season. Available in black leather or blue suede, they’ve got a chunky, flexible sole and elasticated side panel.
Words and pictures by Helen Barton
Well that went too fast. The summer holidays I mean. Time just seems to disappear, and before you know it the kid’s are heading back for a new school year.
We want to make sure you get the most out of this new pair of school shoes, so listen up (or maybe get the kid’s to listen up!) to the next few tips for making the new treads last, and ensuring they’re super comfortable, super quick.
1. When putting school shoes on for the first time after 6 weeks of wearing flip- flops, they’re going to feel uncomfortable. Your feet will have flattened a little and your toes will have separated, meaning a sturdy pair of leather shoes may feel tight at first. Unfortunately, we can’t wear flip-flops to school (or work, might I add) so we suggest wearing them around the house for a bit so you can get used to them.
2. Our shoe styles vary quite a bit. Some times, the heel and ankle collar is cushioned, meaning they’re not going to take too much softening. As the styles get more mature, along with the wearers, the cushioned collar look isn’t so desirable, so they tend to be slimmer and more stiff. This is part of the transition into adult shoe styles and they’re gong to take a little more wearing in.
3. We suggest grabbing some Vaseline or coconut oil, and pressing the back of the heel forward and back with your thumbs. This will essentially do a lot of the wearing in before your feet even touch the ground, reducing the chances of getting nasty blisters.
4. If you’re an older person, and have developed a taste for older person’s shoes, don’t go skidding around playing footy in them. These styles aren’t built to endure that kind of wear. So if you’ve gone ahead and played five-a- side, and they come home scuffed, don’t expect much more than an ‘I told you so’ raised eyebrow! And as for Scooters….!
5. Before wearing them on the first day, give them a good polish and coat of protector spray. This will help to guard against watermarks forming on the leather. Give them another spray now and again after the first wear especially after they’ve been polished!
6. Get your hands on some shoe cream. They come in different colours, as well as a neutral (for all shoe colours), and actually nourish and hydrate the leather when applied. When leather dries out, it will crack and the shoes will wear out a lot quicker. If they’re treated to some leather cream once in a while, it will keep them in tip-top shape for much longer. Just apply a small amount with a cloth all over the shoe. Then with a clean cloth, buff, polish and shine away.
If in doubt, bring them into the shop and we can give them some Golden Boot treatment.
In case you didn’t already know, we stock trainers, plimsolls, football boots and ballet shoes. We don’t work with huge trainer brands, that’s not really our scene, so you won’t see any ticks or shell toes on display. The trainers we do stock however, are leather and are top quality. Would we offer you anything less? Schools love them, they’re comfortable, we can fit them to feet with growing room, and they’re perfectly functional and practical. It also saves a trip to yet another shop.
Oh! One more thing. We sell name tags. Buy name tags. Buy all the name tags…
Happy New Term !!!
Memories from my first few years at school are few and far between. There are small details I’ll never forget, however. The feeling of those thick, itchy, woolen tights will never leave my legs. The limited selection of un-chewed HB pencils, picking fluff off duffle coats, the elation at being allowed on to the field at lunchtime, stringy green beans and lumpy custard, miscellaneous meat, break-time milk, hymns, desk trays.
The list goes on. Fleeting memories of wonderful feelings like getting a brand new exercise book and writing your name on the front in the best possible hand-writing (inevitably, by trying, I always messed it up)
I remember one pair of shoes in primary school. They were from The Golden Boot. Obviously. Probably when the shop looked more like this…
They were black leather, t-bar, with a cut out in the centre front, on the loop. They came with a tiny sheet of tiny, shiny stickers. These stickers could be placed underneath the cutout creating ‘a whole new look’. I remember at least five or six other girls in my class having the same ones and we would compare sticker choices on a daily basis. Star, heart or crown? Life’s decisions have changed somewhat since then.
The beginning of September was nearing, and a trip to town was imminent. Smith’s for colouring pencils. Long gone are the days of ‘colouring in’ being considered work. BHS for socks and the boys’ shirts. Then off to Gabriel’s Hill for shoes. ‘Can I wear them now?’ I’d ask. ‘You’ll ruin them’ was the answer.
