We all know that wearing a beautiful pair of leather shoes in the rain is not a good idea (if you didn’t then I’d advise having a read of our care guide), which is really quite annoying because they look amazing so we want to wear them as much as possible. But the weather really does have a control over our lives and wardrobe, so for once wouldn’t it would be nice to not have to change your entire outfit because it’s raining out? Well Norwegian designer Johan Ringdal thought exactly the same, so he started up his lifestyle brand SWIMS. And it all started with a pair of galoshes, a pair that he nabbed from his grandfather upon leaving Norway for Art college in Paris. If you don’t already know what a galosh is, it’s basically a rubber ‘shoe’ which you wear over the top of your best shoes. They were designed for function and practicality – something the Scandinavians are known for – to allow you to continue wearing you’re best brogues but without the fear of ruining them in the bad weather.
So it all began with the galosh. Johan used his black pair to protect his converse whilst living in Paris – much to the entertainment of his college classmates. However when he moved to New York to attend Parsons, living in a very image-conscious city stopped him from pulling on those galoshes which inevitably resulted in many ruined shoes. So in 2005 Ringdal had enough, he decided that there was definitely a gap in the market and it was about time that the long forgotten rubber over-shoe had a comeback. What started with the development of the modern day galosh has led to a whole new world of rubber footwear, and recently include the launch of their outerwear range. SWIMS have taken classic silhouettes, revived them and then made them from natural rubber, TPU and nylon mesh. The penny loafer is probably the signature style from these guys, the perfect edition for a holiday spent by the sea – you can literally jump in without kicking your shoes off.
SWIMS (which if you haven’t noticed, reads the same upside-down…cool right?) beyond being both practical and high quality, is a fun and playful brand which should sit in every bloke’s wardrobe. With his odd fascination with big city rain (I kind of get it..), Johan Ringdal created SWIMS for the urban professional who doesn’t like to get their feet wet (well who does) – If you’re the same then I would definitely advise getting yourself a pair of rubber shoes from these guys. Not only are your feet going to stay dry, but you wont need to fret about destroying a pair of very expensive leather shoes in the rain, and you can also throw them in them in the washer if they’re dirty… SWIMS are not just pain-stakingly practical, they actually save you time when it comes to your shoe care rituals.
THIS AW14 – During the summer months we’d always say that a pair of rubber loafers are an essential. Well for Autumn/ Winter the rule still applies, it’s just not loafers we’re stocking up on. This season SWIMS have brought out a fantastic range of classic winter styles that have been adapted to tackle the rain.
CHARLES – Last season you may remember we stocked the Charles brogue from SWIMS which was a cracking upgrade on the traditional brogue. Well for AW14 they’ve gone a step further and made the Charles into a brogue boot. Fit to tackle the wet with it’s Scotchgard treated nylon upper and surprisingly warm body, it follows the trend for utilitarian footwear with a strong sturdy silhouette.
GEORGE CHUKKA – For the more adventurous, the George Chukka boot has a rugged all-weather exterior and the soles to match it – ergonomically molded eco-EVA footbed with shock absorption and non-slip treads. Perfect for those who are spending time outdoors.
GEORGE DERBY – Another one from the George collection, the derby shoe brings aspects of summer but with the features needed for winter. The upper is made from an exclusive multi-thread fabric which has a woollen core, keeping you warm and dry. The natural rubber sole is non-slip – so not need to worry about slipping about when you may be worse for wear – and again they’re ergonomically molded for maximum comfort and support.
GEORGE LOAFER – The George loafer has all the same qualities as the derby, plus the traditional aesthetics of the penny loafer. A perfect alternative to your summer loafers, swap them out for these this season.
LUCA – You might recognise this one from earlier in the year. The Luca sneaker was listed as a summer must-have by GQ, and it’s carrying on through into this season. The colour palette has been switched up to a more seasonal theme, but the breathable and highly comfortable sneaker is still the same. The TPU upper structure is molded over an anti-bacterial sandwich mesh which is what makes it so comfortable.
*Alternative colours are available
I personally have an appreciation for functional fashion. Bringing elements of the season’s trends with the practicality of simple functional design just seems like a no brainer. SWIMS is delightfully unpretentious with an aim only to help out the rain sodden, style conscious gent.