The ocean is one of my biggest loves. I always feel the calmest when by water. Having been born and raised in the seaside town of Poole in Dorset, I grew up blessed to be next to not only the second largest natural harbour in the world, but also the home of some of the most beautiful coastal sites; the Jurassic Coast, stunning beaches and countless nature reserves. But having grown up here, I surprisingly had never headed across the water to the Isle of Wight, and excursion I recently got to tick off the list thanks to the folks at Chatham footwear who took me out for a day at Cowes Week to celebrate the launch of the new Chatham BYU range.

Chatham footwear basically sums my childhood in a shoe, blending nautical and country-living inspirations. Founded over 25 years ago, Chatham has continued to develop its offering, producing country and boat shoe styles made form the finest quality materials and the highest spec construction. Constantly innovating, as of Spring/Summer 2018, Chatham shoes now feature Sole Spring technology with Poron performance cushioning – which is anti-bacterial and offers maximum comfort and shock absorption.

The new Chatham BYU range allows you to customise your very own pair of classic Chatham deck shoes. Made from premium oil-waxed leather and created in their Exeter workshop, you choose your preferred upper colour and laces and then your shoes are hand coloured and hand finished by one of the team’s expert artisans.

Chatham let me design my own pair of shoes in advance of the day out. I went with the classic deck shoe style, and went with a bright-coloured upper as I wanted them to pop against the blue of the water. I figured, what better place to rock some bold shoes than on a boat.

Even on first glance, the quality of a Chatham shoe is obvious: the feel of the leather and the strength of the construction. They are super comfortable to wear and they certainly held their own as I walked around the without slipping.

It was a great day out on the water and my first experience at Cowes Week watching the boats (there were so many and I feared we’d crash many times), and I was luckily enough to two great mates of mine, Chris and Jose, who both you should follow on Instagram. We even had an impromptu hello from the Fever-Tree boat who kindly offloaded several tins of tonic and bottle of gin for us to enjoy!

Check out the possibilities and create your own Chatham BYU shoes here.

Disclaimer: As mentioned, Chatham provided me with my own BYU design free of charge as part of the day. I provided them with images I took of the day, but did not have to write this post, or promote the brand, as part of the agreement. 
Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.