November 12 2009
Passing by the considerable queue to enter the Ugg store in London’s Westfield shopping centre this weekend made me realise that whatever you think about this clumpy boot, it really does transcend fashion. Personally, I’ve never owned a pair of Uggs – they’re too ubiquitous for me – preferring instead a classic, utilitarian boot that is far less recognisable but with similar enduring appeal: the Frye 12R Harness boot (from $218). I bought my pair in tan (actually more of a chocolate brown) in the US several years ago and count them as one of my best buys ever. I’ve covered countless miles of countryside in them walking the dog; but I also wear them often in town, usually with a brightly coloured Marni skirt.
Not only is the Harness 12R (so called because it’s 12in high, or midcalf) a great looking boot, but, according to its UK maker, it features “cushioned shock-absorbing memory insoles, pitched heel with rubber heel lift, and durable Goodyear welt construction”. In other words, these boots were made for walking. But the real beauty of Fryes is that they are practically indestructible, and the leather softens, so that the more you wear them, the better they look, and feel.