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*AUSTRALIAN BOOT STORES Vintage Officer's Zug Grain, Veldtschoen, Field Boot:41.5D

Australian Boot Stores
(Lincoln) Ltd.
Officer's Plain Front, Zug Grain, Veldtschoen, Derby (Navvy) Field Boot
Double stitched, Double sole
Circa 1955
Euro 560

Throughout history and into the 20th century, English officers were expected to provide their own kit and there were no shortage of military tailors and outfitters at home and in the colonies to satisfy that demand. Field boots of this type were favoured, where available, and the three or four English bootmakers who specialized in the Veldtschoen constructrd variety have done a brisk business throughout this century of seemingly constant warfare. 

Veldtschoen construction is said to have originated in the 16th century, while British patents for the type first appear in the 19th century. It is believed that the Dutch originally imported the technique to South Africa, and the term itself comes from the Afrikaans, “field shoe”. The Veldtschoen construction is exceptionally robust, meant to deflect water with it outward turned upper hide and, in this case, with double stitched, double sole, bellows tongue and the nearly waterproof  Zug leather from which it is constructed, it can be expected to last and serve handsomely for many decades. To my knowledge, few leathers can compete with durability of Zug and it has been the choice of experienced officers in the field (on both sides) ever since its adoption by the British during the Boer War.  Most amusingly, to show the waterproof qualities of Veldtschoen construction, a pair of such boots was displayed in a bucket of water for many years in Cordings' window at number 19 Piccadilly. 

Zug leather, apart from its highly waterproof characteristics is, because of it embossed, raised  grain, far less susceptible to bruising or nicking than smooth leathers; witness this present boot, at least 40, perhaps as much as 60 years old, that shows not a single sign of scratching or other damage! It is generally agreed that the Zug grain leathers of the mid century, mostly purveyed by the tanners, Bridge Of Weir and Martins, are of superior quality and longer durable than today’s Zug grains. The latter are more oriented to appearance than to long life. Then again, contemporary Veldtschoen boots are less likely to be worn in the trenches or in Alpine ascends than the vintage pair you see here.
Australian Boot Stores (Lincoln) Ltd. was founded in April 1956 and dissolved in November 2003 with no successor.  They were a purveyor of fine footwear, specializing in, as their name suggests, “outback”, field and stream, hunting and shooting gear most of which, ironically, was made at home in England. This pair is no exception and has all the earmarks of an English made boot of the 1950s or 1960s; a prize for the collector or the serious rambler. One of the great boots of the 20th Century.  

Size: 41.5D Continental......8.5D US......7.5E UK, for the medium width foot.

Condition:  Superb, neuwertig! Double Stitched (see last picture), Double Sole and Cleated, Hand-nailed Horse shoe heels showing very slight wear.

 

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