Fall’s inevitable (and welcome) arrival traditionally sends millions to the depths of their closets, storage units and foot lockers to begin swapping out their summer kit for something a bit more substantial. Sweaters replace t’s, hefty tweeds replace sea island cotton and if you’re like me, you’re pulling out your boots. Amid of our favorites, stalwarts like Wolverine, Red Wing, Chippewa and Oak Street Bootmakers are probably already in your closet — but there’s a new boot in town. In Austin, Texas to be precise. And we’re all about it.
Enter Helm. Launched in 2009 by Joshua Bingamin, the Lone Star state-based brand was born after Bingamin (who had already been a part of the footwear business for years) wanted to craft a timeless, year-round boot that struck a balance between workwear boot styles and classic military footwear. The result is handsome & rugged while still polished enough to take you to some farm-to-table gastropub. While Bingamin’s initial inspiration is present, his styles never land to hard on it’s workwear roots and still steers clear from looking combat-ready. Now in it’s 5th season, Helm, originally produced overseas, has found a new home in the U.S. with production out of Maine — and hides from Chicago (thanks to Horween) and New Jersey.
Originally sold online and through accounts across the country, Helm has opened a brick & mortar location in Austin’s east side just blocks from where Bingamin launched Progress Coffee years before. Situated across from our favorite taco truck (we’re saying if you visit Helm, you’ve pretty much got to hit Pueblo Viejo), their inaugural outpost feels modern and cozy. One part ye olde tyme, one part minimal art gallery, the space lends itself perfectly to Helm’s product range, not to mention a selection of leather goods from Barrett Alley, Bexar Goods & a range of vintage goods from fellow vintage vendor, Sam Hill among others.