Esquire (UK)

Jump into Paraboot Michael derbies

Paraboot’s Michael derby is the shoe of the season (again)

- By Charlie Teasdale Photograph by Philippe Fragnière

As thousands of stocky Sunday league strikers prove every week, style can be found in even the sturdiest of places. Paraboot has been making the Michael derby since 1945, and though it was designed as a thing of function and comfort, it’s a handsome shoe. A little jolie laide, maybe, but handsome. The low-profile, moc-toe shape and chunky rubber sole, handmade in France and held together with “Norwegian” stitching (an alternativ­e to Goodyear welting), have been copied ad nauseam, probably because of the shoe’s universal appeal.

You’ll see hip dudes with cropped trousers and white socks creeping about town in a pair of Michaels. And you’re as likely to spy some on the feet of bookish Bloomsbury types, loafing through the classics section, as you are on those of a Breton boulangère.

“Paraboot is a terrific French shoemaker, and to me it encapsulat­es the kind of relaxed Parisian style that has always been an inspiratio­n for us at Drake’s,” says Michael Hill, owner of the men’s haberdashe­r, in London’s Mayfair. “Their shoes aren’t the prettiest, or the most elegant; instead, they favour chunky, rugged silhouette­s that pair so well with our relaxed tailoring. I find that daintier shoes aren’t as good with cords, old chinos or denim, so Paraboot is my brand of choice for that kind of quietly stylish, solidly-made shoe.”

 ??  ?? Paraboot Michael derby in brown grain
leather, £325, available at Drake’s
Paraboot Michael derby in brown grain leather, £325, available at Drake’s

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