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Balmoral Boot Porn

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. atia2

    atia2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    405
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    Feb 2, 2013
    

    I had a triple insole in the left and a double on the right, so I think I'm beyond redemption. Would rather put whatever I get for them towards a better fitting shoe, despite their singular beauty.

    Must admit I've always had trouble with the newer C&J lasts (these are on the 363). Either I need to size down or just stick to their classic lasts, e.g. the 325 which fits me nicely.
     
  2. VRaivio

    VRaivio Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Finland
    ˆˆYet another SJC post -- reported for admins.
     
  3. brax

    brax Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    633
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    Apr 2, 2008
    [​IMG] [​IMG] These were a MTO project from Bonafe from about a year ago.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. knucks

    knucks Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,958
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    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ann Arbor
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looking good IMO
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  5. The Chai

    The Chai Active Member

    Messages:
    34
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    Oct 7, 2015
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wholecut boot made out of Black Kangaroo Skin.
     
  6. The Chai

    The Chai Active Member

    Messages:
    34
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    Oct 7, 2015
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More Balmoral boots made out of Kangaroo leather.
     
  7. nh10222

    nh10222 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I haven't logged in for awhile, perhaps over a year, but my love for Balmoral boots has not faded, and it's good to see they still have a following on here. Here are two of my more recent acquisitions.

    [​IMG]
    Bonafe
    Black and navy blue nubuck
    Vibram Commando rubber sole

    Chunky rubber soles on Balmoral boots might be considered illegal by some, but in my book, they have their place, as does the nubuck.
    These boots were intended for use in casual settings and for informal office attire, where wet/slippery/rough surfaces are likely to be encountered. These were received in December 2015 but I wore them for the first time this week and so far they fulfil their intended purpose very well. The Commando soles make for a very comfortable ride, albeit slightly less beautiful than a single leather. Unlike calf, the nubuck doesn't look scuffed to hell after a less than cautious day in the office, on the streets or partying.



    [​IMG]
    Bonafe
    Etrusco calf
    Dainite rubber sole

    I got these in December last year but have not worn them yet. This week, I applied Obenauf leather oil and Filson boot oil to the uppers, rubbed it in, left it for a couple of days, wiped and buffed. The original shine returned immediately. The photo was taken before the application of oil. This is the first time I have used the Obenauf product, although I have had it for a couple of years. Normally, I only apply Lexol conditioner to calf leather like this, but a litre of it was lost in the mail on the way to me, and my stocks were running low, so I gave Obenauf a go.
     
