If you ask anyone at Allen Edmonds what’s the boot for us this year? Unquestionably you’ll get a response indicating it is the Normandy. These boots are awesome. I’ve wanted Allen Edmonds to make an Americana-inspired work boot like this since before I joined the company. The designers really delivered on this one.
For this design we dug into the archives and worked off of a basic 1940’s military boot.
Starting here we collaborated, revised, and edited until we landed with the 2015 version, the Normandy.
Some unique features that you might not know about this boot are that it’s made of soft unlined kudu (antelope) leather. When you run your hands on the inside, it’s like you’re feeling suede. The leather is also extremely flexbile and pliable or as I call it “floppy”.
Pushing the floppy upper to the right
Pulling it to the left
Additionally they come distressed. The hides show natural markings as well the distressing that we do to them in the factory. Even the laces and sidewalls of the boots come distressed. The sole is a double oak distressed sole that offers more flexibility than an average dress shoe or boot, and it’s twice as thick as a single oak sole so you’ll get more wear out of these before you have to get the soles replaced.
Perhaps my favorite part about these is that when I asked our head of manufacturing how I should care for them he replied “You don’t. Beat ‘em up”. I like polishing my dress shoes, it’s actually a nice tradition that my dad passed onto me as a boy, but there’s something about a boot or shoe that you don’t have to care about that appeals to me. I can literally walk through anything in these, and wipe them down if they get dirty and they’ll be alright.
I’ve taken these out for muddy, fall hikes on trails, on the sandy beaches of Milwaukee, in some dirty alleys in Chicago, and on sunny days as well as in the pouring rain. They’ve rested on bar stools and on the floors of our conference rooms. When I think about these boots—there’s one thing that stands out to me that they share with the generation that would have worn these almost 70 years ago…they’re hard workers and the “roll up your sleeves” type. These boots can handle it all, and they will. They won’t shy away from any challenge that you throw at them and they’ll work hard until the job gets done. In the process they’ll age beautifully and will develop unmatched character. Knowing that I can wear these wherever I want without having to watch where I step AND I get to feel the extreme softness that I wouldn’t expect from a boot means these will be seeing much more of my world than most of my closet.