We’ve been covering Seattle shop Division Road quite a bit on Stitchdown recently—mainly because they’re on a tear. And their latest release with Tricker’s and C.F. Stead indicates they have little to no interest in ceasing to produce incredibly well-considered boots and shoes in collaboration with some of the best makers out there. Solid approach!
Tricker’s is the ultimate creator of English country shoes. C.F. Stead is a fabled British tannery that’s been in operation since 1823. It’s generally considered to be the world’s most accomplished leather shop in dealing with rare and interesting wild leathers, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here.
Three of the models are in kudu, an African woodland antelope whose hides often feature incredibly unique scars from living life as a kudu in Africa (cows, as you can imagine, don’t get a ton of sharp horns rammed into their sides). For the Dean boot, they went with unicorn, which you’re familiar with from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Further explanation below.
Important: everything in this group is built on the W2298 last, which is slightly longer and more elegant in the toe than, say, the classic Tricker’s 4444 that the Bourton is typically built on, or the Stow’s traditional 4497S. But it should fit pretty much the same as you’re used to on those.
As always, Division Road has remarkably thoughtful writeups and descriptions of all of these boots, and an excellent sizing guide to help you with the last.
Speaking of lasts: Tricker’s footwear lasts. C.F. Stead leather lasts. These things will last. Let’s give them all a look.
It’s no stretch to say that the Bourton is Tricker’s most important shoe, and this iteration stays true to very true to its country-shoe roots. Important Menswear Individual Jeff Depano took the design into his own hands, and he built it with C.F. Stead’s snuff reverse kudu, an extremely durable take on the snuff suede that you might be a little more afraid to injure. He also took it full country with the Goodyear commando sole and natural Barbour storm welt. This shoe can do, I imagine, anything you want it to. My personal favorite of the line, by a country shoe mile.
Ok I love this one too. The Stow is Tricker’s iconic boot model, and the grey reverse kudu—which I imagine will get darker in all sorts of cool ways as it ages—is a worthy companion.
The LLL, as everyone obviously calls it (I have no idea if they call it that) is a newer Tricker’s model with a plain toe and pull loop that all loggers with low legs demand. This is a color of kudu you’ll see around a bit more, but here it’s tanned to the exacting C.F. Stead specs.
Is it ethical to source unicorn hides to make boots, for you? The Unicorn Guild has not yet ruled on that, which is why C.F. Stead instead gave a very cool name to an aniline-dyed Scandinavian elk hide whose waxy coating results in a handsome matte finish. Commando sole? Of course. Little of bit pinking? Why not! This toe-capped boot is ruggedly unassuming, which means you may have to come right out and tell everyone that you’re wearing unicorn boots.