Japanese brand Ubiq always comes up with head-turning, sometimes offbeat designs when it comes to their footwear. The latest 2007 Fall/Winter collection is no different. My favorites from the group have to be the Braska and Bernadette models.
A mid-cut boot, the Braska (right) is not as clunky as most urban hiking alternatives. The most innovative feature is the gator-like fleece sock appended to the top of the boot. It features a draw string pull cord which allows the wearer to control the fit around the ankle. If you're stepping into some thick stuff, just fasten it tightly around the ankle to keep snow out and warmth in. The patent leather tongue adds style and a playful touch that fits in better on the streets than the trail.
The Bernadette boot (left) follows suit with the latest football (soccer) design, moving the enclosure—in this case a zipper—on a bias. Low, with a fairly round shape, it features the same Vibram sole and suede upper as the Braska. The zipper enclosure, leather laces and a support strap near the ankle ensure a snug and protecting fit for your feet.
The Braska, ¥19,950, and the Bernadette, ¥22,050 are available at Flauge, each in three different colors.