When Dylan unapologetically set ablaze the now fashion-influenced skateboard industry, no one knew what kind of impact it would have, let alone it’s duration within skate shoe design.
Since then, this extravagant look has appeared in waves in different forms throughout the years, and 2017 is no different. While its silhouette doesn’t necessarily scream “Team Handsome”, the skateable Chelsea boot is making its sophisticated way onto skateboarder’s feet rapidly. Whether for functional or popular reasons, one way or another we’ll be seeing more and more of our friends rolling around in the taller slip-on option. But how did this happen?
Dating back to the Victoria era, Chelsea boots have long been seen on the feet of both men and woman, but never skateboarders. In 2017, three brands, one major and two underground, are presenting them in fulfilling and in some similar ways.
First to appear on the scene with a skateable Chelsea boot is the likes of Oliver Clark. For those who don’t know, Oliver Clark is a designer turned skateboarder, and since falling in love with our beloved pastime, he’s brought his tastes from high fashion to our injury prone activity. Dating back to Fall of 2015, O.C. subtly debuted his skateable Chelsea boot to the bashful few in NYC willing to skate shoes outside of their comfort zone; although in 2016, two of his skateable options took off, finding themselves on the likes of the elusive Anthony Pappalardo and more impressively, inside skate shops. While his brand continues to gain popularity, the most exciting element in his footwear remains to be swapping the soles. With the traditional method of a Goodyear welt construction, you can take any of O.C. offerings to a cobbler and swap the outsole for something else. Any chance of seeing that more in the skate shoe industry?
Clear Weather Brand has been pushing progressive designs since their inception and it continues in their skate division. The vulcanized “Jeffrey” is perhaps the most creative Chelsea boot design of all three offerings. Also, the Jeffrey might be the most skate-ready. With traditional elements like an additional toe bumper, gum outsole for additional grip, and their signature “suede where you need it” design, the Jeffrey will feel familiar for such a unique shoe. If you find this shoe, consider yourself extremely lucky, as quantities are drastically low.
Emerica has found their way out of the straight-forward vulc cycle and have been pushing the envelope with their 2017 line. Outside of re-introducing two familiar classics, they’re releasing a lifestyle-inspired Boot for Leo Romero. The Romero Hi is your Chelsea boot intended to be worn when off-the-board and sits on a cupsole foundation. Their two releases, an all black suede option and a Reserve X Truman tobacco upper with premium leather may be the most polished of the three.
Depending on your personal flavor, you could find yourself wearing one of the three. Which one do you find most appealing? Or is the design not for skaters?