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Crockett & Jones double monks

When I first started the JF line, one blog reader used to tell me, ‘Justin when you add a black crepe sole to a pair of dress shoes, I will be the first to buy them and you can name them after me.’ I always thought it would be a cool idea but not really the easiest material to source and on top of that not the easiest to market to more than this customer as crepe is really just not so common and in reality not so dressy at the same time. By nature, it is meant for rough and rugged as was once worn by military officers on their desert boots (aka chukkas). But crepe is cool and hard wearing. It creates a beautiful contrast and looks great with denim. So why don’t we see it more, especially as the world and what people wear seems to be getting more and more casual?

The Alki in Fox suede with Crepe Sole by J.FitzPatrick Footwear

For my JF shoe brand, I introduced two models with crepe this A/W. I really loved the chelsea boot model and have given it quite a bit of use during this season. I feel that it really gives a different appeal to the chelsea than the standard rubber sole (read more about chelseas in yesterdays post). Obviously with the crepe sole, I can’t really dress it up. But that is the appeal for me. It’s the perfect casual boot that goes with everything. And it got a lot of use with that idea in mind. The other boot, looking like a fancy Timberland was more in the direction of appealing to the American market for something casual but in a smarter fashion than your common Timberland boot with a slimmer profile and cleaner lines/stitching.

And what was funny, as I was launching AW with crepe soles, Crockett & Jones had this same idea in mind, but doing so for their SS19 collection and adding it to more than just boot models as I had done. And of course while I have a good relationship with C&J we did not plan this by any means but it was refreshing to know that we were both with the same ideas in mind as two brands of the same industry. Now if only a 3rd brand came on board, say Carmina, we just might start a trend!

What I really liked about their offering was the double monks highlighted. A snuff suede double monk is the perfect model to add a crepe sole to. While a lot of people are wearing double monks with their suits, and too right to do so, I personally like a DB monk as a smart casual shoe. Something I wear with a nice pair of denim jeans and a casual unlined navy hopsack jacket. Adding a crepe sole to that outfit helps to add depth to the look. It adds a detail that, for me, makes it that much more interesting. And of the three, I can imagine this one being the popular seller.

Prior to this, you didn’t see crepe soles so often on smart shoes. It was something that Clarks championed on their classic desert boot. But who knows, maybe it will be the style trend of 2020. Let’s kick back and now see what other brands follow suit.

What shoe model would you like to see a crepe sole on? And crepe sole of what color?

Links to buy the shoes in the post:

Happy Shopping!

Justin FitzPatrick

5 thoughts on “Crepe Soles – Yay or Nay?”

  1. I love crepe soles comfortably cushy underfoot and surprisingly grippy in wet and winter weather. Aesthetically, though, they work best with casual footwear. Your applications seem well paired. Those C&J double monks come uncomfortably close to a stylistic disconnect between a very casual outsole and a not very casual upper.

  2. I regularly read your posts, and quite enjoy them. I personally avoid crepe soles. I have one pair, but they just are not for me and will be replaced with leather at recraft time. I can deal with the squishy feeling, but what I really don’t care for is how they age. They look fine new, and can add some visual interest, but one pass through a warehouse or down a city street and they’ll be forever stained a dirty grey.

  3. I have a pair of blue suede JM Weston Oxfords with black crepe soles. The black and blue color combination works, in my opinion the darker sole ages better. The standard crepe sole color does not seem to age well at all.

  4. I like crepe soles, but don’t currently have any shoes with them now. I find them a bit nostalgic taking me back to my first pair of Clark’s “desert boots”, back around 1975.

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