Sunday, 4 November 2012

Preparing for Winter 1 - Boots

For the last two Autumn/Winter periods, I've spent an inordinate amount of time wanting, looking for, an ultimately not buying a pair of brown brogue boots.

On the one hand, they are exactly what I need. A little warmer, a little chunkier and a little more suitable for wet (or even snowy weather) than normal shoes and yet (if well chosen) able to pass for a pair of casual, but perfectly smart, brogues when your trousers cover the ankle section.

The trouble has always been finding the right pair. It's important that they basically have the shape and style of a normal pair of brown brogues, so anything overly chunky was out. On the other hand, ideally I feel it needs to have rubber soles since it is at least in part a practical purchase. Colour, too, becomes tricky when, of the half-dozen or so shoemakers I would consider buying from, each may only make one or two varieties of boot, and some offer none.

And so time passed, and I never bought a pair. Finally, though, I have bitten the bullet and gone for what is very nearly my perfect pair of brown brogue boots.

They're made by Crockett & Jones, and are a neat and smart pair of open-laced boots with a classic full-brogue that, when I am wearing trouser, are barely distinguishable from many shoes. The colour is beautiful - a properly dark almost mahogany tone that I've taken years trying to polish into my other brogues. If they have a flaw, it's that they are not rubber-soled. Crockett & Jones do offer it, but it required returning them to the manufacturer and paying an extra £60. The money isn't so much of a problem, but the wait was. Deferred gratification has never been my strong point. I shall wear them as they are and, when they need resoling, will probably have them changed at that point.

They're warm, comfortable and beautiful - form and function combined, which is always nice, particularly if you enjoy walking for miles around London as much as I do. Although largely designed for country wear, they're perfectly acceptable to wear with pretty much anything you might wear brown brogues with. I particularly like them with one of my pairs of fairly casual, but brightly coloured corduroy trousers. At the same time, they could certainly be worn with a tweed suit and possible with other very soft, casual or light-coloured suits.


  1. Bloody beautiful.

  2. Rubber bottoms over the leather sole should meet your requirements. I tend to do it with my work shoes anyway - not quite as smart but infinitely more hard wearing and much cheaper to replace than a leather sole.

    Nice boots, even if I do generally have an aversion to brogues.

    1. An aversion to brogues? You poor fellow. Have you seen a doctor about it?

      Good advice though, thank you - it would be nice to get the rubber sole sorted before I actually need to resole the shoes.

  3. Did you consider the Crockett and Jones Islay boot? They're available in two shades of brown and come with a rubber sole. And if you're impressed by this sort of thing- James Bond wears a pair in Skyfall.

    1. I did consider them - even tried a pair on - but decided against it. They're substantially more expensive than the Skye boots I got but (more importantly) I didn't really like the colour. The pair I saw was a very dark, slightly muddy, cordovan which, while probably very practical and hard-wearing, didn't really appeal to me.

      I'd heard that Crockett and Jones did the shoes for the new Bond film. Good choice, although the shoes themselves aren't massively to my taste. I didn't know he wore the Islay boots though - perhaps an excuse to rewatch it!


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