In 1941, when Officer Nathan Clark found himself bound for deployment in the South East Asian tropics of Myanmar, fashion was probably the last thing on his mind. Though he was the great grandson of James Clark, one half of the founding duo of the English shoe company Clarks, the young soldier undoubtedly would have been shocked to hear that he would go to war and come out the other side a menswear legend.
Upon arrival, Nathan found himself fascinated by the lightweight, purpose-built shoes worn by members of the British Eighth Army. Their roughly constructed ‘desert boots’ were made with crepe soles, crafted from the Old Bazaar in Cairo, that offered increased flexibility and grip ideal for desert warfare. Their design is more functional than fashionable, ankle-length with two or three pairs of eyelets for lacing. Quite simple when you think about it. Nathan released his own version of the shoe in 1950, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The desert boot was adopted by the Beatnik culture, then the Sixties Mods, and now by all style-conscious men. It was a personal favourite of Steve McQueen who made the desert boot his signature style. McQueen openly admitted he was never a style icon however his ability to influence the style of men was apparent whenever you saw him ride a motorcycle… McQueen spawned a desert boot generation, which can be seen even today.
Often referred to as Chukka boots or Turf boots, today’s desert boot, is available in a plethora of colours, patterns, textures and designs, though every incarnation has one thing in common: they are a timeless, versatile shoe that isn't going anywhere anytime soon.SHOP the latest collection of Aquila desert boots now.