Introducing the Clifford Desert Boot - our go-anywhere, do-anything shoe.
What is there to say about the desert boot that hasn’t been said already? Very little – in fact, there can’t have been much to say to begin with. Consisting, in essence, of just two components: a simple, unembellished ankle-height upper – usually suede – sat atop a thick crepe rubber sole, it is a deceptively simple piece of footwear. But, like nearly all iconic pieces of design, the desert boot is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Designed with utility and durability as its exclusive concerns, the boot’s aesthetic appeal is a convenient, unintended by-product of its utilitarian manufacture. It is this appeal which has led the shoe to amass a dedicated and enduring cult following across eras and throughout the world. One dedicated acolyte of the style is our very own Michael Hill, Co-owner and Creative Director of Drake’s. ‘It’s perhaps not a secret, but I love a suede desert boot,’ Michael explains. ‘I’ve bought pairs from countless different brands over the years, but have always wanted to do one of our own. It is a simple style, and you would think it would be hard to get wrong, but actually it’s not easy to find a pair that are really made the right way. So that’s where we come in.’
Enter the Clifford Desert Boot. It slots seamlessly into the Drake’s look, pairing especially well with the soft tailoring found in our Easyday range: imagine a pair beneath a suit cut from needlecord or a washed cotton and you’re beginning to get the picture. Made in Italy, the boots feature a number of developments we included for the sake of style and comfort. Firstly, we added a special sole which offers maximum cushioning and insulation, allowing them to be worn all year round. We also removed the stiff lining you usually encounter with these types of shoes, meaning they are softer and lighter, but also that they take on an appearance of relaxed elegance. The high-quality suede we selected for the uppers will shape to the foot, and develop its own unique character over time. Finally, we slimmed the silhouette a touch, making them feel more refined, and more readily wearable with tailored clothing, as well as a worn-in pair of jeans, or cotton chinos.
‘The Clifford boots are just such an easy choice. I have them in both colours, and each morning when I dress now, I naturally gravitate towards them - I don’t want to wear anything else. If you’ve happened to run into me in the last few months, chances are I’ll have been wearing these.’ Our hope is that the Clifford boot becomes as essential to the wardrobe of the Drake’s man as the navy knitted tie, or the oxford cloth button-down. They’re certainly as effortless and stylish. Truly a go-anywhere, do-anything shoe.