Crockett & Jones Alex Shoe
James Bond wears the Crockett & Jones Alex shoe with his evening suits in Skyfall and Spectre. The Alex shoe is a plain whole-cut Oxford made from fine calf leather, goodyear welting and is made from the 348 last.
The 348 has also produced the Highbury and the Tetbury from Skyfall, the Camberley, the Norwich and the Northcote (black version now discontinued) from Spectre and the newly released special edition James.
Kiss my foot
The Oxfords are the smartest of all the Crockett & Jones (C&J) shoes that Bond wears. Although he should be wearing patent leather shoes (shoes with a coated leather that produces a high gloss finish. Thank you, Google!), Bond decides on a well-polished pair of the Alex.
The Alex fit very well, as do all of my C&J shoes and boots, probably as 3 out of the 4 come from the same Last, they are very comfortable, and I do wear them with suits and my Evening Suit, the shoes are a lot dressier than the Derby’s so I can see why they were chosen for the scenes with the evening suits.
Where I would wear the Highbury shoes with a casual outfit, I don’t feel that I would with the Alex. Unlike the Highbury the Alex are available in a dark brown. However, I feel even in brown they would be to formal to pair with a casual outfit. If I were to buy some brown shoes, I’d probably choose the Norwich!
With my pair of Alex, I bought them with a crepe rubber sole because I slip and slide with a leather sole. Online (at present) Alex are only available with a leather sole, not sure if a rubber sole would still be available. You may wish to check with the mail order service, or at a store.
These shoes were the last pair I bought from C&J, not because I’ve gone off C&J it’s just, I’ve not felt I needed any others as of yet. 4 years in and they are still look in good nick. This is because I keep them in shoe trees, in the shoe bags and in the box when I don’t use them and polish them when needed.
However, I don’t wear them as much as either the Tetbury or the Highbury! Especially since Lockdown. I’ve not really felt the need to get them out and put them on. They are considerably more formal shoe then the Derby or the Chucker/Derby boot.
A bit tidier
My final thoughts, as a shoe it works well for smart and very smart outfits or occasions. It is comfortable and possibly more practical than a patent leather shoe. It was used in 2 Bond films, which many sartorial items don’t accomplish.
I think they are a fantastic product, as with all the C&J shoes that I have bought, they will last you a very long time, as long as you treat them correctly, buy them some trees and properly polish them (not with the liquid stuff).
For a more versatile shoe, which could work with casual and smart outfits, then the Highbury or Norwich Derby shoes maybe more suitable. In No Time to Die Bond is wearing the Highbury with his Evening Suit, proving its versatility.
I don’t own the Norwich, but like I said it is available in both Black and Brown, with the Danite sole, the Highbury is only in black, and in the city sole, the Danite version has been discontinued, but you could always put in a special order with Crockett & Jones.
A quick note on the James special edition. From looking at the shoes, and not all the other bits that come with them (the box, the cloth, the shoehorn, the shoe bags, the brush and the shoe trees all with the 007 logo) there isn’t a lot of difference between them and the Alex.
They use the same Last as with the Alex and have the same number of loop holes. They also use a high quality of leather and are finished with a higher shine.
For me, as I have the Alex, I see little point in getting them, especially for twice the price! As a limited edition I see them as more of a collector’s piece then something I would wear. And for me if I’m not going to wear them, then I wouldn’t be buying them. The Alex I have with the crepe rubber soles work better for me.
Full collection from Last 348 is here.
Article by Daniel Gaster.
Read me more about Daniel’s personal style in a previous post here.