This week, we present a long-overdue project that has come to fruition in timeless heritage-based styles, now more appropriate than ever for the casual, modern lifestyle of work and play. From delays in sourcing to production, then crisis and shutdowns, our exclusive Tricker’s x Division Road development of the Super Monkey Boots in procured Horween Leathers and coordinated specifications have finally arrived and hit the floor in full style force, waiting to find their heritage-loving homes.
First, we’ll start with the history of the Monkey Boot, which was popularized during the 60’s by alternative British punk music and mod style sub-cultural scenes. Originally, this simple lace-to-toe pattern was used pre-WWII by the armed forces of several countries as standard issue footwear, employed for uses ranging from training to infantry. Post-war, Monkey Boots where found in military surplus stores and adopted by England’s rebellious youth, then the design basis was commercially appropriated by a number of athletic sneaker designers targeting this demographic. After dropping out of the cult-community’s favor for decades, Tricker’s, along with a couple of other handgrade footwear makers, went back to their archives and re-released updated versions as enthusiasts looked for fresh takes on historical styles that offered utility for the modern lifestyle.
While exceptional, we worked to take Tricker’s Monkey Boot to the next level. We adapted the pattern to a hi-top version with a higher quarter, added eyelets and placed them closer to the toe box for an improved fit, and simplified the design by removing all the pinking detailing throughout for a contemporary, classic aesthetic. Focusing on creating a handcrafted sneaker-meets-super boot, we introduce the Tricker’s Flexi-welt, a proprietary reverse welt to the upper that allows for a lighter weight insole and cork filling, while adding a vintage look with double stitching on the welt and upper. The rubber meets the road with the featherweight European made Vibram Morflex Christy sole, establishing this Super Monkey Boot as fully functional style piece designed for modern battlefields from the street to the court.
As a pairing we wanted this pack of Super Monkey’s to reflect the new-vintage appeal in Horween leathers that lend themselves to the function and aesthetics of the design. The Black Essex is a sleek vegetable tanned leather that uses the same traditional extracts as Horween's Cordovan with a high oil and fat content, with hides that are hand-glazed with an aniline finish to enhance the supple surface on a hearty leather with a natural, glove-like feel. This city leaning Super Monkey make-up is matched with nickel eyelets for a little blacktop bling that corresponds to the natural leather Flexi Welt and Morflex sole to represent streetwear with soul.
The Natural Chromexcel by Horween is an undyed version of the original pull-up leather developed from a nearly century-old secret recipe of techniques, materials and finishes, and is known for its flexibility, comfort and durability. Utilized in a more heritage-inspired manner in this Super Monkey Boot, the Natural CXL is paired to brass eyelets for a vintage flavor that coordinates to the natural leather Flexi Welt and Morflex sole for an oldie meets newbie with styling versatility. Finally, the Super Monkey debuts another new asset to our arsenal in the form of the 5402R Last, which has a rounded toe and low-profile aesthetic with an accommodative fit that provides a sleek look with functionality on these athletic inspired wardrobe armaments.
Undergoing the same 260 individual steps by Tricker’s, including mulling the uppers with oils, a wooden shank, a corking compound from a century-old recipe, Goodyear welting, and exquisite English finishing, these Super Monkey Boots are aesthetically modern, yet timeless Tricker's made to last a lifetime in all conditions and through the next style era.