A Shoe Collection - January 2021
Like many people I try to operate my shoe collection on a one-in one-out policy, and like many people I find the "in" a lot easier to manage than the "out". This is a rundown of my collection as of the start of 2021.
Most will have a brief commentary, and some will have more detailed reviews elsewhere on the site (or in future). Listed alphabetically by maker.
Alfred Sargent Exclusive Odell Loafers
I just don't wear loafers much - can never get the fit down, as they're either squeezing my feet or slipping off as I walk. This is the only pair I've kept, from Alfred Sargent's very underrated Exclusive range. The fit is still far from perfect, and has been heavily amended with tongue pads, but I like the sharpness of the toe, and love hatch-grain leather in all its forms.
Alfred Sargent Suede Brogues (unknown model)
A chunky pair of suede captoe brogues - from Alfred Sargent's cheapest range so pretty "rustic" in terms of construction and finishing, but they're sturdy and only cost about £40 from eBay.
Church's Apron Front Derby (unknown model)
They're quite long in the tooth, but these are my go-to rain shoes thanks to a chunky sole. The leather has developed a pleasing patina, so I don't have to get too stressed if they get splashed.
Crockett & Jones Coniston Roughout Suede Boots
Part of the Crockett & Jones "Black Edition" releases from a few years back - the roughout suede is extremely soft but also essentially waterproof. Only annoyance with these is both tongues slide off to the side - they will need tacking in place by a cobbler.
Crockett & Jones Shell Cordovan Harlech Boots
A real classic - Crockett & Jones kind of have the market cornered among British shoemakers for quality shell cordovan models, and it's been good seeing the patina and colour variation develop on these over the years.
Crockett & Jones Chelsea XI Black Edition Boots
A very handy, Vibram soled and really robust Chelsea boot, from the same "Black Edition" collection as the roughout Coniston boots. The black scotch-grain leather is very useful for olive trousers, and these have had a lot of use in the two years since I picked them up.
Crockett & Jones Islay Boots
I think these are maybe... the best brogue boot? Like, don't tell my Tricker's I said that, but these never fail to elicit positive comments. Somehow they are rugged and elegant at the same time, and the deep brown of the leather is really eye-catching.
Crockett & Jones Handgrade Audley Oxfords
A very versatile captoe oxford - purchased just before Covid, so they never got much office wear, but some day they will get their chance.
Crockett & Jones Pembroke Whisky Shell Cordovan Brogues
A recent and rather rare full price purchase from C&J (I'm normally an eBay shopper). Whisky shell cordovan is a lovely, honey-ish shade that's not dissimilar to Tricker's tan shades, although a bit richer.
Edward Green Banbury Suede Chukka Boot
Purchased to replace a very tired old pair of Foster & Son suede chukkas. Supremely comfy, sumptuously soft suede.
Edward Green Dover Lavagna Suede and Dark Oak
A recent pickup - a very unusual bi-material pair of Dovers with Lavagna suede on the apron and Dark Oak calf on the body. Time will tell how comfy they are, but goodness if they aren't pretty.
Edward Green Dover Olive Suede
A khaki-olive suede on the 606 last - perfect for summer, particularly with the light brown laces.
Edward Green Vintage Captoe Brogue (unknown model)
A pretty well-aged pair - I don't know the exact model, but the leather is remarkably soft and they are incredibly comfy. They do have a pretty pungent "old shoe" smell - sadly the eBay listing neglected to mention that - so I keep them in a pair of shoe bags when on the shelf!
Enzo Bonafe Gold Utah Hatch-grain Chukka Boots
A great pair made for Skoaktiebolaget. The gold Utah hatch-grain is super versatile, and the toe shape is a bit sharper than you might assume for a pair of chukkas. Only downside is the rigidity of the leather can dig into the ankles a bit.
George Cleverley Suede Boots (unknown model)
Made, I believe, by Alfred Sargent to the same standards as their Exclusive range. Originally a pretty terrible light tan colour, I actually dyed these black with some Angelus suede dye. It worked okay, though I then picked up the black roughout C&J Coniston which fill the same aesthetic slot (but better) so probably getting rid of these.
John Lobb Hunter Boots
A pretty unusual pair from John Lobb - the lace and strap combo is actually really handy for getting the fit just right, and under a pair of trousers they just sort of look like a dressy pair of derby shoes.
John Lobb Chukka Boots
A very well-loved pair - no idea of the model name, but these are fabulous for throwing on when it's raining, with some pretty meaty rubber soles. No idea if the uppers are museum calf or if it's just built up a heavy patina.
John Lobb Camberley Double Monkstraps
A very affordable eBay pickup. I'm generally quite ambivalent about double monks - they can feel just too fussy - but I think the suede helps to keep the dressiness down a bit.
John Lobb St James Navvy Derby Shoes
Made by John Lobb St James - the bespoke operation, not the more widely known Hermes owned company. I have a habit of buying bespoke shoes through eBay in the hope they will fit, and they almost never do - these are the only ones I've ever kept. They're the only black shoes in my rotation because... well, I never wear black shoes, but I like to have a good pair if needed.
Loake for Charles Tyrwhitt Captoe Boots
My oldest boots, but clearly very well built as they are still holding together very well. The cherry red shade has attracted a lot of positive comments over the years.
R.M. Williams Kangaroo Craftsman Chelsea Boots
My comfiest shoes, and it's not even close. R.M. Williams still have kangaroo leather options on their site, and it's worth grabbing if you can. Just unbelievably soft, it melds around your foot and it's like walking on air.
Saint Crispin's Mod 104 Austerity Brogues
A gorgeous pair - tragically they had a run in with some Saphir Renovateur which damaged the crust leather in some spots, so these are probably going to be sent off to a patina artist in the near future to be recoloured.
A detailed review of these (pre-Saphir damage) can be found in my past posts.
Tricker's Stow Boots
My second-oldest boots - the fact that they have survived this long (given the hundreds of shoes I've bought and sold since then) says it all about how much I recommend them. The C-Shade Tan might seem a bit odd on paper, but it goes so well with jeans, navy, olive - just really versatile. These are on the second resole, but are due another soon.
Tricker's Polo Chukka Boots
Pretty unassuming compared to some of my other chukkas, but these are remarkably comfortable with very pliant leather. The unlined construction makes them a summer staple.
Vermodalen Duotone Boots
I got this pair from a small maker's Kickstarter. They always get a lot of positive comments - I'm a sucker for brown and black generally. The leather is a bit stiff, but the soles have amazing traction, so perfect for cold and rainy weather.