Helen’s Happy School Memories of Lumpy Custard, Break-Time Milk and Woolly Tights…

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.

My school picture!

My school picture!

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…

old shop blog 5They 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.

'Meet The Team'

‘Meet The Team’

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!

Win a £500 Shopping Spree

Win a £500 Shopping Spree

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…

'Facebook Competition Entries Collage'

‘Facebook Competition Entries Collage’

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.

old shop blog 7 old shop blog 1 old shop blog 4 old shop blog 6Words: Helen Barton

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Indecisive teenager? Here’s a few suggestions you might want to try…

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…

There are some great options for our young ladies, and not just from the children’s section. Clarks offer a couple of lovely styles, one of them being Griffin Mia.

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!

 

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Sally’s Top Picks for Back to School !

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.

Geox Savage G

Geox Savage G

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.

Geox William A

Geox William A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Geox Agata A

Geox Agata A

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.

Clarks Flare Lite

Clarks Flare Lite

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.

Clarks Willis Lad BL

Clarks Willis Lad BL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Clarks Selsey Fudge

Clarks Selsey Fudge

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.

Clarks Tizz Honey BL

Clarks Tizz Honey BL

Lastly, I asked Sally about Startrite. Tarantula is basically bomb proof. For toe protection, there’s a large rubber bumper.

Startrite Tarantula

Startrite Tarantula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

Startrite Tarantula

Startrite Tarantula

For the lads whose glow in the dark spider days are gone, Startrite offer Dylan. This is a lace-up, smart, moccasin style shoe that also comes with a Velcro option, known as Miles.

Startrite Dylan

Startrite Dylan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Startrie Princess Elza

Startrite Princess Elza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, our lasses still do plenty of running around, so this design features a rubber bumper and padded ankle to ensure they last.

Startrie Princess Elza

Startrite Princess Elza

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 *

Startrite Impulsive

Startrite Impulsive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

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1790 was when it all began

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 doing her thing circa 1971 !

Sue doing her thing circa 1971 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

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RM Williams Boots at Golden Boot

In 1932, Mr. Reginald Murray Williams handcrafted his first pair of leather shoes.

RM_Williams_BootsMade from one piece of leather, with a single seam at the back, they’re made the
same way today through over 80 hand-held processes in the factory in Adelaide, Australia.

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.

Craftsman sole

Craftsman sole

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.

Craftsman sole

Craftsman sole

 

 

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Chie Mihara New To Golden Boot

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…

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First Shoes at The Golden Boot

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?

first shoe blog 2

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.

first shoe blog 13

There is a difference between a cruiser and a first walking shoe. The sole unit is a little harder and heavier on a first walking shoe, but still allows for flexibility and movement.

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!

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Summer Must Haves!…Toni Pons Espadrilles

Here’s something you might not know. The Espadrille originated in the Pyrenees and have been made in Pyrennean Catalonia since 14 th century, with the oldest pair dating back some 4000 years. They’re traditionally made with a canvas or cotton upper and the sole crafted from jute rope is their defining characteristic. Laces would then wrap around the ankle to secure them on. The original shoe was flat, but when Yves Saint Laurent got his hands on a pair in the 70s, his wedge design was to change the course of espadrille history…

You’ll be tested on this next week…

Toni Pons is one of our most popular brands. They produce beautiful, traditionally hand-crafted espadrilles in Spain, and have been going since 1946. They’re passionate about quality and committed to continually developing their design and brand, to keep up with international trends. Each collection is divided into different ‘personalities’ to ensure there is something to offer everyone.

We have a few best sellers here at Golden Boot. Take a look…

Tarbes. Nautical but nice…See what I did there? This is a super sweet summer shoe with a mid-height heel, so ideal for day time walking and romantic picnics. The upper is stripey woven canvas, with bright red straps that line the top of the foot and wrap around the ankle.

They’re elasticated for comfort and security and have that traditional blanket stitch in a matching pillar-box red. Pair these with white jeans and denim jacket, or a pretty summer dress or skirt. If you’re into that vintage thing, then this is the perfect opportunity to sling on a pair of high-waisted cropped trousers and a bardot top. Don’t forget the red lippy. These are available in European sizes 35 to 42 and are made in ecru/navy too.

Next is Sheila. This addition is a YSL dream, with it’s 10cm wedge heel and platform, again, made from natural jute. The upper is suede, the lining is leather and the sling back is adjustable, with the tiniest glimpse of stripe. Being one colour- either beige or navy- these will go with any outfit from day time, into the evening.

They’re relatively lightweight, so are perfect for the almighty holiday packing challenge, and because they’re work so well on casual and formal levels, you should only really need to take the one pair. Who wants just one colour though? Am I right? Sheila is priced at £69.99 which means FREE UK delivery!

Nuria is the girl for me; flat, plain suede, little elasticated sling back. Perfection. Great for walking, running, jumping, climbing, dancing, prancing and all my other favourite things. These are a best seller every year and come in loads of beautiful summery colours AND qualify for FREE UK delivery! What’s not to love about that!

The only downside is, these guys go fast! So get in quick before anyone else does. I wore these with tailored culottes and a stripey shirt for a meeting. Despite being a casual shoe, when worn with a smarter outfit they work really well and are cool and comfortable to stomp about town in.

Another flat soled friend; Ronda. Unlike Nuria, this little lass is no plain Jane. She is, infact, orange and covered in flamingos. So if you’re after something a little more eye-catching, she’s the one for you.

The metallic toe adds another unique touch and being hand-stitched, Ronda truly demonstrates how Toni Pons work with their forward thinking design ideas and age-old craftsmanship coming together as one. For a full, closed shoe she’s super lightweight and easy to wear. Make them into the feature of your outfit, and pick up a pearlised or metallic nail polish to match.

