We've made the definitive desert boot.
We love desert boots.
Originally discovered in the bazaars of Egypt by British soldiers during World War Two, it’s the all-rounder, do anything shoe of history.
From WW2, to the Mod, to rock and roll and today, almost everyone has a story about their desert boots. Plus you can pretty much wear them with anything.
We started to notice that over time the desert boot had been watered down and either stripped or over designed, incrementally redefining it as a version of itself.
It’s original construction and elegant simplicity, built on quality and longevity was replaced with deliberate obsolescence and cut corners.
McGuffin and Purpose want to take it all back to the beginning and set things right.
A genuine desert boot is comprised of a few key details.
- Traditional Stitch-down construction.
- Genuine soft Crepe sole
- Full leather resoleable mid-sole
- Two eyelet Derby pattern
- Unlined Suede or Leather upper
- Flexible, soft and comfortable
We looked at and took apart existing desert boots and assessed their materials one by one to understand each part and what could be done better for our desert boots.
Every element was put under the microscope to fully understand what it would take to build the best desert boot available.
Most contemporary brands will cut corners on material or construction to enhance profit.
We have done just the opposite and developed the highest spec desert boot possible, at a fair price.
The purpose of defining anything is to make sure it adheres to the intent and integrity of the original idea.
The materials and make of McGuffin and Purpose desert boots have been sourced and decided on in order recreate the quality, longevity and comfort of 1940's desert boots.
There are two options available to chose from:
- Natural Italian Suede
- Cognac Brown French Calf Leather
OPTION 1: NATURAL SUEDE - ITALIAN
Available in Natural coloured suede; the synonymous material of the Desert Boot, ours is sourced from an Italian tannery because their suede is thick enough to be used without a lining.
The benefits of this suede?
You end up with a super soft and subtle feel, yet structured enough to stand; so no joins around the top edge to come undone or absorb water between the lining and upper.
OPTION 2: COGNAC BROWN CALF LEATHER - FRENCH
Our leather is from France; a vegetable tanned, pull-up calf leather.
Pull-up means the shoe initially looks dark and evenly dyed but will naturally crease and stretch with the foot with each wear. The lighter colour "pulls up" creating a completely unique result for each pair.
If you like wearing raw denim, you'll understand the pull-up leather traits. Our colour is a very cool Dark Cognac Brown.
CONSTRUCTION METHOD - STITCH-DOWN
What makes a desert boot so great is it's stitchdown construction; one of the simplest, yet strongest methods of attaching a shoe upper to it’s sole. The upper is pulled over the last then folded outward (instead of under the shoe) and stitched directly to the midsole. The excess leather is trimmed.
By making in this traditional way our desert boot is lightweight, flexible and sturdy.
MAKE - PORTUGAL
Our boots are made in Portugal.
The town of Guimarães is a UNESCO Heritage site and famous for shoe-making and textiles.
Our factory is unrivaled - they make for French and international luxury fashion houses and we knew immediately after sampling we had to work with them.
4MM THICK FULL LEATHER MIDSOLE
Our construction method is where McGuffin and Purpose goes the extra mile - the details you can't see.
Many brands use synthetic fiberboard midsoles (the layer between the crepe rubber sole and the leather upper) and they will apply fake stitching around the edge of their boots while simply gluing the sections of the shoe together.
We use a 4mm thick leather midsole to promote longevity and repairability, working in conjunction with the true stitch down construction of old.
PROPER CREPE SOLE
The original desert boots from the 1940's in Egypt used crepe for their soles. We had to use the real thing for Mcguffin & Purpose desert boots and not a man-made version,
Our genuine crepe sole is made from a natural latex rubber derived from Brazilian rubber trees.
The inherent benefit of natural crepe, is bounce, comfort, flexibility and grip.
CUSTOM MADE LAST (SHAPE)
Working with a local Portuguese last-maker, we developed our last (the mold the boots are built around) from scratch.
We looked at a lot of shoes. We researched and designed shapes that appealed, that could 'pass the pub test', but also be dressed up.
