Few things are better than taking a break from the noisy city life and getting a breath of fresh air in the countryside. It is a real luxury to be able to spend time in nature and taking the time to relax. Many families have traditions to spend time in nature together, one such family is the British royal family.
The Balmoral boot is named after the Royal Balmoral estate in Scotland owned by the the British Queen. For centuries the royals have visited the beautiful countryside, going all the way back to Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, where the stylish prince was the first man to wear the Balmoral boots.
Prince Albert asked his shoemaker to create a shoe that would we practical enough to walk the grounds of the Balmoral estate, but still be appropriate enough to wear inside with elegant company. The Balmoral boot was invented to serve the prince’s wishes. An Oxford base allows the shoe to be formal as the trousers hide the upper part of the boot. The higher boot allows a princely foot to stay dry in muddy fields and Scottish hills.
Image Credits: Gabriel Palai
For those who watch the hit show “The Crown” might have noticed that the British royal family still likes to spend their time at Balmoral, fishing salmon and stalking stags. It is interesting to look at how these bespoke requests of past men have shaped the icons of the classic wardrobe. The aristocracy had time to care about their appearance, they had the money to order bespoke items at an extraordinary rate and were the influencers of their day. Now, hundreds of years later, the items are still in style. It is a similar story with the birth of the tuxedo. When King Edward VII was a young man, then the Prince of Wales, he wanted a more informal way to dress at relaxed dinners, at least more relaxed than the white tie formal everyone was wearing at the time. He explained his problem to his tailor, Henry Poole at Savile Row, who invented the “Dinner Suit” to satisfy his important client. The white tie jacket had been simplified and shortened and with the most influential man wearing the new dress, quickly everyone else also wanted a tuxedo.
Today we cannot relate to the dinner jacket as an informal jacket, but the Balmoral shoe can still perfectly function as a hybrid between practical and formal in the modern world.
The brown suede and leather would fit perfectly with the style of a pair of grey flannel trousers and perhaps even tweed jacket. The black version is even more suited to formality, because of the association with the traditional black Oxford shoe, but you can also wear it in a modern way on the weekends. Perhaps with a slim pair of tailored black trousers and a thick grey wool flannel over-shirt or leather jacket. Both are really versatile boots.
The Balmoral boot was made for both countryside and city and, more than a century later, still performs the job admirably.