When it comes to filling your wardrobe with the highest quality luxury goods, the landscape is often more confusing than it once was. In order to respond to ever-increasing demand, many of the biggest-name brands on the block have, behind the scenes, resorted to quicker and more efficient means of manufacture which can often mean those timeless pieces no longer last you as long as they once did, and that the expert craftsmanship that they were once known for is suddenly taking a backseat.
But while some are moving more and more along the mass-production route, others are taking a different approach, returning to long-held methods that date back many years, and that have ensured the utmost in quality from the word go. While some are speeding up, others are slowing down and taking the time to ensure that each and every item they produce is the best it possibly can be – and it is brands like these that we’ll be loyal to for years to come due to their unwillingness to compromise on luxury.
This renewed appreciation for real quality rarely goes unnoticed, and one brand that has been making a name for itself across the globe thanks to its impeccably made footwear is Julian Boots – a Los Angeles-based company that is headed up by founder, Julian Imrie.
There’s a lot to be said for an excellent set of footwear, and the wrong pair of shoes or boots can make or break any well put-together look. But it’s not just about the aesthetics – comfort is essential when choosing your next pair, something which you’ll often have to compromise on for the sake of making a statement, but shouldn’t have to.
Julian Boots is a luxury boot retailer that combines style with comfort and refuses to let either one suffer. Its boot models have been perfected over the years from working class boots that were worn through the industrial revolution and beyond, and today, its range of hand-lasted, hand-stretched leather boots aren’t just incredibly durable, they look the part, too.
From working class heroes to bespoke classics, the brand has since made itself indispensable amongst those who take their footwear seriously. In order to make the boots to such an impeccable standard, many craftsmen are required – and such is the level of attention to detail that each pair of boots takes many weeks to complete.
Despite having come a long way since those early days, the names of the brand’s boot models are a nod to their heritage and rich history, with monikers including Boondocker, Bowery, Engineer and Cornish Miner. Each pair has its own unique identity, but the same level of quality and flair is seen throughout the range, with customers able to choose from a range of small-batch, Cordovan, exotic high-end leathers that are Goodyear welt-stitched to custom order in the brand’s los Angeles factory to ensure a perfect fit.
So, what exactly does it take to produce the perfect boot?
“Accurate measurements of the foot, of course, are essential,” says Julian. “Each and every person is unique, and we understand that in order to provide optimum levels of comfort, off-the-shelf sizes simply won’t cut it. So, we meet with each customer and measure the arch of the foot, the size of the big toe knuckle and the circumference of the leg. But it’s about more than just the technicalities, and we also take this as an opportunity to get to know the customer. The more we know about them, the more tailored to their needs and tastes their boots will be.
“Then, there’s the creation of a unique leather last, with premium leather and smart hardwear all coming together to complete the finished piece. We get the customer involved in choosing each and every element. In total, we spend around 35 hours on each pair of boots, so you can always be certain that what you are getting from us is truly bespoke.”
One look at a pair in real life, and you can instantly see what he means; beautiful and refined, there’s little doubt that they have got what it takes to last for years to come.
Julian told us: “The reason our models are named the way they are is because in times gone by, the profession you worked in would dictate the shape of your boots. Each profession has its own style of working, whether that means being on your feet all day, kneeling on the floor or having to walk many miles – and so our boots were created to reflect that. So, the ‘Engineer’ boot, for example, looks different in shape to the ‘Architect’, and so on.”
So where exactly did Julian’s sculptural flair originate? Well, it seems fitting that, having been born in London, he later moved to the U.S to study sculpture at the School of Visual Arts. It’s clear that his early focus in this area has contributed to his capacity to design an excellent boot.
So esteemed are his pieces that Julian Boots has custom designed a range of boots for some select high-end and luxury boutiques spanning North America, Europe and Japan.
There’s no denying that this is a man who takes quality very seriously, in every sense of the word – and so it’s little wonder his work is winning the company such acclaim. Once working class heroes that would get every type of worker through their long and tiring days, in 2021, its boots are now bespoke classics that belong in every sartorial male’s wardrobe, and are guaranteed to be built to last.
So, if you’re looking for the finest pair of luxury footwear money can buy, then look no further.
All imagery used in this article credit: Julian Boots