When the weather turns tropical, we tend to give our sturdier footwear the boot. We step away from the leather lace-ups and the heavy-soled shoes; instead opting for more modern, technical materials and ultra-fine designs. We prioritise this perceived comfort over any substantial style — and end up sacrificing both in the piping hot process.
Fortunately, there remains some shoemakers at the top of the heat-beating game. And Crockett & Jones, the Northampton-based champions of quality footwear, are one such forward-thinking brand. They know how to create a pair of shoes that’ll last a lifetime. They know the tricks and techniques that’ll build the perfect boot. And they know that comfort and cool are not mutually exclusive. Case in point; the brand’s market-leading range of loafers.
Whether unstructured, unlined or lined, Crockett & Jones offers the largest selection of loafers from all English shoemakers. From the ‘Sydney’ to the ‘Seaton’; the ‘Solent’ to the ‘Selby’, the brand has designs including horsebit, penny and tassel loafers to style up your summer — and a loafer has remained its best-selling shoe for the last three years. But could that be about to change? For, just in time for this latest heatwave, comes a new summery style; the ‘Epsom’.
An unlined, low-leg Chelsea boot, the ‘Epsom’ is Crockett & Jones’ suede-uppered solution to this hot summer weather. That mid-ankle cut ensures your feet don’t get too warm, the less-structured design affords breathability, and the versatile khaki colour gives it the ability to stand confidently astride plenty of dress codes.
The style also stands astride the shoemaker’s pioneering ‘SUPERFLEX’ leather sole, which ups its flexible, adaptable credentials even further. A game-changing innovation — and Crockett & Jones’ most flexible sole ever — the ‘SUPERFLEX’ sole debuted on loafers last year, and is permeated with waxes during its lengthy tanning process, which gives it both a hardwearing edge and unequalled levels of grip.
In fact, when it was launched last summer, the ‘SUPERFLEX’ sole became an immediate favourite of the company’s loyal customers. And, listening to this positive feedback, the brand made the decision to step up its unstructured offerings — just in time for this unprecedented scorcher of a summer.
Of course, suede may seem like an odd choice with which to tackle the rising temperatures outside. But, among the gently-napped material’s many talents, breathability is perhaps its most impressive. Due to the natural qualities of suede, the sensitive, porous hide is not only a cooler choice than most man-made materials — but also than most other leathers.
It’s a benefit that Crockett & Jones is well aware of, and one of several reasons that the shoemaker has such a strongly-stocked suede range. Whether Derby shoes, driving shoes or that unrivalled range of loafers, the British brand has long made use of the durable, reliable material — even putting it through a special tanning process to instil it with water and stain-repellent qualities.
And the ‘Epsom’ is just the latest suede showstopper to step out of the brand’s Perry Street factory. Available exclusively in a versatile shade of khaki, it’s fitted with stylishly stitched dark brown side panels and complementary pull tabs — making the shoe a neutral enough proposition to take you through the heatwave and on into autumn.
But its versatility shouldn’t come as a surprise — as the ‘Epsom’ was built on a solid, multi-purpose foundation. Crafted using Crockett & Jones’ trusty ‘Last 379’, the ‘Epsom’ boots boast a classic round toe, slender waist and full back-part, giving wearers the signature silhouette expected of the shoemaker — but with a hint of trimly-tailored, more modern style.
So, if you don’t go in for technical mesh sneakers or low-slung loafers, this latest Chelsea boot from Crockett & Jones could just be your summer saviour. Flexible, timeless and cool enough to see you through the hottest of the seasons, we’ve given it the khaki-coloured, suede-trimmed stamp of Gentleman’s Journal approval.
Crockett & Jones ‘Epsom’ Boots
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