When it comes to innovating, Crockett & Jones always steps up. Ever since the British brand put its first foot forward in 1879, the shoemaker has developed and designed some of the most progressive, pioneering pieces of footwear ever slipped on, buckled up or laced together.
Because, from adopting the Goodyear welt to using special tannage to ensure equal strength and suppleness in its shoes, Crockett & Jones is a standard-bearer in the world of boots, brogues, Chelseas and chukkas. And the introduction, last year, of the new ‘SUPERFLEX’ sole did much to keep this reputation alive.
In fact, this new sole — so named for its incredibly pliable qualities — was so rapturously received, the brand has decided that all new styles in its SS22 collection should benefit from the same bendy, workable craftsmanship. So how exactly does the ‘SUPERFLEX’ work — and what are the four finest advantages of investing in a pair of shoes that stand on these superior soles?
From the ‘Seaton’ to the ‘Salcombe’, the sole has serious style
Kicking off the ‘Unstructured Collection’ last summer were two of our favourite new loafers of recent times. The ‘Seaton’ and the ‘Salcombe’ take their idiosyncratic names from classic British seaside towns — and the shoes themselves are just as classic. But, with a little help from the groundbreaking ‘SUPERFLEX’ sole, Crockett & Jones put a twist on the traditional loafer style. And, this year, two new suede colourways — ‘Ocean’ and ‘Earth Green’ — join the line-up.
Both are handmade in the brand’s own Northampton factory, and both designs remain Goodyear-welted using flexi-welts and lightweight ribbing. Not only that, but these two loafers — the ‘Salcombe’ with its raised seam apron and the ‘Seaton’ penny design — both utilise the high-quality and flexible nature of tight-fibre shoulder insoles, as well as retaining their stylish silhouettes.
The interlaced ‘Southport’ loafer is exceedingly versatile
Joining the ‘Unstructured Collection’ for summer 2022 is this; the ‘Southport’ loafer. Following in the seaside naming tradition, this unlined, interlaced loafer is crafted from the supplest suede — and once again benefits from the new ‘SUPERFLEX’ leather sole. And, with that smart-casual napped finish pairing with the talents of such an innovative sole, this might be the most versatile loafer Crockett & Jones have ever created.
Available in either ‘Khaki’ or ‘Dark Oak’, the colours are just the beginning of this loafer’s versatile stylings. Thanks to the unstructured body of the shoe, it’ll form just as sartorial a foundation with a pair of jeans as it will a summer suit — and is the perfect shoe for country weddings and weekends in the city alike. In other words, it’s flexible — both figuratively and literally. What more could you want?
The ‘Finchley’ Horsebit loafer is as comfortable as can be
It’s been almost 70 years since the Horsebit loafer made its debut in the wider world. Affixed with hardware, the ‘Finchley’ is the first Crockett & Jones loafer to be slipped on since the early 1970s. And, for this latest trot around the paddock, it has been revamped and resurrected with the brand’s indelible new ‘SUPERFLEX’ sole. Available in ‘Black Pebble’ or ‘Dark Oak Suede’, it’s a treat — and that new sole makes the style more comfortable than ever.
How? Thanks chiefly to the added lightness and increased flexibility of the design. By using a completely new construction process to create the ‘SUPERFLEX’ sole, Crockett & Jones has created something utterly ergonomic and practical; built using high quality materials that are both fully repairable — but as hardy as any other design.
For strength and suppleness, try the ‘Epsom’ boot
The final new design to step up to the plate this summer is the ‘Epsom’. An unlined, low-leg spin on the classic Chelsea boot, Crockett & Jones’ twist on the traditional style was made for the warmer weather. It’s the only light-coloured Chelsea boot in the shoemaker’s men’s range, and stands proudly — as every other design does on this list — on the new ‘SUPERFLEX’ sole.
This highly innovative sole was developed over a period of two-and-a-half years; a long-considered collaboration between the British brand’s specialty leather sole tanners and Managing Director, Jonathan Jones. Permeated with waxes during its lengthy tanning process, it here introduces a hardwearing quality — as well as comfort and all-important grip — to the inimitable Chelsea style.
Crockett & Jones 'Unstructured Collection'
Want more from the British brand? Introducing the new ‘Boston’ loafer from Gentleman’s Journal x Crockett & Jones…
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