The evening before the first day of a new term, I’d set out my uniform. I can still see my new shoes sat patiently by my bedside table. I’d put my new pencils in my pencil case, and organize my school bag (not that it ever stayed like that for long), and I’d lie in bed, eagerly anticipating the following day. The anticipation didn’t last long either once I realised I had to do it every day for the next 12 years…
During this Back To School period we’re all reflecting on our school days. It’s fascinating hearing different stories from the various generations of people who work here. Plus, the photos are hilarious.
Check out our ‘Meet the Team’ page and take a peek. Find out a little more about the lovely people who’ll be helping you this summer, and have a think about your own school memories, as there’s a prize to be won!
As part of the Back To School campaign, we’re running a Facebook competition. We’ve shared some of our stories, and often reluctantly, shared some embarrassing photos. So now it’s your turn. Share a photo with us, along with a short school memory. The lucky winner, who will be chosen at random, wins a £500 shopping spree at The Golden Boot. Go go go! We’ve had some great pictures shared already…
Luckily, we’ve all changed considerably since these photos were taken, and the shop has evolved with us. Take a look at the photos below. If you see anyone you recognise, be sure to let us know.
It’s not easy being a teenager. The transition from child to young adult is a roller coaster to say the least. We’ve all been there, it’s just easy to forget how confusing, frustrating and seemingly never ending it is.
The Golden Boot team has seen it all. Tears, strops, tantrums, the full on screaming ab dabs. You name it; they’ve dealt with it. So parents be assured and comforted in the knowledge that you are not alone. Let’s all just take a minute. Aaaand breathe.
The summer holidays have started, and you know that day is going to come creeping up on you. New shirts, new socks, new pencil case and ink cartridges, new book bag, new shin pads. Lunch. New coat, new name labels…new shoes…
The middle child just wants a pair of those cardboard pumps I’ve spoken about before, but the school won’t allow it. She’s hit 13 and knows more than you do. Obviously. The eldest just is in dire need of a pair of slip on loafers to go with his new ‘Year 10’ look. Let’s take a look at what the options are. Ladies first…
These are cute t-bar shoes with a detachable fringe front and a chucky, substantial sole unit. You can essentially have two pairs of delightful shoes for the price of one!
A great seller for the past couple of years from Clarks, has been Hamble Oak. It comes in leather and patent and is a super smart, formal brogue style shoe, with pretty detailing, laces and a small heel rise.
Pumps have become a sort of swear word for a lot of people, but there’s no reason for them to be. In the children’s range we have ?? a sweet and simple ballet pump shoe with a bow on the front. The only thing to consider when purchasing this pair, is that they can’t be fitted with growing room. When shoes have laces, straps or Velcro fastenings, we’re able to give a little more toe-wiggling room to accommodate for the next couple of months. If we did this with a pair of pumps they would fall off. Simple as. That said however, they look smart, wear well and are comfortable. Win!
If you’re into patent, then Startrite Eliza is the one for you. She’s chunky, with a cute t-bar and cut out details across the front.
When it comes to the lads in the room, we also have some great choices. The options from the men’s department are limited, as men’s shoe lasts are made very differently. They are all round considerably bigger, but if your young man is after a smarter style, as he gets older, we have a few to choose from.
Startrite Times is a lace up with a slightly tapered shape. The leather is soft and malleable, so they’ll be fitting like a glove in no time.
Or go for ??. This has a squarer toe and a plain front. Simple, sleek and smart.
If you’re after a chunkier style then we have just the one, Clarks Mayes Walk BL.
This chunky sole will keep you going for a while (no footy though). It’s a lace up with a smart appearance and a super comfy cushioned top collar.
If you’re in doubt, just ask. We will always do our absolute best to make sure your growing adults go away with something they love to wear and love to look at. Come in a see us!
This week we’re talking top picks. The Back To School fun has begun, as parents and children fill the shop, ready and waiting to get their brand new pair of school shoes for the new academic term ahead. Boxes are flying off shelves, laces are being looped and smiling faces are walking back up Gabriels Hill with arms full of Golden Boot bags.
I spoke to Sally. Shoe fitting extraordinaire, and discovered her children’s wear top picks for this season. So as a bit of BTS preparation, or…homework…you can read on and get an idea of the kind of thing you might be looking for. That way, when you arrive at the shop you can proudly announce to your designated Golden Boot Shoe Fitter, that your son would like to try on ‘Geox Savage G, as he has a slightly broad foot and needs something durable’. * a round of applause *
Talking of Geox, Savage G is a good, solid style. It has a super grippy sole unit, a removable leather inner sole and fits high around the ankle, so is great for all round support.
