Footwear for the well-dressed scientist: day 4 (plus contest)

October 21, 2010 • 5:21 am

UPDATE: We have a winner, and more quickly than I thought.  The boots are camel, a leather that’s very rare since the animals are not raised for their hide.  Vail can claim his/her prize by emailing me.

Not all of papa’s boots are delicate and showy, my little cupcakes: sometimes a hot scientist needs tough footwear to, say, clean out the Augean stables of science or kick the butts of accommodationists.  Here’s a lovely pair that was custom made for me in Texas.  Note the box toes, one of my favorite styles.  Making that kind of toe requires enormous effort: a square-ish leather “box” must be carved by hand and fitted to the vamp.

The scalloped shafts are decorated with a “butterfly” pattern.  This stitching is done with a hand-guided sewing machine, and requires great skill to line up the rows.

Note that the shafts and vamps are made from the same kind of leather.  What is it?  (Click photos to enlarge.)  You get one guess, and if you win there’s an autographed copy of WEIT coming your way.  You have 24 hours: contest closes 6:15 a.m. CST Friday and the first correct guess takes the prize.  Watch this space for updates.

50 thoughts on “Footwear for the well-dressed scientist: day 4 (plus contest)

  1. It’s a punt and a long shot at that, but it reminds me of my old Puma football / soccer boot. So it’s kangaroo leather right??

  2. How much does a fine, custom-made set of boots cost one in Texas? (More or less, no need to incriminate yourself!)

    1. Yes, because all blogs must be about one topic and one topic only…

      Oh wait, a blog is a “web log” of a person’s thoughts and life, which may or may not have a central theme, but which rarely adheres strictly to a single topic. I almost forgot.

  3. Deerskin leather? Maybe White-tailed deer – things are all over the place in Texas.

    There is so much exotic game there, it could be anything.

    1. Illegal immigrant I guess is what you are implying if what I read about the local vigilantes is to be believed – hopefully not. I have been tring to see if the level of liquid in that bottle in the glass cabinet has been going down!

      1. Never been to Texas? There really are many private game ‘reserves’ with extravagantly exotic game, which you can shoot for a few thousand bucks.
        I suppose you are talking about the bottle that looks like a Justerini & Brooks scotch?

        1. Never crossed the Atlantic, though I have paddled in it!

          Ah! J&B – I have never seen it in shops in the UK – gues it is mostly exported. I prefer unblended malt but I suppose JC has to have someting for those moments when the god squad get too much!

  4. It looks like deer hide.
    But since someones already mentiond that I’ll go with wildebeest.
    Wait a second.
    Did you get these boots in Texas?
    Texas, as in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” country?
    And you being a “Militant New Atheist”!!
    It’s Christian hide, isn’t it? !!!!!

    1. How do you tell camel from deer? Well, the hides anyway – I’m sure I can tell the difference between a camel and a deer wandering about.

      1. If you look closely, the boot has a single hump, indicating a dromedary camel. Plus deer had already been guessed and was not correct.

    1. I’m going to risk the ridicule and admit I can’t find an e-mail address for you.
      I will say “I’d walk a mile for a copy of your book.”

  5. It must be the Corinthian leather preferred by accommodationists:

    He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor’s boots …

    Sullivan : Beard fetish :: Coyne : Boot fetish

    But at least animal leather is relevant to biology, so I’ll make a serious guess in this election season: Moose.

  6. These ones have been worn; the others are obviously purely decorative. I suppose when you have to go somewhere when wearing the decos you get on a handcart and a lab rat wheels you to your destination.

  7. Are we altogether sure that we are dealing with a well-dressed scientist here and not an obsessive one?

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