Classic Monkey Boot

One can understand the renewed interest in the classic monkey boot. With seven-eyelet lacing deep on the toe, the boot makes a handsome alternative to the desert boot for adventures and larks. Like the desert boot, the monkey boot has a military heritage — this time courtesy of the Czech army.

Tricker's Monkey Boot
If you wish to get in on the swing towards monkey boots, best to steer clear of examples that look like they belong to a tradesman's catalogue. Good options include those offered by Tricker's. The black grain leather version with red leather lining above is made exclusively for Grahame Fowler. The Tricker's monkey boot generally has a Dainite sole.

The Knutsford by Tricker's in burnished brown leather (below) is available from Coggles.

An example lined in orange leather with a nice orange pull tab is available from Shoe Healer who sell and repair the finest English shoes.

Who could fault you if you were to choose any option made by Tricker's?

Sole of air
If your shoe rack is full-to-bursting with Tricker's shoes —and it should be —you might be looking for a another English brand to add to your collection. Solovair (1881) makes some really nice examples of the monkey boot. I like the practical names of these old British manufacturers, before the marketing people started to apply meaningless gobbledegook to everything. Solovair means 'sole of air'. Read here about the fascinating history, demise and revival of Solovair — another company we must champion and patronise in our support for British manufacturing.

Solovair produces a veritable troupe of monkey boots in their factory at Wollaston, Northampton, England. As we chose three from Tricker's, let's pick out three options from Solovair.

Here we see the Acorn Monkey Boot, made with burnished Italian calf leather and a Goodyear welted sole utilising Solovair's 'Soft Sole Suspension' technology.

If you have ever worn DM boots, you will understand how blissfully comfortable a Solovair sole can be. Here follows Solovair's Ebony Monkey Boot and Burgundy Monkey Boot.

I think the burgundy option is the boot with which I would most like to be acquainted. Let's imagine wearing them with a cotton drill suit from Timothy Everest for a weekend of dilettantism in Casablanca. Works for me. And if you're seeking tradition, put yellow laces in the burgundies and you have something close to the original monkey boot.


  1. I have two pairs of Solovair monkey boots I use on alternate days for my work in a hospital.
    They are indeed a company worthy of championing

    1. Thanks revjgoode. Having two pairs is a strong endorsement.


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