Our shape couldn't be too delicate or on the other hand, too chunky or clumsy.
Our last passes all tests for the perfect desert boot.
HARDWARE, LACES AND STITCHING
Locally sourced eyelets and aglets (lace tips) don't just add a dash of polish, but also prolong the life of your shoes.
The laces themselves are waxed cotton and the polished nickel hardware is a simple touch to separate your McGuffins from the pack.
A desert boot isn't complete without it's idiosyncratic stitching. We use waxed linen cobblers thread to keep our boot together. And it looks great.
EXTRAS - BAG AND REMOVABLE INNER SOLE
We include a tough, canvas bag for whatever you feel necessary. It's there to protect the shoes, but would also make a great gym, laundry or reusable shopping bag.
An additional leather & cork removable inner sole is included for your comfort and fit. It is not necessary at all, but can provide a snugger fit if need be.
We are offering a very simple reward plan - pledges for boots.
One of either Natural Suede or Dark Cognac Brown desert boots at
- One Pair - AUD $269 (Approx USD199/EU169/GBP125)
- Both Pairs - AUD $499 (Approx USD365/EU345/GBP230).
Free Shipping anywhere in the world.
We want you to feel special every time you look at your feet, but we also believe that nice things shouldn't be prohibitively expensive.
Our make and materials are second to none - so much so we have no hesitation in saying they represent excellent value for the raw materials, construction and design involved.
We are offering the best desert boot available, but we are offering it at a price that can't be repeated.
The prices listed are all in effect early bird specials. After the campaign the boots will retail for approximately $400 (US$295)
The piece of mind that quality brings, the knowledge of a job well done and the support of great work is thrown in at no extra cost.
McGuffin and Purpose is James Cameron and Ray Willmoth.
James Cameron is a designer and writer. Based in Melbourne, his eponymous menswear label was nominated for GQs Menswear Designer of the Year in 2008. He wrote a weekly style column that kept men on trend and informed for a nationally distributed newspaper from 2008 to 2010 and has interviewed some of the world's most interesting figures of fashion and design.
Ray Willmoth lived and worked in London for over a decade as a Footwear and Accessories Buyer and Product Developer. He ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign for Fortis Green Apparel earlier in the year which was delivered ahead of schedule. He has worked with the best factories around the world and crucially, knows the ins and outs of production and manufacturing.
The quiet heroes of our team are our factory and material suppliers. The relationships with our strategic partners in Portugal has meant development and communication has been hassle free and their full support and backing will ensure timelines and deliveries are met.
McGuffin and Purpose is about the project. We are launching with a desert boot because we believe in it as a product and as a concept. The future of McGuffin and Purpose will develop as we move forward and continue to develop products and ideas that fit the philosophy of our brand.
Combined we have over two decades of experience in this industry and Kickstarter allows us to assess demand.
You need to get into a pair of the best desert boots available as quickly as possible and Kickstarter is the way it will happen.
McGuffin and Purpose desert boots fit true to size so stick to what you know, but we’ve also made it easy for you by creating a clear and comprehensive size chart that will work for almost everybody.
To make sure your McGuffins fit the first time we have designed a system to accurately measure and provide your exact size. We will be sending each backer a survey questionnaire and instructions as soon as the campaign is completed.
We know we have a fantastic product.
We have lived and breathed this project for almost a year and are extremely proud of our hard work and results, but without you and your support it is nothing.
If you've backed or supported previous crowd-funding campaigns then you'll be aware that this only works when it is shared; exposure is key.
Crowdfunding is all about our backers, friends and customers. We would love for you to share with anyone who share the ideals of what crowdfunding is all about.
We have come this far, but we need you to make the Desert Boot Defined happen.
Risks and challenges
We are confident that our fit guide is clear and comprehensive, but there is always the risk of a couple of feet misfitting. This isn't however, a huge concern as we are confident that our fit guide, information and survey provided upon completion will provide you with the confidence to purchase.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)