High on Long Boots

As winter season usher in, long boots make a splash.

When we say Cowboy, three things instantly come to our minds, a pair of rugged jeans, a hat and a pair of long boots. Well, the pedigree left us the noble legacy of leather long boots with high heel and a pointed crest which is in fact much older than the history of Wild West and which has since then seen a major transformation. Long boots have different categorisation by way of form, design, style and brand.

The Domestic market
Domestic footwear market is estimated to be over Rs 15,000 crore in value terms and has grown at the rate of 8.8 per cent over the last couple of years with major manufacturers concentrated in Chennai, Agra, Mumbai, Nagpur, Kanpur, Kolkata and Jalandhar.  Men’s footwear account for almost half of the total market, with women’s shoes constituting 40 percent and kidsʹ footwear making up for the remainder. The domestic market is substantially price driven, with branded footwear constituting less than 42 percent of the total market size.

India is the second largest footwear manufacturer in the world, next only to China. Nearly 58 percent of the industry, which is by and large labour intensive and concentrated in the small and cottage industry sectors, remains unbranded. However, as part of its effort to play a lead role in the global trade, the Indian leather industry is now focusing on key deliverables of innovative design, state-of-the-art production technology and unfailing delivery schedules.

Below are some manufacturers and exporters for your ready reference:

Thanks exports, Feroze Tanners and Daata Leather Exports, Kanpur Saddle House in Kanpur, Footwear India, Bangalore, Preet Footwear, Jalandhar, Mangla Plastic Industries, bahadurgarh, Rajson Footguard, Pune, Ksna Industries, faridabad, SV Shoes Agra, ZB International Noida, Singla Shoes Ambala, GC footwear Agra  etc.

Some facts about Boots

Forms         Style      Sports       Work        Brands

Hip boot     Chelsea  Football     Hobnail     Tony Lama

Knee High  Cowboy   Hiking        Jungle      Timberland
Wedge       Russian  Racing       Tanker      RM Williams
Chap         Valenki   Waders      Rigger       Meindl
Moccasins  Dress      Motorcycle  Autralian    Chukka


Kool and Kitsch
Long boots that were invented with the purpose of safety or war have now become a fashion accessory as most don it for the purpose of style. Mid calf and ankle length boots, usually in the two classic colours of brown and black leather, are also popular. But what is to be noted is that style is nothing without a good fit. And with knee and mid calf length boots in particular, it’s not just the foot fitting that’s important; it’s the leg fitting too.

Though calfskin is the most common material, cowboy boots are also made from pigskin, horsehide, and kangaroo skin. For dress boots, boot makers use a variety of exotic leathers including the skins of Armadillos, Ostriches, Sharks, Alligators, Eels, Lizards, and large snakes such as Pythons, lLquid rubber or Sheet rubber, Tanned leather, Buff, Sheep etc.

What to check when buying a good pair?
A poorly fitted pair of boots will give your soars and cuts while looking ugly. High street boots tend to come in generic sizes with little thought given to any ‘human’ variation except (occasionally) wider foot fittings. If the boot leg is too wide the leg does not support the body of the boot, the leather will crease and the life of the boot will be shorter. It also means that there’s a big gap between the leg and the boot, allowing the cold air and wet to seep in - both uncomfortable and again damaging to the boot itself. A tight fit can also restrict the blood flow down the leg to the foot. The expensive alternative is to have a pair of boots tailor made, which will give you a pair of boots that will last for years but restrict you to one particular style. With such a range of fittings there are bound to be a pair that will fit almost any leg perfectly, so it pays to shop around.

Another important consideration when finding the perfect pair of boots is the length between the ankle and the knee. A knee length boot that is too long will push against the kneecap and become uncomfortable, while rubbing the skin and making it painful. There are knee length boots that have a roll down option, allowing a greater flexibility in how the boot is worn. Ankle boots should fit snugly around the ankle, giving plenty of support for the delicate bones and tendons in this area, particularly if the boot has a high heel.

The Market in North India
North India, especially Delhi is a big market for long boots and the price rage start from 250 for the roadside stuff and can go upto 10,000 or more depending on the brand.  

Ateeb Hussain, ASM, of newly opened Timberland in Delhi, shares that the two most purchased colours are black and brown with the later topping the list. He further informs that brown being a versatile colour, people tend to reach it more. “We are new in Delhi, hence we are still in the process of studying what will sell more and so we are strategising our offers accordingly”. They usually hoard four colours of each boot type. Classic heels and flat sole both go in equal numbers”. Their price range starts from 3,000 and goes upto 10,000”. When asked what type of boots sells more, he was quick to answer,” Boat shoes flat and heeled, trekking, joggers, casual, and youth range”.

Pavers England
With the season on the turn, Pavers England, the pioneers of a new breed of comfortable and stylish footwear introduces most stylish and distinctive ‘Boots Collection’ as part of their AW ’10. The Boots Collection is perfect to keep one’s feet fashionably cosy and promises to create significant trends for the coming winter season.

Pavers England brings various boot styles like mid-calf, knee high boots with heel constructions ranging from comfortable rubber soles to wedged heels.

Whether you are a fashion conscious, style freak or are looking for a comfort quotient the ‘Boots Collection’ from Pavers England are ‘must have’ in your wardrobe. The metal enhancement with stylish bows, buttons and ruffles adds an extra style for those red carpet occasions.

Pavers England ‘Boots Collection’ is available for an exciting price range between Rs. 3600/- to Rs.6299/-. Tapping into the colours of brown burnished leather, charcoal black, beige, camel brown, these boots are made of premium and soft leather.

This winter the range introduced includes moccasins and high ankle boots in browns, greenish, beige, snappy, olive and camel brown colours and the price range is Rs. 2500 onwards.


Allen Cooper
Hashim Khan, chief purchase incharge in  Kanpur, who looks after the brand Allen Cooper in India informs, " The four most leather types used in India for manufacturing boots whose demand is more for exports are Cow Calf, Goat, Buff and Sheep. The demand for exports differs in different countries depending on when they have winters, like Australia and SA ask in March, London in September etc. He admits that the demand in domestic market is still low but has increased in the last few years and in on an upward swing".

Footwear Exports
Footwear is the engine of growth of the leather industry, currently accounting for an export value of US$1212 million, holding a major share of 41 per cent in India’s total leather trade. Considering this fact, we have set an ambitious target of US$ 4.5 billion in respect of Footwear export from India by 2010-11 where the overall export of leather products will reach US$6.98 billion, wherein footwear alone will account for a share of 65 per cent in India’s total leather export trade.

The Footwear exports for the year 2008-09 was 2597.60 million US$, which will be outshine by the figures expected in the preceding years i.e. in 2009-10 the export figures are expected to be 3428.83 million US$ and in 2010-11 it will rise to 4526.05 Million US$.

As Footwear export has increased from US$40.15 million in 1977-78 to US$ 1475.83 million in 2007-08, long boots which sell mostly in winter surely have a promising bright future ahead. And since the Indian government is planning to bring the Leather and Footwear Exports under the regulation of the EXIM Policy so as to motivate Indian exporters by providing them special services and other incentives and make policy to promote exports to other countries, we will see a rush of more footwear including premium boots with the spread of fashion consciousness.   


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