Dayton Boots’ Andrew Turriff has spent a lot of time thinking about what his perfect boot would look like. Starting work at the Dayton Boots factory store has finally allowed him to make it. Introducing the Forest King, a vintage logging boot dressed up for urban living.
Working at Dayton Boots is a dream for a serious boot-phile like Andrew. The factory store basement is a treasure trove of finds from decades of bootmaking: forgotten shelves of wooden lasts from styles no longer in production, dusty boxes of half-made boots sewn together and abandoned. When Andrew started work at Dayton Boots last year, he went digging around in the boxes to find the ingredients for his perfect boot.
The first discovery was an old last (wooden mould around which the boot is shaped) marked with the Dayton code 1017. This style is similar to a Munson last, with its distinctive, gently upturned toe. The Munson last was designed by Dr. Edward Munson in 1912 to accurately fit the human foot shape and contour. The Munson last was adopted by the US army to enhance fit and comfort, and is reminiscent of the 1940s British army officer boots.
The next find was the leather upper, already sewn together and possibly from the 1960s. The leather was so old that the oils and waxes kept seeping out of it giving a foggy look, adding masses of character. Even the eyelets were oxidising giving it real vintage appeal.
Cat's Paw heel
Andrew then stumbled upon a whole box of Cat’s Paw heels, made in Canada. These iconic heels with their distinctive graphic were popular in the mid-century, but the historic brand is no longer in production, increasing their appeal with the vintage aficionados.
The sole was integral to the design - it had to be heavy enough to match the height of the 8-inch boot shaft, but without losing the dressier feel. Andrew chose a double leather outsole, keeping it natural looking by coating it with a Shellac instead of using ink.
Dress shoe meets logger boot
Andrew’s interest in footwear was first inspired by high-end English country men’s shoes, but as a born and bred Vancouverite, it was important to him that his boots brought a little BC to the table. They needed to cope with the Vancouver climate and speak to the history of the region and its world-renowned logging boots.
The resulting Forest King is a beauty of a boot, mixing a logging boot with a dress shoe - combining what Dayton does best. The Forest King blends the outdoor and indoor, high end style with rugged outdoorsiness - and has all the durability and comfort you'd expect from a Dayton boot.
Dayton Boots will custom make the Forest King on request. There are a limited number of vintage leather uppers available in various styles; boots can also be made with a selection of new leathers. Contact the factory store for a quote.
Andrew Turriff has a Bachelors Degree in Cordwainers Footwear Design from the London College of Fashion - one of the world's leading establishments for training shoemakers and leather workers, which has produced designers such as Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox.
Andrew is particularly passionate about high quality welted shoes and aims to bring this to his work at Dayton Boots. There’s very little about boots that Andrew doesn’t know and would enjoy chatting with you about. If you have an idea for a boot that you’d like Dayton Boots to custom make for you, he’s your man.