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Trickers "Grassmere" - last shape

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
This might be of interest to forum members.

The "Grassmere" last is, I agree, a bit 'blobby', but it's not as bad as some people think. I have put a pair of "Grasmere" boots alongside a pair of Grenson "Bleasdale" boots. Both are size 9.5 (UK). There's not a great deal of difference, as you can see. Toe shape is the key thing.

Personally, I wouldn't wear the"Grassmere" boots to the office, but they make admirable country boots. The one shown here is in a different type of grained leather from the current crop. Have a look at the Andersons of Durham website and you'll see what I mean. Pediwear show the type of boot shown here, but chances are you'll get the new version (prob. an old photo). Bear in mind that the new, heavier grained boots will look slightly bigger - unequivocally country.

I'm assuming that your office is a boring one full of computers and paper, not trees and streams. If it's the latter, then I envy you. Any place without electric sockets is a decent place indeed.

I was lucky to get these. They are particularly well made and are a lovely colour.
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post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
Here's a few observations:

"Grasmere"

Construction

Robust, hardwearing. Storm welt, veldtshoen. Wide footbed, gives good fitting properties. Ideal if you are going uphill, down dale. Boots made on a narrower last, or of less sturdy construction will lose their shape far more quickly. Tricker's are probably the heaviest boots you can buy.

Leather

I'll call it pebble grain. Stout, 3 mm or so in thickness, yet supple. Boots take a while to break in, but after that they fit beautifully. The pebble grain leather will smooth out and the result will be a lovely rich patina. Marks them out from other country boots. Take the "Conistion", for example. Tan Scotch Country Grain is less marked than pebble grain. Won't take the same punishment as Tricker's and won't develop the depth of colour that Tricker's will have (for above reasons).

Polishing, shoe care

No special treatment needed. Leather is thick, so use a leather food (Chelsea Leather Food is ideal) from time to time. I use a Lobb cream to cover the scuffs. Leather absorbs polish well. I polish with the Tricker's made maroon polish - no problems at all. I applied a dark brown cream and now regularly apply polish. Has created a lovely burgundy colour. Rare in a boot today.

Remarks

It would be nice to see these boots made with a bellows tounge. In the same vein as the "Bourton" or the "Keswick" brogue. Possibly make a version on a narrower last? The shoe catalogue has a 'made to order' "Roy", but I don't know what this looks like.

Comparisons with Grenson "Bleasdale"

The "Bleasdale" is made in French calf leather. Very soft and supple. Needs looking after. Unsuitable for rough country wear. Don't be fooled by the Commando sole. I'm reliably informed that this is the same leather as used by Edward Green for some of their boots and shoes. Leather looks the same as that used on the "Galway". May be other styles too. The "Bleasdale" is, in other words, a formal boot - town, not country. Actually, it's a mystery to me why they didn't make it in black - ideal for the city. The brown would be better as a chestnut, not dark brown. A rather 'dead' colour, in my view. Betwixt and between. Crockett and Jones are more savvy: the "Snowdon" is also available in black. Popular with city folk, so I'm told.

Other points - 'true' country boots and shoes?


Don't be fooled by grained leather and commando soles. See above points. First and foremost, shoes or boots have to be tough and can take a bit of punishment. The last must be generous. Dainite and double-leather (in my view) is to be avoided - though it can be replaced. 'Country' is too often a meaningless classification. You would not beast a "Galway" and you'd be in trouble if you tried walking on very rough ground in a "Conisiton". I'd note, however, that there is a line between true country boots and walking boots. If I was going to go to Snowdonia, I'd buy a proper pair of walking boots. In other words, country boot or not, it can only take so much.

List of 'true' country boots (off the top of my head)

Tricker's: various boot and brogue styles

C + J
: "Snowdon" and "Veldt"

Cheaney: "Pennine IIR"

Church
: none

EG: none

AS: A number of interesting robust boot styles available

Loake, Barker - sceptical.
post #3 of 22
Do you mean that you'd buy hiking boots before buying the Snowdon?
post #4 of 22
Clownish
post #5 of 22
you seem strangely excited about discussing these
post #6 of 22
Generally I find Trickers to be less than sleek in all respects. The boots are robustly made but other than that they do nothing for me.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
I like nailing a point down, so to speak!

I think the "Snowdon" is an excellent boot. Of the two, if I were thinking in terms of 'hiking', I'd go for the "Snowdon". It is surprising light and robust. The Tricker's boots and brogues appeal to me in an old-fashioned English sort of the way, in the same way that two buckle Edwardian era gaiters appeal to me and pointed lasts repel me. A little corner of old England, really.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
To answer the question - as I mentioned, if it was a straight choice between the "Snowdon" or the "Grasmere" for a 'hiking' boot, I'd go for the "Snowdon". If I intended doing some serious walking - say, two weeks holiday in the mountains, I'd buy a proper walking boot. I'd be worried that the "Snowdon" would break down, as much as wearing it day after day, leaving the leather little time to breathe, which is of course not a good idea. A good quality walking boot would give you much greater ankle support and waterproofing qualities. Also a better sole unit. Some walking boots are of course designed to take crampons, if you walk above the snowline.

