I will never forget the sheer bliss I felt when I found them. I instantaneously knew that this was one of the most important purchases of my life. I was living in Spain and vacationing in Andalusia that specific weekend. I needed warm, durable shoes to last me though backpacking trips, snowy European winters, and brutal beatings by yours truly (obviously, they had to be ridiculously cute too). In a small, cluttered store in Seville, I laid eyes on a pair of soft, mocha-colored, leather, mid-shin hitting, white-faux-fur lined Camper boots. It was love and a life-long commitment there after at first sight.
It has been almost four years since that fateful evening in Seville and my camper boots are still, hands down, my absolute-without-a-doubt favorite pair of shoes. They have survived a six-week backpacking trip through the dead of winter in Italy. (Granted, Italian winters are not all that cold, but still, they were champs throughout numerous treacherous train rides, mountain treks, and ravioli and gelato marathons.) They survived abundant sloppy, overdue, drunken nights in the streets of Madrid. They even withstood one and a half years of public transportation in sub-zero Washington, DC. They match every single outfit I own and I get compliments on them every time I step out.
Camper shoes started as a small, family-run business in Majorca, Spain. They were birthed by a family who has a deep knowledge, passion, and love for quality shoe-making. They opened their first store in Barcelona in the eighties and today can be found in most major urban centers around the globe. They were the first company to introduce industrial engineering into the making of shoes. Each one of their designs is unique. One of my favorite Camper traits is how often they will create a different version of the same shoe for each foot. Like the country of their origin, campers are a symbol of style, comfort, longevity, and a bit of quirkiness.
Even though my Camper boots were one of the most expensive pair of shoes I have bought, they were an investment in my future. Cheesy, I know, but every time I wear my boots, I know I am going to feel protected and content all day long. It’s the same feeling I get when I put on my tatty, seven-year-old, red and blue UC Irvine sweatshirt—like I am slipping into the arms of a loved one. For all of the travel junkies, adventure seekers, style aficionados, and global trekkers, I highly recommend running to your nearest Camper store and buying as many brown leather lined boots as you can hold. Let’s be honest, you don’t find shoes this remarkable all that often.