Crockett & Jones is one of the ultimate representations of British shoemaking royalty: the Northamptonshire maker has been crafting some of the world’s finest Goodyear welted dress shoes and rugged-yet-damn-classy boots made to exacting standards since 1879. And for the most part, they haven’t done a ton of collaborations with retail shops.
Enter Division Road, one of the foremost footwear shops in the US, which recently relocated from Seattle to bucolic Scottsville, Virginia—and excels at working with shoemakers to create wonderfully custom products.
“We’ve had Crockett & Jones on our radar and in discussions to bring to DR for years, actually prior to our founding,” said DR head man Jason Pecarich. “It was important to us that the timing was right, and we had the customer and market to support the brand. We take a very long view in how we build our offerings, but I with C&J there should be a pretty immediate build.”
DR’s aiming to have around a dozen C&J collab makeups by mid-year 2022, and if all goes well, a continually chugging train following that. The creativity angle is plenty promising, and it’s honestly just a treat to have more Crockett boots and shoes available to touch, feel, and try on in any US shop—I’m a little spoiled by having two stores in NYC, but speaking more largely we simply don’t see enough C&J stateside.
So what’s the overall approach going to be? “I don’t want to say we’ll rough C&J up a little,” said Jason, “but more or less push further into that style-meets-utility combination they have already set a precedence for, and we’re known for.”
“They also have a great baseline for new dress styles for DR, and a robust roster of shoe patterns, which is exciting. We think there are endless possibilities and can come up with some never-seen-before combinations that will really resonate, while maintaining the C&J identity completely. I would say that’s what we’re good at.”
To start things off, DR’s got a two-boots-and-a-shoe pack, in which all pairs feature various shades of waxed roughout suede, and share a common Vibram Carrarmato cleated outsole, which 1) offers a ton of grip in various conditions, and 2) translates to “tank tread”! So that’s good.
Let’s take a look.
C&J’s field officer derby boot-inspired Ross looks nice and healthy in brown, with a contrast welt and camel suede padded roll collar, plus a swooptie, so you know they’re classy. The honest truth is I’ve tended to be roll-collar-averse for whatever reason outside of true hiker boots, but I really think I need to come around (these are helping). The roll collar can aid significantly in terms of comfort, and on a boot this high, it’s almost certainly hiding under your pants.
These are on Crockett’s 378 last, which offers a very appealing (but of course still elegant, it’s Crockett & Jones for chrissakes) round toe that has a little extra room compared to most of their lasts.
A classic tall NST derby boot, executed quite nicely indeed. Like the Ross, the all-eyelets config keeps things looking good and clean, and the antique notched storm welt offers a hit of contrast. I would absolutely love to see these rocked in the next Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome. Also on Crockett & Jones’ 378 last.
Boot-shoe? I struggle to fully define any of C&J’s stuff as that, but: close enough! But this military derby-inspired pattern is handsomely workmanlike, endlessly capable with that Carrarmato sole, and the blackout situation speaks for itself.
And then Division Road is going to be stocking arguably Crockett’s two most seminal models: the Coniston derby boot and Pembroke shortwing derby. That C&J Scotch grain is iconic for a good reason, and honestly any good shoeman has felt the pull of both of these suckers.
DR opted for the darker version of one of the quintessential country boots, which features C&J’s accommodating/classy 325 last, and a Dainite sole. