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Zonkey Boot hand welted Balmoral boots from black calf leather and suede

The Balmoral

The origin of the Balmoral oxford goes back to the middle of the 19th century when boots had become the most common form of footwear for both men and women. The story says that Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, who paid great attention to his appearance and had a high influence on the male fashion of the time, commissioned the royal shoemaker Joseph Sparkes Hall to make him a new pair of boots. These boots had to be comfortable for taking long walks on the Scottish grounds of the Balmoral castle, which the prince took over in 1848, yet stylish enough to be worn indoors, at gatherings with the upper class gentlemen.

The boot that the shoemaker designed became known as the Balmoral. The queen herself grew fond of the style and ordered a few pairs. Within the next few decades, the Balmoral became one of the most common boot types worn by all social classes.

The defining characteristic of the Balmoral boot is that the lower part, referred to as the ‘Golosh’, is stitched on top of the ankle covering leg part. That is what makes the Balmoral resemble a shoe worn with laced up leather socks and what makes this iconic shoe type so attractive and successful since its appearance in the 19th century and until today.

Nevertheless, to try one’s hand at a new version of Balmoral design is not an easy task. A low and straight side line makes the ankle part of the foot appear thick. We have curved the side line and interrupted the brogueing with a little edge in order to give it the dynamic appeal we like to have in our shoes.

Since the Balmoral is a boot for daywear, we have applied the pattern to the Classic last boot version which goes perfectly with a wingtip. For the materials we kept it rather traditional — Bavarian calf combined with tone-in tone soft calf suede, in two versions: Balmoral I in black and Balmoral II in brown tones.


October 2017

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Zonkey Boot at Schuhmann Wien

It took a while until we found our way into Bettina Stättner’s excellent shoe shop in Vienna. The ambience is solid and elegant with an unpretentious atmosphere. It is located in the

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