Boston Boot Company hopes to do for shoes what Boston Beer Company, makers of Sam Adams, did for beer, offer an alternative to both budget-conscious mass production and pay-through-the-teeth imports. The company, which began selling three types of boots this week, is bent on walking a middle path defined by practicality and everyman appeal. The boots, designed by Chad Gombes, whose resume includes stints working for L.L. Bean and the now defunct Hemingway Footwear company, are carefully constructed, but decidedly humble – in a brash Beantown sort of way.
The highlight of the companies initial offerings is the Cambridge Boot, which combines a Horween leather lower with waxed canvas panels, prominent stitching, and a chunky sole. The overall effect is workmanlike but playful. The new brand's signature touch, one red eyelet at the ankle, makes it seem as though the boot is winking. And, in a way, it is. The boot is clearly an accessible take on the outdoorsy look Sebago captured during its collaboration with Filson, but it costs $200 less. It's a boot for someone who cares about having nice shoes without needing to have the nice shoes. That's a decent business strategy right there.
The boots are also – and this is not of secondary importance – comfortable. The leather, imprinted with the company's "B" shield, is stiff, but breaks in well, and holds the ankle in place. No one is going to walk through or out of these shoes. Because they're not going to go out of style (they aren't chasing any flashy current trend) their welt construction means that they can be your go to for the next decade. Like the city they're named for, they are pleasantly behind the times and made of tough stuff. [$197; bostonbootco.com]