The origins of the casual shoes

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Rather than ‘laziness’, it is the pursuit of comfort and quality that is the most productive. It was not only the German doctor who invented the martingale, but also the soldier who could not stand the hardness of his boots during the war. When marching in hot and humid places, not only did clothes need to be comfortable and breathable, but also the feet that were suffocating in military boots needed to be freed.

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While stationed in Burma, Nathan Clark in the British Army found many soldiers changing into a pair of lightweight, small goatskin ankle boots in their spare time. These shoes were purchased in Cairo and were particularly suitable for wearing in the arid heat of the desert.

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Emporio Armani

Not forgetting his business acumen even in war, Nathan immediately cut and drew the shoe out of newspaper. He sent them back to his home in Somerset. He was convinced that this would be a new milestone in the family shoe business.

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In 1949, Nathan launched the Desert Boot at the Chicago Shoe Fair as the ‘world’s first casual shoe’. These shoes swept the footwear market and became a kooky icon in later years. It also made a fashion statement in the 60s for the continent as well as the British, and became a fashion item of the 21st century. As the saying goes, “Less is more”. What could be better for the season than a simple, soft and lightweight pair of desert boots?

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