Those looking to maximize their footwear spending need look no further: Palladium, a brand on the brink of its 90th birthday, is relauching its utilitarian Pampa boot. Originally in the tire business, Palladium landed a contract to outfit the French Foreign Legion with shoes that could stand up to their militaristic surroundings—”the harsh desert conditions of Algeria, Morocco and the Atlas Mountains,” explains Barney Waters, the brand’s Vice President of Marketing. Sure enough, the shoes stood up to the severe weather thanks to durable soles and breatheable canvas.
Though they’re being relaunched for fall, the boots have never really gone away—just out of the public eye. Pampas became a fashion statement soon after their military appearance, but Waters adds that the boots became something of a fashion statement in the early ’90s thanks to a surge in combat aesthetic attire. This long and storied history is evident in the company’s respect for tradition—until this season, the shoes had been produced on the original machinery.
The new Pampa comes in three heights—low, high and baggy (fold-down collar)—and benefits from being lighter and more comfortable than past models. Still bearing the trademark rubber toe-cap, the boots are now available in leather, suede and the all-important canvas (come winter, they’ll be lined in shearling). Best of all, the entire Pampas inventory costs between $50 and $110—meaning that next utilitarian purchase can also be an economical one.