Saturday, 30 August 2014
The Beautiful Grain: Cheaney's new Veldtschoen
Sometimes I worry I'm the only person mildly obsessed with Veldtschoen boots, but after a trip to Jermyn Street today, I didn't feel quite so lonely.
I've visited Joseph Cheaney's factory before, and while I thought their shoes were very nicely made for the price, I found their looks slightly bland and salary-man, with overdone antiquing; their Pennine Veldtschoen boots also looked slightly too pretty, with what was (to me) a slightly too red and fake-looking country grain. Yet when I visited the company's brand new store on Jermyn Street, I was faced with a Veldstchoen revelation: with a couple of design tweaks, new leathers, and the lovely new design of boot, The Fiennes, these are some of the nicest Veldstchoen boots around. Cheaney's main rival for Veldstchoen is probably Alfred Sargent, which are now getting hard to find. Even if that weren't the case, with these new tweaks I find the current Cheaney range are just as attractive. I'd say they're also more nicely constructed than Tricker's, who seem to be resting on their laurels. When I dropped into Tricker's today, they seemed casual and uninterested in their own product; the Cheaney staff at the new showroom were younger, and distinctly more knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
The Fiennes is a typical veldtschoen, with that distinctive moustache design on the side; I didn't check, but I think the commando soles are Itshide, at any rate they're British-made. The boots are padded at the top, like some of the Crocket and Jones veldt designs, and the new country grain, which comes from a new supplier in Italy, looks terrific. The overall shape is lovely; slightly sleeker than some, without a false teocap, but rugged and purposeful - sorry for the poor photos, as I only had my phone with me, the leather and the actual shape looks even more attractive in person than on these photos.
The Cairngorm, Cheaney's long-established Veldtschoen shoe, looks even better in the new leather; the bumpier finish looks a little more rugged and suits the shape much better. The same applies to the Pennine, the company's standard Veldt boot, which I've featured here before.
Price on the Fiennes is £345 - very reasonable for the quality, as these boots will last you a lifetime; I'll update with other prices soon. I've also accumulated quite a few more Veldstchoen photos since my last post on the subject, so I promise I'll do a photodump in the next few days.