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 Peter Macia writes about the Tretorn Klippor Leather Boot.
My first winter living in New York City I only had a pair of desert boots to get me around. I wore them every day through piles of snow and the spectacular curbside streams of storm water, urine and road salt that seem to flow at all times through this city's streets from December to March. By the time spring rolled around and the desert boots dried out, they looked like a duck who'd served nine tours in Afghanistan and my feet were not psyched on it. You know those documentaries where dudes get trapped on Everest and when they're rescued they have black toes? It wasn't like that at all. But it was definitely not cool to always have wet socks and a general feeling of sadness. Not to mention, when the sand-colored suede got wet below the hem and then I sat down and the hem raised up, it looked like I was wearing spats. The only men who ever looked good wearing spats were Fred Astaire, Babar the Elephant and every soldier in World War I, and I am none of those, so it was time to get it together.
A couple years ago I bought some Red Wings, and they were/are great. But I also worked as a manual laborer for almost a decade, so wearing work boots for no reason always felt kind of ridiculous. Like every time I passed a construction worker I wanted to stop him and explain my work history so he wouldn't think I was some kind of dandy appropriator. It goes deep, I know. This probably comes from my mother, who, if I remember correctly, had one thousand pairs of shoes. It's in my blood—definition of character via footwear, what can I say? So the desert boots were dead and now the Red Wings were shamed. Plan C.
Somehow, over the course of the last several years, I've managed to make a lot of Swedish friends. They are invariably healthy, stylish and robust, and not one of them has ever made me feel bad about anything. Not even their robustness makes me feel bad for being kind of scrawny and underfed. It's amazing. Tretorn (and other unnamed Swedish brands) is basically the Swedish people translated in to useful products. In this case, you have a high leather boot—almost like an army boot—with a stout, but low-profile rubber soul and toe cap. The first day I wore them I ran through puddles and not a drop made it to my socks, and they have almost been too warm during the early days of fall, which is a good sign for winter. More importantly, the design is so mellow that I can see wearing them even when I'm an old man (with my beret and tweed trenchcoat). They're not overtly trendy in any way, just functional and comfortable. Maybe that I like them now means I'm old now, but so what. I'm just glad I don't have to explain myself to tough guys anymore and my shoes don't make a weird wet fart sound when it rains.