Now all we need is some sunshine!

Words and images: Helen Barton

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Shoes at the Show…RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Maidstone florist Jackie Brooks.

Chelsea Flower Show is always an exciting time for gardeners, growers, florists, landscapers, vegetable lovers and anyone with an appreciation for nature’s beauty.

Every year seems to surpass the last, and this year was no exeption…

Having been a florist for 20 years and a regular CFS attendee for 30 years, Jackie Brooks was the perfect lady to test out a pair of our sandals, and see how they’d hold up after a long day browsing and admiring what this year’s show had to offer.

Jackie wore Gabor Karen 42.824.50 ; a beautiful white leather wedge sandal, with a bold silver buckle on the ankle strap.

IMG_0485Now, those of you who have been to Chelsea Flower show before will know. This event is BIG! There is so much to see, which also means so much risk of that horrible ‘soles on fire’ thing I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, but Jackie explained that she was genuinely surprised at the comfort level. The leather lining and cushioned foot bed will help this, but walkability scored high on the scale as well, especially for a first time wear. For a lady who runs her own floristry business, Jackie appreciates the absolute importance of comfort and wearability, but also wanted to look relatively smart/casual for this event, and Gabor Karen 42.824.50 worked perfectly.

 

Jackie wore them with cropped white jeans and a sweet printed blouse and mentioned that she now wants them in a different colour too…Luckily for Jackie, we also stock them in tan!

If you didn’t get the chance to go this year, take a look at some of Jackie’s highlights…

Tickets and Gianni Conti 913206 bag at the ready…

"Tickets and Gianni Conti bag at the ready"

Meet Jackie’s Mum, fitting in with the display perfectly!

Bright and vibrant colour palettes were in abundance this year, demonstrated in carnival style headdresses and a huge peacock.

A happy little treefrog sits in amongst a tropical paradise and copper has been intricately entwined with yellows, greens and the brightest of pinks.

Soft pastels are delicately displayed, and orchids are combined with hydrangeas and roses.

The biggest Dubarry boot we’ve ever seen

indexAfter a long day Jackie returns home feeling inspired and ready to take on the busy up-and-coming wedding season…with her feet very much intact and unblemished.

Gold Medal for comfort and style!

Take a look at our Gabor range online or pop in store…

Images: Jackie Brooks  www.jackiebrooksflorist.co.uk/

 

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Jeffery West – Wild Child

Jeffery_WestMark Jeffery and Guy West. Two childhood friends with a vision of creating astoundingly unique footwear. With an upbringing enshrouded in the shoe-making history of Northampton, these guys went from re-purposing end-of- line shoes to developing a brand that has now gone state-side.

After years of not being taken seriously, Jeffery-West was established and founded in 1987, and encapsulates both the antiquity of the Northampton shoe and leather industries, and their unrelenting innovation and creativity.

At first, one may only see the brightly coloured leather, the boldy-shaped diamond punching…

The skull-wielding women on the lining and the last shapes so long and pointy they could take your eye out. Look harder. These shoes have not forgotten their history. The lines are sleek and classic, the quality of production is second to none, and the attention to detail is impeccable.

Don’t mistake the flamboyance for ignorance; these boys know their stuff, and their passion is woven into every single stitch; elegance meets cutting edge design. Time old craftsmanship shakes hands with innovation.

You only have to take a peek at their website  to understand what Jeffery-West are about. Black and white images of soirees and stocking adorned women are matched with red, gothic text, and we haven’t even mentioned the canes or spankers…oops. Too late…They do offer other extras (easy now) such as wallets, umbrellas, gloves, belts, socks and coloured laces, each depicting that signature Jeffey-West  style and attitude.

Talking of style and attitude, I was lucky enough to have a chat with Sharon, from the men’s department. I’m sure she was thrilled to have me chasing her around the shop with a notebook on a busy Saturday morning…(sorry!) but she knows all there is to know about these shoes and her customers. The moment you step into the menswear shop, the neo-gothic display can’t help but catch your eye. It’s intriguing, fascinating.

It lures you in with a perfectly manicured ‘come hither’ hand gesture. I mean, these shoes. They’re sexy!

Something Sharon has picked up on is how a pair of these shoes can change a man. She compares it to how some women feel when they put on a brand new pair of killer heels.

These guys stand up, check themselves out in the mirror and the shoulders go back, the chest puffs out a little, chin is raised, and the next thing they know they’re striding out of the shop into the high street beyond with a Golden Boot bag in hand and a few extra stamps on their loyalty card.

Sharon explained that Jeffery-West is about more than the shoes themselves. This is a lifestyle. Various last shapes have been named after famous influencers. Keith Richards, Steve Marriot, Terence Stamp, Oliver Reed, Peter O-Toole, Brian Jones, Jarvis Cocker, Bryan Ferry, Roger Moore…the list goes on! The design inspiration is derived from Victorian and Gothic architecture, biker gangs and flamboyant, verging on bizzare rogues throughout history.

I imagine many of the customers to be the same. Not that any of you are bizzare, but I wonder whether there is a certain characteristic that creates a desire to purchase a pair I imagine many of the customers to be the same.

An eye and appreciation for detail is a must. The tiny skull head zippers, and intricate diamond punching cannot go unseen. From the heel shape to the sole engraving, everything has been exquisitely considered.

A certain poise is necessary, and a nod to their historical context is of most importance. They’re obviously a talking point so one must be prepared to answer questions…especially if you’re carrying a cane…

A story to be continued but if you can’t wait visit Jeffery West at Golden Boot and choose your favourite design from our complete selection of Jeffery West boots, shoes and belts all with FREE UK next day delivery*

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