The Natural Trench boots are made with Horween leather and feature a calfskin lining.
“I was looking for a pair of brown boots,” recalls Oak Street Bootmakers founder George Vlagos of the inspiration behind his now-eminent Chicago brand, which will mark its 10th anniversary next year. “I wanted something clean and simple and well-built, and I couldn’t find that.” Enter the Natural Trench boots ($426), always on trend and made with Horween Chromexcel leather ingrained with tallow, beeswax and tree bark extract and shaped through 89 separate processes over 28 days. Even as the brand garners high-profile fans like Usher and Jack White, the boots maintain their homegrown feel: Vlagos is Chicago-bred, and the line’s recently relocated store, Independence, is flourishing in the West Loop. But it’s the craftsmanship, Vlagos says, that makes each pair so special. “People’s hands really did make this boot,” he notes. “It’s an American-made brand focused on quality, taking absolutely zero shortcuts.” 920 W. Randolph St.