Paul Galvin: These boots were made for wearing
I'm not a great lover of boots. Not any more. I once was. We all were. In my school days. My school was Causeway Comprehensive in the heart of north Kerry.
Every morning we'd get off the bus at the top of the hill to begin the march to our desks, every second one of us clad in black Doc Martens.
The only variation was the number of holes. Eight? 10? 12? 14? 20? Even 20-hole Docs weren't unusual on our corridors. The rebels amongst us. Metallica and Megadeth diehards with the Docs and denims to prove it.
Looking back now, I can recognise a real rebel spirit in the school I went to. Especially amongst the lads a few years ahead of me.They had attitude.
Warned day after day to wear their trousers OVER their boots, or to wear shoes, or to cut their hair, the boys trucked with their 20-hole Docs showing, their hair long and their detention slips a currency in their rebel worlds.
I was an eight-hole Doc man. Eight holes were enough for a boy of my stature. They almost went to my knees as it was, so effectively I was as rebellious as the 20-hole, older lads.
I was diminutive in those days. I enjoyed something of a growth spurt, or maybe it was just a splutter, later on.
My school uniform consisted of slate-grey slacks, light blue jumper, a white shirt and blue tie. I wasn't, and I'm still not, a huge fan of shirts, so I wore a white polo shirt instead.The Docs finished the look, along with a Levis denim jacket.
Coloured Docs became the new fashion craze before long. The girls in our school wore cherry-coloured Docs over white socks just to really tease our sorry minds.The bike shed was a busy place in my alma mater. I wasn't brave enough for cherry Docs but I moved on to a great, soft-leather, canvas-brown pair. Then I was done.
Next came the Timberland craze. Construction site style hit the streets under bootleg jeans that followed your legs around. I was never a big fan, but each to his own.
These days, I'm choosy about my boots. Because I love a good leather shoe, I tend to wear them more. I've just picked up a pair of Kurt Geiger brogues.
I own a few pairs of boots that I love for certain looks.I love the Kooples look and I break out my Chelsea boots when I want to get my Kooples on. I have brown Chelsea boots that I wear with skinny burgundy slacks and a denim shirt under a navy V-neck jumper and blazer. It's a great look.
I've scuffed my boots with a wirebrush, just to give them a scruffy look. It adds character.
Chelsea boots are classic and versatile. They can dress you up or down. Smart, urbane and timeless, they work really well with blazers. My favourite type of boot is a desert boot.
I've always been a huge fan of Clarks since I got my first pair of loafers in college. Soft, neat, leather shoes with rubber soles and a ridge of stitching running up the front.
Bertie also does great desert boots. The last pair of boots I bought was around Christmas from All Saints. Classic impulse buy. Never wore them.
I was seduced by The heavy duty Montgomery boot; its beautiful cream/brown colour and the quality of the leather. Ah, well, they're nice to look at.
Designer boots for men mean designer prices. If I was to splash out, I'd go for a pair of Bally Kostel mid boots. The charcoal-grey colour, with soft leather and sole, is a winner for me. Comfortable and easy to wear.
Camper on Exchequer Street in Dublin has a great selection of very comfortable boots and shoes in the kind of style I like. Neat and not too bulky.
Another boot type I could never get my head around is Uggs. Uggs for girls is one thing and I always thought that Uggs for men were very wrong.
However I looked twice when I saw their adverts featuring Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen's footballer husband.
Brady (34) likes the boots for cold New England winters after being introduced to the line by his sisters.
And finally, the John Wayne of boots and the line dancers' favourite. Cowboy boots are just that. Leave them to the cowboys, I say. Giddy up.