Another great choice is William A. This is a slightly smarter style; a real favourite of Sally’s because the upper is really soft, making the wearing-in process a little easier for tiny feet. The ankle is padded and there is one ankle strap making them comfortable and easy to kick off at the end of a long school day.
For the girls in the house, Sally’s preference is Agata A. She’s a loafer fan, is Sally, as they’re a timelessly smart style. Agata A has a durable, yet flexible sole unit and is leather lined for comfort and breathability.
Next, we’re on to Clarks, a very popular brand with a lot of our customers. Children’s feet grow at an alarming rate, and turn up in all shapes and sizes. It’s for this reason that one of Sally’s go to shoes is Flare Lite Inf & Jnr for young lads.
It’s stocked in width fittings E-H i.e. really narrow, to really broad, meaning the perfect fit is inevitable. To make it extra secure for all that running around, there are three Velcro straps and a doubly durable toe section and sole.
Willis Lad BL is a great choice for a young man. Being part of the Bootleg range, they’re a little more adult, but still durable, comfortable and breathable. They’re a popular style, and like Flare Lite, they come in different width fittings and half sizes to accommodate all kinds of feet.
Selsey Fudge is a great choice for girls across the board, ranging in sizes 10-6.5 in width fittings F-G. This is another timeless style, with a sweet, en trend T-bar and a smart design.
As an alternative, Sally would recommend Tizz Honey BL. This little brogue style shoe is a real winner. It’s a lace up, is durable and has a little heel padding for protection.
Sole durability is covered, the collar is extra padded, a jelly cushion has been added for comfort and if that’s still not enough, there’s a glow in the dark spider on the side…please form an orderly line…
If your girls aren’t into glow in the dark spiders either, then rest assured Sally has picked them something they’re going to love. Not to be too gender specific, we have Princess Elza, which comes with interchangeable charms, a lightweight flexible sole unit and a removable leather insole.
However, our lasses still do plenty of running around, so this design features a rubber bumper and padded ankle to ensure they last.
We all know how much I love Doc Martens. I’d stomp around them all year if I weren’t told that they were inappropriate for a summer wedding. Pffft, inappropriate?
Stilettos on gravel are inappropriate. Anyway, Sally has my back on her choice of Impulsive; a super chunky DM-style school shoe with cute brogue detailing and ribbon laces. * Swoon *
They come in ordinary leather and patent and are part of Startrite’s senior brand Angry Angels. Oh, they also come with leopard print laces for the weekend…please form an orderly line…
1790 was when it all began. Way back when, yesteryear, the olden days. Seven generations on and it’s still in the loving hands of the very same family…Wow.
Number 36, Gabriels Hill was the original site, and in 1845 the shop moved to number 25. 35 years later the shop moved yet again to where the ladies department sits now, due to a fire in the Grocers. Poor Mr. Ralph…
Around this same time, workshops opened in Palace Yard, where 20 skilled craftsmen made half of the stock. Along came the famous 6ft golden Wellington boot mounted on the front, and the well known, well-loved brand we have today was established.
Run by father and son team extraordinaire, Lawrence (Chairman) and Ed (MD), this shop has transformed beyond recognition over the many years it’s been fitting and serving shoes to its customers. The Golden Boot now boasts an extensive family shoe shop and dedicated online store, selling men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes from companies in the UK and across the globe. Despite these changes, there is one thing that hasn’t altered since the day the shop first opened; the absolute undeniable love, passion and commitment to providing the shoppers of Maidstone with care, a pair of top quality shoes and a happy, memorable experience. We’ve been doing this for over 225 years now, and have become a leading, independent shoe shop. * puffs out chest*
Now, forgive me if I’ve mentioned this before (I’ve definitely mentioned this before) but the Golden Boot team knows their stuff. Fitting properly is number one, and handpicking brands that work with the same ethos comes in at a close second. This father and son team scours global trade shows and researches trend markets. They visit factories regularly and place the emphasis of their never-ending work on quality, innovation and progression. So you lovely lot can come in, have a coffee, a casual browse and then go home with a wonderful new pair of shoes, after being treated like a King/Queen/Prince/Princess/Maharaja
As part of our Back To School proceedings, we’re going to be introducing you to a few members of our shoe fitting team. Who better to start off with, than Sue? Lovely Sue. This diamond lass has been working for Golden Boot for 45 years. 45 YEARS.
