Courteney Selous Boots
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
Who amongst us hasn’t sat back and thought of those long – ago halcyon days when the Great White Hunter ruled the vast African tracts, stalking the ‘Big Five’ with a huge nitro calibre Westley Richards double – rifle, facing down untold danger and telling tales of derring-do around a roaring campfire. But whilst these days of yore are now all but consigned to the history books there’s no reason you can’t put your best foot forward in the identical footwear of these hunting pioneers.
In the Hunter’s Footsteps
But whilst taking down a rogue male elephant, big old ‘Dagga Boy’ or injured leopard with one of Westley Richards’ bespoke 500NE’s is still the reserve of the fortunate few, following in their footsteps is considerably more attainable. Named after the incomparable Frederick Courteney Selous, the man who epitomizes the old-style professional hunter, these bespoke Cape buffalo and impala skin safari boots are individually handcrafted in Africa; each pair comes complete with their own unique serial number embossed just above the heel.
Fractionally heavier than you’d expect, the resilient pliable uppers incorporate the tough buffalo skin into contrasting panels with the softer impala being used for the full – bellows tongue and padded collar that extends over half an inch above the wearer’s ankle bone. The brass rivets, eyelets and speed lacing hooks are excellent quality whilst allowing the boot to be adjusted dependant on sock thickness and warmth, as many people find that their feet swell slightly in hot weather.
Exposed hide lines the interior of the boot along with a full-length insole and a pronounced instep support. The complete upper is then attached with extra thick stitching to a substantial pure rubber sole. Completely flat to promote even, well distributed footfall on soft or sandy surfaces, the sole pattern is based on tyre tread recalling the days when actual tyres were cut to shape and used to resole hardworking safari footwear.
Out of Africa
One thing you must remember is that you don’t need to be in deepest, darkest Africa to enjoy your Selous boots. If it’s warm and dry your early morning or evening’s stalking will be all the more rewarding whilst wearing a pair of Selous boots. Whilst the uppers are soft yet supporting especially around the ankle, the pliable tyre-tread pattern soles deliver remarkable levels of grip, a fact I can verify given that a pair of Selous’ were my chosen footwear throughout the entirety of my recent late spring and summer outings.
Whilst each pair is perfectly suited to African terrain, the resilience and durability of the hides and sole ensure they will also shrug off the worst of the English and European conditions. Rocks, stones, thorns and even unexpected immersion in water are nothing to these exceptional boots. When you’re not out and about with a rifle over your shoulder the Selous make for a superb pair of casual shoes. These boots look stylish, practical and modern with casual shorts, cords or jeans, yet they add that all important hint of adventurous spirit harking back to the great days of escapades and exploration of the dark continent.
Priced at around £230 each pair comes complete with a spare pair of insoles, a cotton carry bag, a numbered game skin pouch that contains pure beeswax polish, a stiff brush and polishing cloths along with a replica newspaper that charts the incredible life of Fredrick Selous up to the time of his death on the 4th January 1917 in Tanganyika.