PoloGear Boot Maker
For almost 30 years PoloGear has been making polo boots. During that time, we have outfitted polo players from around the globe, from beginners to 10 goal players. We have fitted Kings, and future kings, sultans, sheiks, movie stars, CEO’s and heads of government and industry. We have sold and serviced boots to grooms, aspiring players, up and coming players and the stars of the game for almost three decades. During these three decades PoloGear boots have established themselves as amongst the finest custom polo boots in the world, and certainly the finest production boots. To understand why we would like to tell you a little about our PoloGear Boot Maker™ shop.
When we started making polo boots we originally had production in the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Argentina. Our approach to all our products has always been to make better, superior products. While each country offered certain advantages and features we realized the one of our makers had superior skills, standards, approach and craftsmanship. So instead of focusing on offering many makes and styles, from many makers, we focused on working with one master craftsman. With him we have developed and perfected our PoloGear boot line. He has been our premier bootmaker now since 1993, almost 27 years.
Why Are PoloGear Boots Superior?
It all starts with PoloGear’s approach to product design. A cornerstone to our product philosophy is to offer superior products in design, performance, durability and quality. Those are our personal and company values. We constantly seek to make our products better. Better leathers, better zippers, safer better shock attenuating padding, anything to constantly improve the performance and value of the product. When we combined our core values with the values and story of our boot maker we had the beginning and making of a great partnership.
Old World Values and Approach
He started out as a cobbler at the age of 13 years old. He grew up in a small town in rural area that was modest, and there were not a lot of opportunities. At a young age he began working in a military shoe factory to learn the trade. Even as a young man however he knew what he wanted to be a cobbler. The town was very poor but in the town was a craftsman that whose father brought the trade of shoe and boot making from Europe. He as was master cobbler and bootmaker. Our bootmaker began buying machinery and started making products in his own shop for this great craftsman. Along the way he further developed his skills and learned the secrets of this European master who was A journeyed tradesman who had learned the craft that had been passed on for generations in Europe. Our maker began making boots for the master. Now he and his son carry out the tradition started generations earlier making PoloGear boots. True old-world craftsmanship, a unique trait in today’s high-tech world.
Boot making at the PoloGear Boot Shop remains old world technology. Starting with tools that where from the golden age of boot making. Add fine leather, expertly tanned and selected hide by hide is transferred into wonderful, comfortable, protective, functional polo boots by hand. With pride, with craftsmanship, with the eye of a master. Made one by one on wooden lasts, hand stretched and nailed. Boots that are wetted and then spend weeks on the lasts, molding to the exact shape or your foot, before they are finished. This way holding the shape they will retain for years of rugged use in polo. Finished with specialized machines that where created decades ago, carefully maintained, but have never been able to be replaced by modern technology because craftmanship is still required for them to operate. Craftsmanship at its finest. With history, heritage and authenticity. Real Polo. Authentic Polo Outfitters.
What Makes A Great Polo Boot?
First and foremost, the leather. At PoloGear we hand select all hides used for production of PoloGear boots, regardless of the grade. Secondly, we primarily buy from only one tannery who has for 38 years proven to have consistent reliable quality. The tanning process is critical in keeping the leather to last and protect the outside and remain subtle on the inside. Most importantly is how the hide is allocated. PoloGear boots use only the butts of the animal. This leather is chrome tanned for toughness and durability and finished as required, depending upon model. Then each hide is inspected, and each piece of the boot is cut carefully avoiding defects in the hide. These defects can be natural like a naturally weak point of the leather (this is mainly avoided using only the butts), take under the shoulder for example. To save money many bootmakers try to use as much of the hide as possible. They try to cut the leather to but the bad parts where they are not seen, but often that is in the wear spots that need the strongest leather. These weak parts do not last long especially with the hard ware and tear of polo. At PoloGear the integrity of each boot is left to the master boot maker who carefully inspects each butt and determines to avoid any defects or weakness and chooses which pieces of the boot are cut from which portion of the hide and which are to be discarded and where each piece is to be used. The focus is on quality and using only prime parts, not on using all the hide for productivity reasons. It is up to the master to make that determination drawing upon his years of experience and applying it to each and every polo boot made.
Polo boot making at PoloGear is still a craft. Unlike modern shoe and boot production PoloGear boots are still largely handmade with the assistance of very specialized hundred-year-old machinery which improves the handmade process. These extremely specialized machines were developed when boot making was in its prime. They were created to controlling elements and to produce consistency or to improve production steps that are better served by machine than hand. They were built to last century’s and they have while being carefully maintained by our technicians. The key steps in production, the important parts, all still require the craftmanship, skill and a human’s attention to detail and passion. Because of this you could say PoloGear boots have heart. The heart of a human being is critical to the creation of each boot. It is still the pride of creation and a job well done that motivates them.
Polo boots need to be strong, to last and to protect. Polo is a rough sport. It requires toughness for durability and for protection. PoloGear includes standard in its boots important protection features that are unseen yet critical. A complete extra strong and durable toe box and a heel cup are critical to this process. The quality of the leather is important in protecting the leg. In our middle model we have two layers of leather for extra protection and in the top models we have added the tested proven shock absorbing foam that has excelled in our polo helmets. It is noted for its shock absorption. The sole of the boot is also important for protection as well as durability. Our soles are thick and sturdy giving the boot a solid foundation. They are attached by the venerable Good Year Welt Process that have a 7-needle integrated sewing process that glues and sews the sole and boot together with such precision and strength that in 30 years we have never had a sole separate from an upper. A remarkable accomplishment we are very proud of.
While the finishing of the boot is for aesthetics it is also important to represent what is inside. We offer details like rolled edges, stitching, special initial and logo monograming that only a master craftsman can provide. While these are wonderful to look at, they reflect the pride, craftsmanship and passion that is put into each pair. The polishing, stitching, edges and detail of PoloGear boots clearly differentiate our polo boots from the competition and allows the craftsman to truly express the pride that is built into each pair from start to finish.