Can we get a round of applause? In fact, and I’m not sure whether Sue knows this, but she fitted my school shoes…amazing isn’t even close.
It was 1971, and this groovy chick with long dark hair heard of a job offer at the shoe shop in town through a friend. After nailing the interview, she went on to work in the children’s department, and here she is now, showing the newbies what’s what, and being a perfectly beautiful example of the family ethos at Golden Boot.
Sue’s favourite part of the job is fitting young children’s shoes, between the ages of four and ten (the cuties- they’re old enough to not fidget so much, and young enough to still believe the mini train in the shop runs on fairy dust). She also loves it when families have come back in for new shoes with their children, and grandchildren. My heart is melting!
Sue’s seen many a transformation and tells me she particularly remembers the change from having one cash desk, to having electric tills in every department. The transition to online shopping was a significant move too. Her most memorable moment however, was receiving a beautiful bracelet for 25 years of service to Golden Boot; a special gift for a special lady.
To prepare you for this summer holiday period, I’ve asked Sue for a couple of top tips. She maintains calm at all times, and never rushes, as this causes mistakes to happen. Sue also recommends always buying well fitting, sturdy and hardwearing shoes for a new year.
Check back in with us next week to find out about more of our team members, and
get more top tips for Back To School…
In 1932, Mr. Reginald Murray Williams handcrafted his first pair of leather shoes.
The design concept came from a desire to create a boot that could endure long, exhausting days in the unforgiving Australian outback. These are built to last and are always made by hand with the finest leathers and goodyear welting.
Despite not being in the Australian outback, they’ve become one of those iconic brands at the Golden Boot. Although having a broader, more varied customer than Jeffery West, they have a certain feel about them, and a surprising versatility.
I’d imagine them on the feet of a check shirt and battered jeans wearing man. As the heat rises and the dust settles, the deep-set creases in his brow tell tales of long days and endless nights. His hands as tough as his old RM Williams boots…but apparently, city dudes love these too. The stories are more train station, court-room or building site based, but they’re loved all the same.
Our collection includes the Comfort Craftsman, and Stockyard boots. They come in various leathers and suede, and look great with basically everything. In the 40s and 50s, RM Williams introduced a range of clothing, some of which we stock in the shop too. Choose from classic shirts, plaited belts, wallets, wash bags, socks and leather after-care products. Pay us a visit and take home your own piece of Australia!
Our very own Ed, who holds the fort at Golden Boot and loves any DIY project he can get his hands on, swears by his Stockyard boots.
They really have been through the wars, and made it through the huge project, that was building a new women’s department, and they’re only now starting to get a little tired. Fear not though Ed! RM Williams offer a repair service. They’ll be sent back for them to be re-soled, re-stitched and re-buffed, ready for them to ‘be sent back into the world by the hands that made them’. How ideal! Check out the videos to find out more, although I challenge you not to read the rest of this blog in an Australian accent if you do…
This is the Comfort Craftsman in mid-brown suede.
It has a rubber sole and two pull tugs, making them easy to slip on and off. The cushioned microfiber inner sole make them ultra comfortable and breathable, and this pair comes with a free suede brush, so you can keep them in tip-top shape.
This other style is the Craftsman ‘Yearling’ boot.
Crafted in the same shape, but made with a classic leather sole, these guys are timeless, sleek and super smart.
They also come with a tin of Stockman’s polish, as that leather needs some love. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll mention it again. And as an added bonus, there’s FREE UK delivery on all RM Williams boots ! The team in the men’s department at GB really know their stuff, and if you’re concerned about fitting, then pop in, have a coffee and a chat and try a few pairs on.
Until next time…mate.
We’ve introduced some wonderfully unusual brands to the store this season, and Chie Mihara is one of them. They’re designed by women, for women, so they’re feminine beautiful and above all, comfortable.
Chie draws inspiration from vintage fashion. Everything from dainty 1930s designs to bold colours of the 1980s can be found in these shoes. As she’s travelled the world she’s managed to hand-pick the best aspects of design from each country. From Brazil, come fun, frolics and femininity. Japan’s forward thinking, innovative and meticulous design structure make the functionality possible for each pair. Having stomped about the US, the appreciation for comfort and practicality was developed and heading to Spain, meant each product was hand crafted to the absolute highest standards, with the best quality materials.
