-Awhile back Lawrence at Sartorially Inclined offered a first look at an unexpected shoe from Mark McNairy. The San Salvador Burro boot, inspired by the footwear of Central American working men and manufactured by ADOC, the largest shoemaker in Central America, the boots sparked a bit of controversy in the comments. McNairy's designs are no stranger to criticism and style blog comment threads are well-known for hyperbole and dissent, but I was nonetheless intrigued by the boots.
-When I got the opportunity to check out the boots hands-on I was stoked, but in knowing that 90 percent of the blogosphere wouldn't dare criticize a McNairy product for fear of... (I'm not quite sure? Page view retribution?) I was a little excited at the possibility that these boots would in fact be trash and worthy of a thorough trashing. But alas, after wearing the San Salvador's around for a couple weeks, I found that they are exactly what they were purported to be, what my grandpa might refer to as "real, shit-kicking boots." My thoughts and more photos after the jump.
-All the other boots I own are high and heavy, so I was keen on having an option that bridged the gap between work boots desert boots or chukkas. The suede uppers are soft around the ankles, but make no mistake, the toe box and sole are substantial and can take a beating.
-The two above photos show what seems to be a sticking point for a lot of people on these boots, the ADOC tag on the side. While I agree with most that footwear should remain free of tags and branding, in this case the adherence to authenticity gets the nod. It's not a McNairy tag, it's an ADOC tag, just like on all of ADOC's other boots. If anything, the tag just solidifies that the Burro is definitely not for the office, a true workman's shoe. Some may be inclined to comment "Didn't you hear? The workwear trend is over!" But to those of us who sometimes do work that doesn't consist only of car->cubicle->repeat and (gasp!) actually need a rugged ass shoe, the affinity for workwear was never about trends. Being that they are true to their roots, the one addition I'd make to the boots is an insole, as the construction is pretty bare-bones; suede, sole, done. (aside: look up Mitch Hedberg's Dr. Scholl's joke.)
-I've been testing these out during the (albeit tepid) summer, which isn't really the ideal season for boots. Come fall I expect to choose the San Salvador's often when the weather and circumstance calls for something in between hard-bottom and high-boot.