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Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Retro Sneakers; Remarkable Story

Published on October 23th, 2014 in Shopping

  • Botas 66 concept store (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

  • Botas 66 concept store (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

  • Botas Classic - Original model from 1966 (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

  • A proud Botas factory worker (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

  • A proud Botas factory worker (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

  • A proud Botas factory worker (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

  • Botas in production (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

  • Botas in production (photo courtesy of Botas 66)

I love BOTAS 66 shoes and gave them a great review in my book. I thought it might be interesting to talk a little more about the brand and their new concept store in Žižkov which opened in April 2014.
 

Designed by Studio deForm who does a mix of product, furniture and interior design, the shop is small but bright and simply filled with vibrant BOTAS 66 shoes and sunny yellow boxes. Their previous location in the center was run by another operator, but this shop is run by the original designers and creators of BOTAS 66. I spoke about how the brand was reinvigorated by two graphic designer students Jan Kloss and Jakub Korouš in my book, and visiting the shop today you can see both the current collection and an archive of old models. The original Botas brand was established in 1949 and BOTAS 66 is based on the iconic sport model Classic launched on the Czechoslovak market in 1966. Mr. Kloss told me that the simple shape and timelessness of the sneakers became popular enough that the term “botas shoes” is synonymous for any sport shoe in Czech. They currently have four lines linked to the history of the Botas brand and more than 80 different designs.
 

 

Two proud Botas factory workers (photos courtesy of Botas 66)

 

Original Botas models from 1966 aren’t in production anymore, but you can find something similar on the Botas.cz e-shop and in some sport stores. The shape is quite similar to the original models and they are made for indoor sports. BOTAS 66 are designed for everyday use and are the colorful, hip ones. Besides the BOTAS 66 store, you will soon be able to get them online as well. The brand is branching out from the Classic, now offering the Mid, which is like a low hi-top; the Run, which is for running, and the Urban, similar to a skate shoe. BOTAS 66 are currently only sold abroad in Germany, but Mr. Kloss says they are working on marketing to other countries. 
 

Since they aren’t found much out of the Czech Republic, they make an authentic ‘Made in Czech Republic’ souvenir for the hipster or sneaker fanatic in your life. And that new pair of BOTAS 66 will be remembered as probably the most original memento they’ve ever received!
 

 

Urban Green, Rainbow Maker and Diamond Dog (photos courtesy of Botas 66)

 

If you just can’t decide which ones to buy (because once you see them, they are pretty irresistible), all-time bestsellers include Urban Green, Rainbow Maker and Diamond Dog. Mr. Kloss says he personally likes the Aquatic, which was made as a tribute to Wes Anderson’s movie Life Aquatic
 

Mr. Kloss believes there are several reasons the brand still excites so many people.
 

“It is still made in the Czech Republic, it is chic and well-known from the past. So it combines old quality and a bit of patriotism with a retro feel and modern design.”
 

 

BOTAS 66

Křížkovského 18, Prague 3 – Žižkov
www.botas66.com/
tel +420 775 676 966
hours Mon-Fri 15:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-16:00
metro A to Jiřího z Poděbrad

 

 

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