  8. nh10222

    nh10222 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    And a few more [​IMG] Bonafe Black suede Dainite rubber sole The Bonafe black suede boots pictured above were originally purchased to prevent a repeat of the damage inflicted on the Carmina 80092s pictured below while traipsing through the Persian desert. Moreover, low maintenance suede is more forgiving of my laziness in terms of shoe care. Quite frankly, I couldn't be bothered regularly applying leather care products to my boots, and when I have shiny calf on my feet, I'm constantly trying to avoid scuffs on furniture etc. which gets annoying. After most wears, the most maintenance they get is a brief buffing with a horsehair brush and perhaps a wipe-down, with Lexol or Saphir Renovateur applied only a few times per year unless they cop a real beating. If the leather falls apart due to lack of maintenance (hasn't happened yet), I'll just buy more - with competing financial obligations, it helps to have an excuse to buy more boots. The Carmina 80092 black/black boots were eventually restored but not before I initially gave up. It started in October 2014 with a diluted vinegar wipe-down, application of Saphir Renomat, Lexol cleaner, Lexol conditioner, and buffing, over the course of about two weeks. The results were not good. The leather was clean and soft but the surface was still very dull and it seemed beyond salvation. So, I gave up and committed the boots to rest, bagged and boxed, assuming they would never shine again. In June 2016, I spontaneously decided to have another go. This consisted of buffing, a decent (much more than pea-sized) dose of Saphir Renovateur and yet more buffing with a horsehair brush. This time, the outcome was very different. Now, they look pretty good. Aged and weathered, but still plenty of life in them. It appears that allowing the conditioner to soak in and dry for >20 months may have helped. Moreover, Saphir Renovateur is probably better for shine on difficult surfaces than Lexol conditioner (although I am not convinced that it is a better leather conditioner than Lexol). Ordinary wax polish is no longer part of my shoe care routine, and with trashed leather, it wasn't appropriate in this case. So, there you have it. If your boots cop a thrashing and won't shine, turn your attention elsewhere for 20 months, then try again. [​IMG] Carmina 80092 Black calf, black suede, York sole, Forest last; Skoaktiebolaget Special. My first taste of Carmina. Purchased March 2013, trashed in Iran September 2014, new lease of life June 2016. [​IMG] Bonafe Oceano suede Vibram Commando sole Apparently, oceano suede is supposed to be a very dark blue. They don't look very blue, but I still like the colour. This is an example of the Duke of Windsor's midnight blue evening dress effect - midnight blue fabric that actually looks black in the light, and looks better than 'real' black. [​IMG] Commando sole [​IMG] Bonafe Black calf, oceano suede Single leather sole [​IMG] I'm pretty sure I asked for a fiddleback waist on these. [​IMG] Bonafe Black calf, grey suede Single leather sole with fiddleback waist As I have written before, boxes and shoe bags are not Bonafe's strong points. These boots are being crushed in the shoe-sized box, and the shoe bags are more useful as polishing cloths than for storing boots. Thankfully, the later orders shewn above and below came in slightly larger boxes (albeit still rather flimsy) and shoe bags. As for these, I really should find them alternative accommodation. I found some ex German Army cotton boot bags on eBay, which should at least allow me to wrap them up. [​IMG] That's what all the single leather soles should look like! [​IMG] Bonafe Black calf, desert sand nubuck Single leather sole Very striking appearance. I had seen a similar colour combination from other makers and had to have it. It took awhile to sift through Bonafe's suede and nubuck offerings. [​IMG] A recent leather treatment job [​IMG] Carmina 80092 Navy crup leather Double Dainite rubber sole Received September 2013 Products and tools used: Buffing brush x 2 Cloth, paper towel Filson Boot Oil FInish Saphir Cordovan cream (neutral) Saphir Renovateur (tested on small area only) Timeline Monday: buffed, applied FIlson Boot Oil FInish Tuesday: wiped, buffed - weak shine Wednesday: wiped, buffed, worn, buffed - weak shine Friday: wiped, buffed, applied Saphir Cordovan cream, buffed - decent shine These boots were clean but looking rather tired and dull, so I decided to oil them up and try to get more shine. Not surprisingly, after a decent dose of Filson Boot Oil FInish they looked duller still. Every time I use that stuff I can't help but wonder if I have made a terrible mistake, and I can imagine some people screaming at the sight of it, but it has never stopped me from doing it again. Buffing restored a weak shine but the finish was still very murky. They were oiled on Monday, worn on Wednesday, buffed before and after, but with no improvement. As usual, I gave up and set them aside, but only until Friday rather than twenty months. Good results came very quickly with a light application of neutral Saphir Cordovan cream followed by buffing. Saphir Renovateur was tried on the shaft of one boot, and it also worked, but the Cordovan cream gave a slightly better shine. The navy crup boots were never as shiny as my burgundy pair, but I think they are good enough. I intend to try Venetian Shoe Cream on another pair soon. If anyone has suggestions on cleaning products for crup/shell cordovan leather, I'd like to hear them. I've heard plenty about conditioners but not cleaners.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
    2 people like this.
  9. mbaltazar

    mbaltazar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
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    Aug 14, 2014
    Hi guys,
    I've got a question to get your thoughts on it.

    I wear suits Monday to Friday and I'm looking for a Balmoral boot for winter. Is calf and grain calf shaft with a dainite sole formal enough for a formal workplace?

    Besides Carmina and Meermin who's making good Balmoral boots?
     
  10. Shawl Lapel

    Shawl Lapel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Northern VA
    

    Justin Fitzpatrick
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  11. RogerP

    RogerP Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,333
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    JF is an excellent suggestion. If the budget will stretch, Bonafe and Vass offer a superb product with reasonable MTO turnaround times.


    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  12. mbaltazar

    mbaltazar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    

    Thanks for your suggestion! I've seen the Fitzpatrick. Good looking and probably good sturdy shoes. But they lack having the "classic". I also understand their positioning, but I want good bread and butter for my first Balmorals.


    These are amazing! Calf and suede, laces, nice rounded toe, cap and medallion. Who made those?
     
  13. RogerP

    RogerP Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    These are by Enzo Bonafe. MTO through Skoak.
     
