In partnership with: Crockett & Jones
k, so it might have been Daniel Craig’s double-breasted, crimson-pink velvet jacket that stole the show at the Royal Albert Hall premiere of No Time To Die, but everyone knows it’s shoes that maketh the man and Craig’s subtly-pointed, patent-leather lace-ups were a lesson in how to nail the starting point of all sophisticated evening wear.
The bespoke Anderson & Shepard blazer was a bold, brilliant move for Craig’s fifth and final appearance on the red carpet as James Bond. The whole outfit, mind, could have been undermined by the wrong kind of footwear. Imagine if he’d opted for a silly pair of velvet slip-ons, for example. Or, heaven forbid, something in brown. Happily, the outgoing secret service agent got his shiny black Oxfords spot on.
The glossy pitch-dark footwear in question? An elegant pair of lightweight, plain-fronted dress shoes from Northampton-based shoemaker, Crockett & Jones.
If you follow the sartorial choices of the James Bond franchise, you’ll know that Craig has been saving the world in a pair of Crockett & Jones shoes since 2012’s Skyfall. What you mightn’t know is that, while many of the brands that appear in the latest 007 instalment are the result of contractually-obliged product placements, the relationship that exists between Crockett & Jones and the world’s most successful spy series is a little more organic.
When the 007 costume department was considering footwear options for Skyfall, Craig’s third turn at Bond, stylists called in a selection of shoes from the storied English shoemaker – at the behest of Craig himself.
Already a longstanding Crockett & Jones punter – he’d purchased shoes in both the brand’s Jermyn Street and New York stores – Craig had previously appeared on screen in the company’s footwear in 2010’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Bond costume department, on receiving the samples, agreed that C&J’s hand-finished, Goodyear-welted shoes were the perfect fit for the sartorially-minded secret agent, and have been turning to the 142-year-old brand ever since.
Fresh from kitting out Craig in a selection of whole-cut Oxfords, calf-leather Derbies and rubber-sole chukkas in No Time To Die, Crockett & Jones has now turned its attention to a trilogy of its signature boots – awarding them an all-weather makeover in time for the fast-approaching winter.
Here’s a rundown of the toughest boots Crockett and Jones has ever created...
The high-leg Islay
First worn by Daniel Criag in Skyfall, in scenes shot in the Scottish Highlands, the Islay is a high-leg boot that’s been storm-welted and features a chunky, cleated rubber sole. This newest Islay, available in both brown and black, has been toughed up for everything would-be James Bonds can throw at it, thanks to the use of heavy-duty teak-oiled side leather (as opposed to the softer, lighter-weight calf leather used in the brand's dress shoes). Elsewhere, heavier-than-usual laces are fed through gunmetal eyelets, and a full-leather lining ensures the boot is waterproof but, essentially, still breathable.
The rough-out suede Grizedale
Crockett & Jones’s latest Grizedale utilises a ‘rough-out’ suede sourced from Steads, one of England’s most famous tanneries. The suede features a highly-waxed surface that helps make it water resistant. Like the Islay, the Grizedale comprises a cleated rubber sole, gunmetal eyelets and a heavier-than-usual lace. This boot, however, boasts a half-bellows tongue, preventing water from seeping into the shoe from its laces. This is Crockett & Jones’s toughest rough-out suede boot to date.
The classic Chepstow chukka
The teak-oiled side leather used to make the Chepstow might come from the Horween tannery in Chicago, but this chukka boot is about as traditionally English as traditionally-English chukka boots get. Popularised by British soldiers who wore them during the Western Desert Campaign during the Second World War, today chukka boots are the perfect, go-anywhere, smart-casual ankle-high footwear. Owing to Horween's tanning process, this three-eyelet derby is rugged, warm and water resistant. Ideal for foiling criminal masterminds. Or walking the dog.