Do you know what is actually a desert boot? Well… I’m sure you do. It’s an ankle-height lace-up boot, most commonly with a beige or khaki-colored suede upper and a crepe sole. Generally is made from suede and crepe. It is to remember that desert boot is a style of chukka boot, which is some lace-up ankle boot.
If we go back a little to the history of the desert boot, The year was 1941, in the middle of the war when a soldier that went by the name of Nathan Clark had two missions: One was to protect his country, and second to discover new designs for his family shoe company Clarks.
Nathan Clark was a member of the 8th Army and was deployed to Burma. It was there that Clark noticed a few officers sporting a particular-looking sand coloured chukka boot that was practical and easier to wear. After investigating the boot itself, he found out that the South African soldiers ordered this specific style when the traditional military boots failed them in the desert. The boots came from a bazaar in Cairo where they were made to be lightweight (so they were easier to run in), had a grippy sole (for balance on any type of ground) and durable. They also had a suede upper which was comfortable, and perfect for high temperatures and sweat.
At that point, Nathan Clark decided that it was exactly what he was looking for. He wasted no time as he started sending out sketches to his brother at the Clarks Head Offices in Somerset, England. To his dismay, his brother, Bancroft, found the footwear extremely informal and not in line with the conservative, traditional designs that Clarks were known for.
It wasn’t until 1949 that Nathan had the chance to complete the creation of the boot. But even then he found resistance from the Clarks team, who still found the shoes improper and irrelevant. Actually, in an effort to distract him, the team sent him out to America, which in fact, had the opposite result.
His creation ‘the Desert Boot’ debuted at the Chicago Shoe Fair and was an instant hit with the American market. They were cheap, comfortable and on trend.
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