*NEW – FRANK WRIGHT Officer’s Zug Grain, VELDTSCHOEN, Derby: 41.5D. (US 8.5D) (UK 7.5E)
Size: 41-41.5 [US.8-8.5] [UK 7-7.5]
Styles: Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Derbys, Veldtschoen
Officer’s Dress, Zug Grain, Veldtschoen, Cap-Toe Derby
Frank Wright began business in a small workshop in Kettering Northamptonshire in 1885, making peg sole boots for the British Armed forces and continued to produce parade, dress and combat boots for the military through two world wars. What has become of the firm today, after being bought and sold, acquired, merged, dissolved and reconstituted, is only the proud old name. The quality product for which this firm was famous ended in the 1970s with the general decline of the British shoe industry and the need to compete with cheap imports. But the Silver Stud line of Veldtschoen shoes and boots, of which the present shoe is an example, originally made for the Army and adopted for its extraordinary durability by the landed gentry, maintained the old standard and has become a wearable collector’s item. To find a unworn example today, 30 or more years after the last production, is a small miracle. This is a shoe that should last you half a lifetime, during which time you would use and discard a dozen other shoes. I call such a shoe a bargain at almost any price.
Two of many possible lacing styles shown.
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 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. This shoe is, of course, in new condition but I am showing other examples in the website, used and as much as 40 years old that show 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 anything available today.
Size Details:US 7.5E…..US 8.5D…..Continental 41.5D, for the medium width foot.
New and unworn.