  14. mbaltazar

    mbaltazar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
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    Aug 14, 2014
    Just ordered these beauties from Skoak... couldn't hold back anymore... ;-)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. nh10222

    nh10222 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    


    Hmmmm... The basic shape looks good, and I love the look of that leather, but there's too much decoration. If they deleted some of those tattoos and piercings, they'd be on to something.

    In the interim, I suppose they'll do for casual wear, but not for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  16. mbaltazar

    mbaltazar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
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    Aug 14, 2014
    I actually think the same. It's way too busy for my taste, although the pattern and color looks good. Who makes them?
     
  17. nh10222

    nh10222 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Carlos Santos 9115 Balmoral boots
    Black calf Skoaktiebolaget stock item

    Despite resolving to avoid further purchases of “ordinary” Balmoral boots I couldn’t resist this apparent good value offering from Carlos Santos. I’m pleased to advise that I was not disappointed. So, it's a thumbs up from me. The short version of this review ends here.

    [​IMG]
    A shoe horn was hidden in the left leg. Better photos are available on the Skoaktiebolaget website.

    Packaging and presentation
    The box is very sturdy, which is excellent; I rarely see boxes like this. However, it is only just big enough - in other words, it is on the small side. In fact, I'd say it was not intended for high legged boots at all.

    The boot bags are also too small, in a fashion similar to Enzo Bonafe. They are basically shoe bags that will only just accommodate boots and not without difficulty. It may be necessary to replace them with cotton pillowcases.

    I know I give shoemakers a hard time about their boxes and bags; it's just one of those things that bugs me.

    [​IMG]

    Fit
    As advised by Skoaktiebolaget, the fit is similar to that of Enzo Bonafe’s 71495 last. It is not bespoke-perfect for me (being slightly roomy in places) but good enough for most purposes (extended forced marches excepted).

    Sole
    The rubber sole is Dainite in style but marked Carlos Santos rather than Dainite/British Made, in a fashion similar to Carmina and I believe Church’s.

    First impressions of quality and workmanship
    No obvious flaws or imperfections in the materials and finish have been observed. The boots seem comfortable. The leather uppers feel relatively soft.

    Conclusion
    Consistent with the observations of others, these boots seem similar in quality to Carmina products but at a lower price, which is good news.
    Provided their current price point is maintained, I’d definitely consider acquiring more. However, given the lack of a custom MTO programme, it would depend on the RTW designs offered.

    It is hoped that their range is expanded because there’s nothing like an influx of good value products to shake-up the market and keep the big names on their toes. With the UK headed towards Brexit it is further hoped that British manufacturers will rise to the challenge, innovate and work smarter to offer good value products in a weaker pound environment to attract more export business.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  18. Leaves

    Leaves Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Sweden
    @nh10222 Thanks for the feedback. Enjoy!

    As for the English shoe industry and their ability to "rise to the challenge" this definitely remains to be seen. It's been a good half decade or so for the English shoe industry. Driven on by a very strong demand from Asia and the US. It remains to be seen how much the industry is affected by the Brexit. There are many scenarios that can play out. The biggest problem for the shoe industry in England is that it's an extremely conservative business and many people believe that they can just go on like they always have. The Brexit and the next recession will definitely be a baptism of fire. A recession always is, but even more so for the shoe industry/shoe retail usually.
     
  19. RogerP

    RogerP Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    @nh10222 - excellent review and congrats on the new boots. I do wish that all manufacturers who sold tall boots also provided adequately-sized boot bags, but it's not a big deal to me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. nh10222

    nh10222 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    95
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    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    As a fan of MTO boots, I regret to advise that with British makers and MTO it's getting to the stage at which one can't even throw his money away. Over the past few years a number of those who were once happy to do single pair MTO have started to refuse such orders by my established channels (via trusted vendors), despite still offering MTO programmes in theory, despite their ability to add a hefty surcharge to the RTW price and despite an acceptance of long lead times by customers. They just won't do it. Others will do it, but not for export sales (i.e. to me) etc. so it's becoming a right pain in the backside.

    Maybe, just maybe, if things go down the toilet, demand slumps and they are more desperate for business, they'll start accepting single pair MTOs again. As it is, the likes of Enzo Bonafe are blowing them out of the water. Of course, that's only my MTO perspective.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016

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