Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Chioma Nnadi writes about the Palladium Baggy Canvas Boot.
I organize my shoe closet like it’s the inside of Funk Master Flex’s garage—everyday vehicles (flats, sneakers) are parked up front, while the fancier, tricked-out wheels (five-inch platforms, bitch boots) are tucked safely in the back, under heavy protective dustsheets. Palladium started out as a company that made tires for airplanes back in the ’20s. After the war the demand for aircraft materials petered out, so in 1947 Palladium launched the Pampa boot on the basis that a shoe’s sole should be as tough and durable as aeroplane tires (any hard walking New Yorker will fully appreciate the logic in this theory). Anyway the French Legion loved them, and put the boots to the test in the arid terrain of Northern Africa, or so the story goes. And in a way, when I wake up in the morning and reach for my Palladiums I am going into battle too, since these boots will pretty much arm me against anything New York city has to throw at me—smoke, soot, dog poop encrusted potholes, or miscellaneous subway gunk. Unlike the vintage army boots I wore last winter, they are stylish and comfortable, and don’t require 3-inch thick socks to feel good. In the grand scheme of my shoe closet/garage, these joints are the closest sole I’ll ever get to an armored tank.