An all-leather version of the famous Women’s Leather and Linen Traveling Boot was produced in Fall 1985. While it lacks the buckled straps of its sister, they were apparently sold with surplus Swiss leather and linen “gaiters” available in store.
The catalogue copy partially matched the Leather and Linen version: “Most boots are just excess baggage on a traveler’s checklist-frivolous space-hoggers that get shipped home at first opportunity. Not so our Traveling Boots: Rugged yet surprisingly pliable and light weight, they’re versatile companions on city cobblestones and dusty veldt, and tuck inconspicuously into a corner of a carry-on. We asked Vibram, maker’s of the world’s finest soles, to make us a nonpareil shock-absorbing sole. For the flexible, top-grade leather–pebble-textured on the outside, garment-quality calfskin for the lining–we went (where else?) to Italy. We had these first-rate materials put together by expert craftsmen in Florence, heart of the old-world shoe industry, and produced a classic riding boot with a bent for rambling and the good looks to va bene anywhere on the globe.”
Photos by Wendy Joffe
Surplus Swiss Military Gaiters
Wendy writes: “I purchased these (boots) from the original owner, who says she wore them only a couple of times. When she bought them, a store employee suggested the “straps” as well, since they were an addition popular with the customers. I figured they must be gaiters of some sort, perhaps military surplus. Upon delivery, I was able to get a good look at the gaiters — they are indeed military surplus, as per the trio of Swedish crowns stamped on the inside. Each gaiter is clearly from a different production run, although it’s impossible for me to determine whether it’s a matter of various manufacturers under contract, or a few years’ difference in production, etc. The triple crown stamp is fairly clear on one gaiter; the second bears only a faint, partial outline of one crown, which may not show in the photo.”