Neil Barrett x Palladium

If you haven’t been formally introduced, Palladium is a footwear brand with an interesting history. Like a lot of designers, Palladium’s foray into boot design was a slow road, beginning with an earlier stint as tire makers. It wasn’t until the late 1940s that Palladium applied the same hard-wear concepts in tire-making to the artful craft of apparel. It is their over 60 year history that make Palladium specialists in shoe design, emphasizing modern techniques that ensure your fashionable footwear will retain some of its functionality – did I mention how durable these boots are?

Since its humble rubber-based beginnings, Palladium has begun teaming with industry mainstays like its most recent collaboration with British menswear designer Neil Barrett. Barrett is a man whose vision for minimalist clothing speaks to the classic elements of Palladium’s heritage Pampa boot – a contribution that has added to a growing work wear movement.

Work wear is an inspiration that can be undervalued. Images of your father’s tattered flannel may conjure up memories of forgotten struggle, and of little interest to many, “blue collar.”

Challenging this notion of the “blue collar” and its detachment from anything sophisticated is Neil Barrett and his recent collaboration with Palladium footwear.

A dusty pair of camel-toned leather boots are laced high above the ankle and they represent the most direct link to your father’s abused footwear. You know the ones – they graced the entryway of your home and every time you looked at them, you could feel the amount of backbreaking labour that had transpired throughout the day. Barrett’s camel nod to the working man is more substantial, with its well structured leather-work in place of traditional canvas and its flexible rubber sole, ensuring a noiseless walk.

A “noiseless walk” is the shoe’s most sellable feature. Since work wear-inspiration has been revived with brands like GenerraDana Lee and Miharayasuhiro (to name a few), the look of a clunky work boot is something that completes a head to toe look. Good luck getting a noiseless walk out of an 8 inch pair of Dakota work boots. It just wouldn’t happen.

For those who may like the shape of the shoe, but are not inclined to walk around like a modern version of Bob Vila, fear not. Barrett offers the same boot in black, which will tie nicely with almost any ensemble you choose to sport (especially noir-on-noir, a trend that hasn’t gone away in the past 3 seasons).

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