The City Hiker: Inspiration and How to Style
The Snoqualmie boot, by my brand J.FitzPatrick Footwear, has two inspirations behind it. One from the Ski Boot/Alpine boot that was introduced to the menswear realm many years ago, but in a more robust, heavy manner (think the Avoriaz by Paraboot). It came on the scene as one step down from the real Alpine hiking boot, to be something that you could wear in a smart-casual way. I always liked the idea of this but not the heaviness of it.
The other inspiration came from a Japanese shoemaker (who no longer makes shoes) that created a similar version but even sleeker than ours. Putting these two together and my ideas below, gave birth to the Snoqualmie. However, my first Snoqualmie rendition had a more robust toe and a storm welt. It was closer to the Paraboot, heavy and super hard-wearing, but did not give me the attractive, sleek look I was really going for. So I changed the last shape, putting it on a classic/smart round dress shoe last, took off the storm welt and came up with what you see in this post.
Once I saw the first sample, I was hooked. I loved it and it was exactly how I imagined wanting it. For me, it gave the perfect blend between something good for harsh weather but that could easily be dressed up and worn smartly. Part of my ethos as a designer is making shoes that can easily transition from day to night, from office to dinner. Seamless transition as it were. And the Snoqualmie gives that to those of us that live in cities with battering weather. Think of cities like Chicago, New York, Geneva, Moscow etc, where the Winter can bring strong winds, snow, and heavy rainfall, sometimes you just do not want to wear your dress shoes with the chance of battering them. You need something that can face the weather head-on while helping you maintain a manner of elegance.
So I created a blend of this casual model with sleek lines and silhouette in order to provide that perfect balance between rugged and smart. Imagine the upscale version of the classic Timberland derby boot, not in terms of style but in terms of functionality and popularity. That is how I envision this model one day being. All it takes is you to help get it there!
We have brought in two new colorways for A/W2020 and here I show you all how I style them myself. Because sometimes, well, we all just need a little inspiration and see how others put things together 🙂
I hope that you enjoy