Filed Under: Candy for your eyes, integrity for your feet.
Overview: Collection of sophisticated yet comfortable boots by designer and shoe connoisseur Joshua Bingaman
Appreciate: The world-class quality and character of boots by HELM Handmade. They're designed in Austin, Texas, and made by hand (hence, the 'handmade') in Istanbul, Turkey using Dutch or Australian leather, matched to soles from Italy and France. That's worth a few stamps in the passport, and there's more: prior to launching HELM Handmade, Bingaman owned a successful shoe boutique in San Francisco, adding a West Coast pedigree to his sense of style. As to be expected, boots with this much international flare are not made haphazardly. Each pair takes 5 days to make, with up to 72 hours spent hand-nailing the leather to the temporary mold. HELM's craftsmen spent more time making these boots in a week than you'll spend lacing them up over a lifetime
Know: HELM Handmade offers a variety of styles, any one of which will make you glad to be a man. A favorite of The Diego Files is the Enright in Camel, a masculine combat style boot with a unique leather ribbon spanning the vamp, which was inspired by an old boot repaired with duct tape. Shown above is the Ray Ray Raleigh Denim Boot, which, like most HELM boots, are as appropriate dressed up as they are down. Made of calf-skin leather with denim inlays from North Carolina's Cone Denim, the Ray Ray's are not only handsome, but comfortable as well, thanks to calf-skin interior lining. Waxed laces are water-resistant, to deflect the sweat off your brow. For a less denim-look, the Ray Ray's also come in Brown, with Italian-stitched canvas inlays. In either finish, Ray Ray's are sharp sharp
Special Comments: Boots by HELM Handmade are a rare find anywhere in-store, as of this writing. Your best bet is to order online directly from HELM's website. If you're in Austin, however, you can drop by the HELM showroom, which is usually open for a few late afternoon hours, later in the week
Cost: Varies depending on style; $365 for the Enright; $445.00 for the Ray Ray's
See them: Here.