Firstly due to their scarcity; and secondly because they have real smooth leather soles, so the potential of falling arse over tit is quite high!
Let it not be said I don’t stand by what I publish – so I thought I might go and seek out a pair of the River Island next-best option that I recommended as an Alternative.
It was one of my clients, Peter Lack, who first drew them to everyone’s attention, so a big thanks to him for sharing his find with us all.
I was going up to central London today anyways, so I took a little trip down Oxford Street to see what I could find. This is the most perfect place to buy shoes, as this is the street cited in The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy in the short film about the Shoe Event Horizon . . . .
I found the flagship River Island store (see above) and went to the footwear department. I was surprised to see that there are a number of similar boots on offer.
I have listed their individual product codes here, as their website is flash-based so I am unable to provide direct links to the shoes concerned.Its worth looking at the Military Lace Up Boot (code 245950); the Leather Military Boot (code 242717); the Military Zip Boot (code 246409).
But two caught my eye: the Distressed Military Boot (code 242172) (see below, right) and the Double Eyelet Boot (code 243710) (see below, left), which I recommended previously.
I ask for them in a size 10 and after a bit of scrabbling around (one of them was part of the display) they found a matching pair!
I tried them on (see above – out with Ten, in with Eleven!) and they were a good, comfortable fit. They also have a rubber sole, so less likely to be slippery on wet or shiny surfaces.
You might be able to see from this picture that on the inside of the boots there is a zip. This allows you to put the boots on easily and is not entirely a bad thing!
There was a minor bit of customer perusal damage to the one that had been in display, but nothing too major. Since they were the only pair in the sore in my size, I negotiated a 10% discount and left happy.
When I left the store I noticed that right next door was a branch of New Look (see below).
I had read on the forums that someone had spotted a pair of shoes in New Look that were a contender to be a next-best to the All Saints boots.
I thought I would take a look.
After going up two floors I eventually found their men’s shoes department and amongst all the All Star wannabe slippers, and cheap formal TopMan knock-off shoes I found what I think they were referring to (see below).
It comes in a brown or a black, and is of soft, pre-worn leather with a similar look to the All Saints boots, but it ends there.
They lack the layered ankle, which i what makes the All Saints boots SO distinctive.
It was as I was leaving I suddenly realised I recognised the escalators in the store. Funny thing to say, but they are buy one of the side walls and you have to walk a long way to get to the next one going down.
This store used to be a branch of Boarders, before it folded in the credit crunch.
It was in the good times that I went there to meet John Barrowman, and later the cast of Sarah Jane Adventures (see right).
I had also read in the Eleven Costume Breakdown that some boots in Aldo were also a possibility, so I headed down Oxford Street to find their store too (see below).
I found their men’s boots (see below), but again they lacked the design nuances of screen-used boots.
So far for me, when it comes down to it, I think the Double Eyelet Boots from River Island (see below) are the top of the next-best options.
So much so I bought I a pair myself!
I have now owned and worn my River Island boots for a good week now, and I can report how much I like them.
Below are some comparison pictures between the All Saints Layer Boots (always on the left) and the River Island Double Eyelet Boots (always on the right) so you can see how they compare.
They were a perfect fit from day one, and have never rubbed or given me blisters the way some new boots or shoes can!
They are very comfortable and hardly feel like I am wearing them, which is the way a good fitting pair of shoes should be. They have a rubber sole, compared to the leather one of the All Saints boots, and this gives them better grip.
My only criticism of them – and there were warning signals before I bought them – is the inside of the zip, which has a flap of fabric to (I presume) soften the feel of the zip on your foot.
On the display pair (which I bought as they were the only pair in stock in my size) the flap had become trapped in the zip and had shredded. I bartered a 10% discount because of it and snipped it off when I got them home.
Within a day or so the other boot had the same problem, and the zip got totally snagged and it took half-an-hour to free it!
I then cut this flap off too and would recommend cutting them away before wearing them if you want to avoid the same problem.
All that is minor really, compared to the fit and comfort as well as the similarity to the All Saint boots.