Authenticity is at the core of the latest collection from Cat Footwear’s collaboration with British fashion designer Nigel Cabourn.
Cat Footwear is globally renowned as the shoemaking arm of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. The shoe brand echoes Caterpillar’s history of toughness, outfitting the most determined individuals with functional, durable shoes for both work and everyday use. In partnership with renowned British designer Nigel Cabourn, Cat Footwear delivers a versatile offering that utilizes Cabourn’s more than fifty-years of expertise in design. The veteran creative has amassed a loyal cult following for his workwear, vintage military garments and signature well-worn aesthetic. The Cat Footwear x Nigel Cabourn collection consists of two boot models – the Omaha and the Utah, which echo both brands’ affinity for authenticity and unmatched quality.
“I thought it was a great idea to work with a workwear brand that has such a rich heritage and it gave me a real opportunity to rethink two very good authentic industrial boots,” Cabourn told Hypebeast when asked about his reaction to working with Cat Footwear. “I am so happy with the outcome, and I feel the product and campaign are a great expression of the natural synergy between our two brands.”
The Cat Footwear x Nigel Cabourn collection as a whole was inspired by the US Navy Seabees of the World War II era. They were a naval construction battalion who utilized Caterpillar machinery to build bases, airfields, camp sites, supply depots and more. Cabourn captured the Seabees’ unwavering spirit and “build-anything” attitude with the Omaha and Utah boots. In fact, Cabourn named the styles after World War II D-Day beaches that were cleared by the Seabees using Caterpillar machinery. Caterpillar’s machines such as its Crawlers and Cabourn’s love for vintage military wares also informed the construction of the collection. Function, durability and everyday utility truly drive the look and design of the boots.
“At Cat Footwear we have years of construction and workwear heritage and a rich archive,” said Kelly Ballou, VP of Global Marketing for Cat Footwear. “We knew when Nigel approached us we would be the perfect match, an incredible opportunity for us to tell our story, but through Nigel’s cult brand. We are two authentic workwear brands bringing real purposeful product to market with a shared passion for durability, function, utility and meaningful storytelling.”
The UtahThe Utah boot is as timeless as they come. The model takes cues from classic military uniforms and is considered the signature style of the entire collection. The shoe is constructed on the outsole of Cat Footwear’s Holton boot and features a steel toe and Goodyear welt for extreme durability and grip. The Utah comes in two colorways, brown and black. The leather brown design exudes tradition and all-around toughness with its herringbone quarter panel, textured suede vamp and full-grain leather mud and toe guards. The Black Camo on the other hand adds a touch of military flair to a reliable workwear staple. The camo print canvas quarter was hand-picked by Cabourn himself. “It’s got a trademark camouflage,” Cabourn says in a video explaining the design of the Utah. “This is the American camouflage we’re using, this is based from the Pacific in the 1940s.” Furthermore, the Black Camo sports a black sole, full leather guards, army green textured suede and yellow Caterpillar branding for tonal contrast. All the features come together to amplify the boot’s tough character.
The OmahaThe Omaha boot is the Cat Footwear x Nigel Cabourn range’s more sophisticated offering. Available in Dijon and Black colorways, the style combines the look of vintage Naval wares and Cabourn’s well-worn workwear designs. The outstanding feature for the Omaha is its custom-moulded, grooved-rubber toe cap which delivers added protection and a heavy duty look. The design is inspired by canvas service boots worn in the 1940s, which the Omaha updates with its full-grain leather mudguard, sturdy elevated outsole and armour-like profile. The addition of robust metal hardware, durable laces and brass Cabourn-branded lace keepers round out the functional details of the boot.
Ultimately, Cat Footwear x Nigel Cabourn’s Utah and Omaha boots are choice options for anyone looking to update their wardrobe with style-forward, functional footwear. Fans of Cabourn will appreciate both models’ vintage workwear aesthetic, while Cat Footwear fans will gravitate to the Utah and Omaha’s industrial silhouette and durable construction. This partnership highlights both brands’s best attributes and looks to stand the test of time in terms of design and reliability.
“Over the last seven years at Nigel Cabourn, we’ve built a real workwear brand, from the foundation of vintage, storytelling and real people,” Cabourn told Hypebeast when asked about the collaboration. “Both the Cabourn and Cat brands proudly stand for quality, and durability. Together we’ve built these products from the best. Authenticity and industrial heritage sit at the heart of this collection, we even built the collection on the same production line as Cat’s iconic work boots. You can’t get more authentic than that.”
The Cat Footwear x Nigel Cabourn collection is now available for purchase on Cat Footwear’s official site. The Utah model retails for $300 USD, while the Omaha is priced at $260 USD.