A stunning pair of suede shoes from the storied Northamptonshire shoemaker.
Having respected Crockett & Jones by reputation from the beginning, when I recently had the opportunity to snag an ex-display pair for an excellent price, I jumped at the chance to own some and see them in the flesh.
I got mine from Swedish store Pete & Harry, who recently acquired a large shipment of C&J shoes and sold them on for a solid deal, resulting in the majority of them selling out very quickly.
The ones I acquired were a dark brown suede Grasmere 3 derby.
I was taking a bit of a chance here, as I’d never tried on any shoes from this brand, and thus had no experience with the last.
As such, I went true to size on a UK8.5/EU42 pair, discerning from the images (and researching the characteristics of Crockett & Jones’ 325 last) that the last should provide enough room for my feet.
Choosing a derby from the selection was an obvious choice for me, due to the derby’s more casual nature and the ease of fit (oxfords tend to constrict my high instep).
As soon as I unboxed these, I knew I’d made a good score.
They’re a higher level than any other shoe I’ve previously owned, as shown in the sculpting of the last, the way they hug the feet while remaining comfortable, and the attention to detail in the finishing.
The suede is incredibly soft and supple, yet sturdy and resilient.
On the first wearing, I was able to wear the shoes for four hours before the break-in process began to take its toll on my feet.
Fit-wise, the shape ended up being perfect for my foot and the size choice was spot on.
The shoes are slightly snug without feeling tight, enough that they’ll mould to the shape of my foot as I break them in, with a touch of space in the toe box and no heel slip.
I did have to change the laces, as the OEM ones ended up being too short.
It was barely possible to tie a knot with them once my feet were in the shoes.
I replaced them with a pair of Wren’s laces that I found at work.
They’re a slightly different colour to the suede, however as the upper ages and the colour fades, it should become a similar shade.
For the time being, I like the little bit of contrast pop between the upper and the lace colour.
I also plan to have a Topy sole installed, for two reasons.
Firstly, I prefer a bit of grip on my shoe soles, which leather soles don’t have.
Secondly, there’s a minor imbalance between the height of the heel stack and the forefoot, resulting in a slight rocking back and forth happening when I shift my weight.
I believe the Topy will be enough to correct the issue.
I’m very much impressed with the craft of these shoes overall.
They live up to the high reputation I always heard of.
Brown suede shoes has been a gap in my wardrobe ever since my Church’s single monks wore out a little over a year ago, and they were among my favourite pairs.
These Crockett & Jones are not only filling that gap, but will be doing a much better job of it.
They’re more comfortable, cut from better materials and altogether an excellent investment.