The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Oi Polloi •

If you’re anything like us, the last minute dash around the local shops is a good couple of weeks off yet. Whether it be a box of dog-eared chocolates or some smellies, you can comfort yourself in the knowledge there are 16 shopping days left until Baby’s Jesus blows his candles out. And who wants to spend those days thinking about gifts for other people when there are so many smart things left to buy for yourself?

Never mind shop damaged gift sets and perfumes for your Mrs, the Boots we’re interested in at this time of the year come with a far more reassuring aroma – that handmade leather smell. We’ll start with the Rolls Royce of footwear, the Yuketen 5 Inch Dress Hunt Boots.

The colour of these is ‘Chicago Tan’ which sounds a bit like a pizza if you change your accent to ‘East Midlands’. We’ll stop with the flippant regional jokes though because these are serious footwear and they deserve to be taken as such. They’re sturdy, smart and suave and we defy you to find anything better, anywhere, ever.

If the vibram sole isn’t your particular brand of shoe steez, how about this pair of creped crusaders from Quoddy? Stealing style from the type of people who creep about the woods with a gun (we mean hunting types not serial killers or owt), these manage to be tough and comfy at the same time.

We can’t mention classic American outdoor boots without giving the customary nod to the institution that is Red Wing. We reckon these to be the most versatile type of footwear there is. Go on try and think of something more versatile… see, you can’t can you. Well then. Plus, these being Red Wing, they’re built to last.

Slightly less rugged but no less American are the Eastland Seneca boot. What is it with the USA and amazing handmade footwear, especially at this time of year. A worthy candidate and probably the smartest shoes we’ve mentioned so far.

Ah, a welcome return to Europe with Mephisto. These have been variously described as ‘ugly-pretty’ which has to be a good thing. Having sold the Mephisto Rainbow for many years now, the feedback from customers (plus more than a few staff members) has never been anything short of brilliant.

How about a nice Tricker’s treat? We must have used that awful pun before? These are seriously posh shoes and handmade in England. Whether you’re a moneyed land owner or someone who aspires to be, it doesn’t matter as they look great on anyone. Another shoe that ages well and has a reputation for lasting a long time.

You know when we mentioned the East Midlands earlier on? Well we should have waited because this Derby shoe (geddit?) is more fitting of such a reference. These would work in a number of settings or outfits but they put us in mind of a rather cool jazz musician. What do you reckon? The red brick sole is what makes them but the upper stands out, especially the textured leather. A nice one to round off our festive footwear guide on.

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