July 12 2011
First there was the classic Blundstone boot, then the Ugg (whose name reflects my opinion of it); now, also hailing from Australia and looking likely to be the latest hot-footers, there are Hobes, for those who like a little understated cool.
For those who haven’t yet discovered them, Hobes, which launched in Melbourne in spring 2010, are wonderfully simple yet stylish, trans-seasonal shoes that can as yet only be bought online in the UK – via a website that is as refreshingly simple and stylish as its wares.
The appealingly retro e-store offers a pared-down range of handmade shoes. The unisex Original Hobe shape (first and third pictures) is my favourite. Reminiscent of a lighter take on the 1970s desert boot, they come in a variety of colours and fabrics, from (for women) black suede to brown canvas to denim (all at A$159, about £106, plus P&P – there’s a handy on-screen currency converter). When you click on a particular colour/fabric, an image of the shoe in the desired combination appears. (I spent far too long trying to decide between the charcoal suede and the dark denim.)
Then there’s the Hi Hobe (second picture) – particularly good looking in black suede, also for men or women and also £106). Meanwhile, the women’s black napa Lo Hobes (again, £106) are sweet and neat – great for casual everyday wear and for popping in your bag to wear after a long day in heels – and are so like the pumps I used to wear for kids’ jazz-dance classes that they fill me with nostalgia.
The site claims, “The Hobe is utility, comfort, luxury and simplicity – one fit, happy tootsies and endless miles.” I can’t tell you if they’ll achieve all of that for all of you, but they sure look good.