To Boot New York Founder Adam Derrick on Shoes and Travel

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To Boot's showroom in New York City

To Boot’s showroom in New York City

Indeed, he is on the road a week to ten days every month. “When you’re three to four thousand miles from home, you need to have really comfortable footwear,” he accurately notes. His strategy is to travel with shoes that can multitask, something that works whether dressing for a business meeting or going to dinner or a club after work without having to have, as he put it, “a wardrobe of shoes” in your luggage.

His personal favorite is a Chelsea boot or a side zip boot because both go on and off as easily as a loafer, something important when flying. “I see people struggling at the airport with their shoes and shake my head,” he quipped.

In his bag are a maximum of three pairs of shoes, depending on the length of the trip. “I used to always travel with a pair of shoes for the gym,” he told me, “but as of two seasons ago, I started designing sneakers so I’ll bring a pair from my collection that also looks fine when out of the gym knocking around Milan.”

Adam loves brown shoes. “I tend to wear more brown shoes than black ones,” he said, explaining that he does a lot of hand burnishing to give brown shoes a lot of depth, texture, and richness. “They go well with blues, tans, and grays and that covers the gamut,” he noted. He seemed pleased that I was wearing brown suede To Boot boots.

When not traveling for work, Adam still travels to Italy. “I love the food, the landscape, the people,” he explained, adding he half-ended up doing what he does because he loves Italy so much. “I love the artisan mentality of the people I work with.”

He flies to Milan on Emirates, on which he feels pampered. “Emirates is the real deal,” he told me, “such a quality experience. I can’t say enough nice things about them.” Domestically, he travels on JetBlue because it offers more legroom than most airlines do. Whenever possible, he stays at Starwood properties but doesn’t stress when that’s simply not possible.

He does suffer some anxiety however, in making sure he has all of his tech gear with him as well as the right electrical plugs for the destination. After leaving his iPhone behind in Connecticut recently, he ended up going cold turkey for a week and feeling lost. “It’s very stressful,” he confessed.

After spending a few hours in the showroom and seeing the new spring line, I feel the tension too: I fell in love with no fewer than ten new boots and feel at wit’s end from not having the closet space for them.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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