It's an interesting one really - the walking boot has rendered the true country boot obselete. The sort of people who buy the "Snowdon" are often the outdoors type who may wear it for walking, fishing or shooting, but not serious walking, if you know what I mean. Part style, part function.
post #9 of 22
thank you for your post. very informative indeed especially i am in choosing betweent grassmere and bleasdale! so comparing the two, which one will you say is a better value? pediwear currently has the bleasdale on sale for the same price as the grassmere.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chowchow View Post
thank you for your post. very informative indeed especially i am in choosing betweent grassmere and bleasdale!
so comparing the two, which one will you say is a better value? pediwear currently has the bleasdale on sale for the same price as the grassmere.

Sorry if it reads like a scramble. Brain fried after work. I'm more used to carefully putting together arguments, reasoning them out, debating, so post 5pm it's foot off the gass.

I'll try not to repeat myself, splurging out the same stuff.

Basically, I suppose it depends what you want to wear them for. If it's office you're after, then the "Bleasdale" is a better bet. If it's more of a country thing, I'd go for the "Grasmere".

In terms of quality of construction, Grenson probably has the edge. They look better than CJ benchgrade to my eye. The leather is excellent - soft and supple. Go easy on them on the polishing side. I'd say polish them once every two weeks with wax polish, then buff off. The downside is the colour - it is just dreadful. A dull putty brown. It will, however, darken up over time with regular applications of wax shoe polish (I used Grenson dark brown). I never saw any depth of colour coming through and I found that very disappointing indeed. A much better colour, in my opinion, would be horse chestnut or rust brown. It would suit the boot perfectly. Also, to my eye, the styling is disappointing - very plain and uninspiring (see heel, panels). As I wore them in I kept thinking the leather is nice, they are really well made, but they don't look the money. I'm a traditionalist, so perhaps I have myself to blame - modern boot, modern last.

The Grasmere is a different kettle of fish. I actually wore them to the office today, so they are now sitting in their shoes trees having a rest. They are true country boots - heavy and robust on an old fashioned last with a rounded toe. Take some getting used to, but you get used to it quite quickly. Bit like moving up from a pool table to a snooker table. Construction just as good, but perhaps lacks the finesse of Grenson. Leather is just as good, if not better. It is, however, pebble grain, so the boots have that strong outdoors country look. The colour is nice. With polishing they will gradually take on an oxblood/red-burgundy look. As I perhaps mentioned, you do need to use shoe cream to cover the scuffs and a leather food to nourish. A lovely depth of colour has come through and they are starting to look the part. The style is traditional - it is the sort of boot a chap on his walking holiday would be wearing in 1910. They look and feel the money and of all my shoes they are the ones I would be wearing twenty years from now.

As I say, it depends on what you're after. As I've said before, there are very few good quality traditional derby boot styles with toe caps around today - they have just gone out of fashion, or shoemakers have a blind spot. The Grenson Bleasdale is the closest you'll get, unless you want to stick up over £350 or so for a CJ Villiers. Same applies to country boots - they are very few genuine country boot styles around. If you don't like Tricker's toe shapes you're basically limited to a few CJ styles and the now questionable Alfred Sargent. A good 'hybrid' boot, for want of a better word, would be the CJ "Snowdon" - in black as the "Radnor". Ideal for town and country.

Hope this information is useful.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Forgot to add, the one in the pics on this thread may be an old style - I bought from Andersons of Durham. They may be able to supply if it. My pic actually matches the pic on the Pediwear website, but they may be supplying the newer looking boot (available in the Jermyn Street shop), which is on the Andersons of Durham website. Equally Andersons of Durham might be supplying the old style boot, though they have the new style of boot on their website! Confusing isn't it! It might be worth checking with either one before you buy. They are slightly different boot styles.

http://www.andersonsofdurham.co.uk/t.../trickers.html

http://www.pediwear.co.uk/trickers/products/702.php

In terms of fit, the Grasmere is a 6 (probably FX, not G) - I wear 9.5.

The Bleasdale is a G - I take a 9.5. Actually slightly roomier.

I usually take a UK size 10 F.
post #12 of 22
I, for one, heartily thank you for this. I am a fan of Tricker's boots and some of the shoes, particularly the more country-type models. I really appreciate your comparative presentation and attention to detail. Some of us really do spend time tromping across terrain without carpet or pavement, and these details are sure appreciated then!

Thank you, again.
post #13 of 22
thank you! very helpful indeed! i have actually seen the grassmere in person and my only complaint is that it is slightly too "heavy" at least it is what i thought. and i am looking for a more "town" shoe than a country shoe. i am quite sure that the grassmere i saw in jermyn street last time is exactly the picture in pediwear, which seems to be duller I have also seen the Snowdon in person. It IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. it is great for both country and city though the price is just not so great. i m going to london and actually visit the grenson shop ( i thk it is in liverpool street) this weekend. will report my finding later again, reli thank you for your detail quality comment!
post #14 of 22
just one more thg. can urself personally justify spending 100 pounds more for the C&J Snowdon? i cant find the radnor in pediwear though. perhaps it is only available in C&J shop.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by chowchow View Post
can urself personally justify spending 100 pounds more for the C&J Snowdon?

From someone who has a pair of Snowdons the answer is most definately yes.

BTW, the Trickers & Grensons are not veldtshoens, the Snowdon is. All great boots though.
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