The unexpected shapes and lines of this season’s collection are perfectly met with beautiful, textured materials; grained leather, hand brushed suede, napa leather, lizard embossed. The colours range from nude to dark brown, and even involve a rich burgundy.
Fan is a classic example of those 1930s influences. The heel is the ideal shape for shake, rattle and rolling, but the top line is where this shoe gets really interesting.
The lines create just enough intrigue to flatter natural shape of the foot, and the fabric choice adds a bolder touch. Add in a pretty ankle strap and peep toe, and we have, ladies and gentleman, the ideal summer wedding/hen party/soiree/lindyhop heel.
Juver is a real looker, with a chunkier feel. The heel is less shaped and they feature a small wood-look platform. This is where those beautiful colour combinations come in. That rich burgundy is matched with a soft, off white.
The adjustable buckle just skims under the anklebone, and the fresh front strap creates a stunning shape, just creeping up onto the arch of the foot. Available in 37-39 (they’re running out, quick!)
This last style, Rossa, is truly indicative of that 70s/80s vibe previously mentioned.
That vibrant orange suede is more than eye catching, and the shaping of the top line is organic and flower like, again, creating a lovely shape on the arch of the foot and at the toe. The heel is the chunkiest and tallest of them all, and cannot be ignored.
Like all of these styles, the inner is leather, for that comfort we all crave and the ankle strap is fully adjustable. Available in sizes 37-40.
These are just a few of the beauties available. You’re going to have to take a visit to our BRAND NEW women’s department to find out more. Yes. I did say brand new women’s department…
They grow up so fast right? One minute you’re holding them in your arms as they open their eyes to the world for the first time. The next they’re asking you to be a taxi for the evening, on the one condition you drop them off a minimum of 100 yards down the road from their friend’s house party. By house party I mean sleep over with a few close mates…obviously…
There are a few stages in between, some more significant than others. We all know how shoes affect us as fully-grown adults, which surely means they’re even more important when growing up.
Children may fidget and grumble about not getting the pair with the latest toy, but the fit is the most vital part, and the Golden Boot team knows a high instep when they see one. Those of you who have been visited us before will know how we work, but what about the first pair? Not the first pair of school shoes, but the very first pair. The first of a lot of things are celebrated, so why not the first pair of shoes?
We know how special those first few steps in life are. Who knows where they’ll lead?
So we want to make the whole experience extra special for you too. Remember, children grow at different rates, and will start to walk in their own time. If they’re still crawling about happily, but their friends are tottering around, that’s fine.
When they start to pull themselves up onto their feet, come and have a chat with Clare and her team of shoe fitting champs. Clare’s lovely, and has developed relationships with Golden Boot families over many years, and there’s nothing she doesn’t know about teeny tiny tootsies.
Barefoot is best, but little feet sometimes need some protection and warmth, so if they’re not quite walking confidently on their own yet, Clare will advise a ‘Cruiser’. These are super light and flexible shoes that offer a little support, but don’t have a hardened sole unit. We find ‘Cruisers’ are a great way of getting your child used to wearing shoes. Having these fitted properly is vital. Baby feet are soft, and don’t yet contain any fully formed bones, so wiggle room is necessary for them to develop properly.
There are two main brands to choose from; Clarks or Startrite. But we also stock other leading brands including Geox and Primigi. Which one we go for will depend partly on your choice, and mainly on how the shoe fits. Fret not; Clare will pick you the perfect pair.
They’re also padded out for comfort and protection.
Once you’ve found the right pair, one of our expertly trained shoe fitters will do a series of checks. Like I said before, our team really knows what they’re looking for, and everything is taken into consideration.
Firstly, the length and width is checked using the thumbs and index finger. The depth of the shoe is noted along with the fitting around the ankle. A little wiggle test is done, and then the ultimate, the bit everyone loves; the ‘walking up and down’ test.
With the Golden Boot seal of approval, you can leave the store with a keepsake photo and story book of this special moment, a Golden Boot family Loyalty Card, the perfect pair of shoes, and an assurance that you can come back any time for advice, growth check (after 4-6 weeks ) or the next new pair!