What are Balmoral boots: How to identify a Balmoral Boot
Tag along with me and as I enlighten you on balmoral boots. You might have come across some of them but passed up on them. You might probably even have a pair of balmoral boots and still not know what they are. Here I will review the types, styles and draw references to pictures to illustrate my points.
Why should you pay attention to these types of boots? Well they are getting increasingly popular these days so you might start thinking of adding some of the more stylish ones to your footwear arsenal.
The terminology Balmoral or “bal” refers to a shoe of any kind with a closed lacing. If it’s an oxford shoe (typically the cap toe oxford) with closed lacing the term “Balmoral Oxford” can be used to represent it. So in lay a man terms, a Balmoral boot can be referred to as an oxford boot with closed lacing. The Balmoral boot resembles the oxford shoe in almost all aspects; you won’t be wrong to refer it as an oxford shoe in the form of a boot. It would be difficult to tell the difference if I wore a balmoral standing straight in a 3 piece suit. You would only notice the difference when I sit down or pull up my cuffs.
A Little History of the Balmoral Boots (In a Nutshell)
The Balmoral boots can be traced all the way back to the Victorian era where a certain Prince Albert was looking for a comfortable boot that could serve two purposes; a formal wear for outdoor activities and an equally comfortable shoe for his regular indoor walk across his Balmoral castle. It is still unclear who really designed these boots, but it is rumored to be Joseph Sparkes Hall because he was a well-known and respected shoe craftsman at that time. But that’s all speculation and could have been anyone else; he wasn’t the only shoe expert at that time.
Queen Victoria also took special interest in these boots and is said to have ordered a few pieces for herself and you can guess what came next. With such respected individuals adorning the shoes the general public quickly caught in on the trend and the Balmoral boots became very popular. Today all sorts of design features, styles and shapes can be seen with manufactures cashing in on the timeless classic boots.
Its particularly interesting how the balmoral boots have evolved over the years, from a balmoral castle shoe(where it got its name) to a walking boot and later accepted as a dress boot for not only men but for women also.
Nowadays balamoral boots are extremely classy footwears with some going for as high as $750 although it’s still common to find good pieces at around $300.
Most designs now have trending inserts in suede, leather and linen just above the base. Stylish two tone combinations could include an antique oak calf and brown leather, brown suede with brown leather, burgundy calf and black suede. There are very pretty two tone combinations from brands like Gaziano & Girling, Carmina, Meermin, Herring Holmes II and a host of others.
After going through this list, spotting a Balmoral boot should be pretty easy. They stand out from other boots with some pretty distinct features.
- A balmoral boot must have closed lacing system, at least that’s where it gets the name “bal” from.
- A true balmoral boot is usually divided into two distinct parts; an upper half known as the top and a lower half called the calf. A seam running from the throat near the vamp to the rear of the boot, separates these two layers. This is the most defining characteristic of a balmoral boot, it is very clear see the difference. It is common place to find the calf of a balmoral made of leather while the upper half or top made of suede.
- They usually have a low heel and rounded toe.
- A little longer than your regular ankle length boots
- The calf is stitched firmly on top the upper portion.
- Authentic balmorals come with leather soles and usually have six to nine eyelets for lacing.
Types of Balmoral Boots
There is no real school of thought to the actual classes of balmoral boots. Any classification is purely out of the researcher’s own view of the boots. That said you are bound to find in online stores different types of balmoral boots. We can however simplify the process by broadly classifying the balmoral boots into two categories; those with broguing and those without broguing.