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When the Santa Fe boot first stepped out of the R.M.Williams stable some five decades ago, it didn’t take long to amass a cult following. Men and women flocked to its unique shape and rugged individuality in their droves. Initially linked to the rising popularity of western style, the cyclical nature of fashion trends has seen this boot return to the spotlight again and again.
The trajectory of the Sante Fe boot is one to marvel at. First introduced in the 1970s in a faithful nod to western style, its recognisable silhouette soon became highly coveted by outback rangers and urban cowboys alike. It breathed an air of authenticity into the popular wild west-inspired style of the time, pairing well with trophy buckle belts and faithful black denim jeans.
Notes David Cook, Head of Footwear Development at R.M.Williams, adding 'it allowed customers to lean into the macho western trend without straying from the superior quality that we’ve always offered.'
Fast forward 50 years and the Sante Fe still firmly holds a place in the R.M.Williams offering, only now, wearers are truly making the boot their own. 'We more often see the Santa Fe worn as a formal alternative to some of our classic dress boots. It used to be quite a niche style but its fan base is definitely broadening year by year.'
Characterised by a block, square toe and a Cuban-inspired heel, the Santa Fe’s enduring popularity could largely be attributed to its individuality. It’s one of very few boots in the R.M.Williams line-up to still boast a classic screwed sole, and part of an even smaller club of styles with decorative stitching across the upper. It marches to the beat of its own drum, with an irreverent attitude towards the norm.
'It certainly has a natural flair, a ‘slick’ look that our customers continue to love. A lot of people have owned the Santa Fe for decades now and can never seem to let go. It has that innate pull,' David explains.
It is fast approaching the elusive status of a collector’s item; a boot that transcends the requirements of everyday wear or fleeting trends to be treasured for what it really is: a piece of art.
Such is the legend of this very special boot.
Need more help selecting the right boot for you and your lifestyle? Find more stories about our boot range here.
There is a reason why traditional western boots have such a distinctive profile; a pointed toe slips easily into the stirrup, while a stacked heel stops the foot sliding forward whilst still allowing for a quick dismount.
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