Over the past decade, luxury English shoemaker Crockett & Jones has seen a shift in formal footwear. Whereas, in the past, formal shoes such as Oxfords or monk straps walked on leather soles, they found that customers were increasingly looking for comfort and practicality in their city footwear. But shoemakers were restricted to the Dainite rubber sole — a rubber compound with sunken studded roundels.
As such, the Northampton-based brand, pioneers of shoemaking, decided to lead the way and develop a totally new style of sole. Offering the formality of a leather sole, but with the sharp-edge trimming, reduced waist, practicality and longevity of a rubber sole, the ‘City Sole’ was dreamt up, designed and created in collaboration with the Harborough Rubber Co, a company with strong family connections to Crockett & Jones.
This year, Crockett & Jones are once again increasing their offering of footwear equipped with the ‘City Sole’, with the brand’s much-anticipated AW19 collection due to be released in September.
The brand recognise that flexibility, comfort and durability are prized today more than ever by their customers, and — while still resolutely against diluting their DNA by producing sneakers or trainers — they have decided to marry comfort and formality in a way that stays true to their brand ethos.
Styles such as Chelsea VIII and Cranleigh, the brand’s first ever unlined Chelsea boot, are already utilising the ‘City Sole’ — with the Harvard, Sydney and Cavendish varieties of loafers, and less formal versions of Lowndes and Westbourne shoes also making use of the new sole. And, from what we hear, this is just the beginning — with many more styles set to follow suit.
And, even if you are a diehard Dainite fan, you needn’t worry. Crockett & Jones haven’t turned their back on this classic sole just yet — and will instead simply confine Dainite to chunky country styles such as their Pembroke boots or Harrogate monks.
But the ‘City Sole’, easily Crockett & Jones’ most versatile, stands atop our list of footwear recommendations. With incredibly clean lines and the appearance of a leather sole from above, it’s the ideal combination of style and comfort — available in colours including Black, Dark Brown and Chocolate.
So, if you work in the City, and your shoes take the daily punishment of the pavement, hurried jogs along tube platforms and endless commutes, this is the sole here to save your days.
Crockett & Jones 'City Sole'
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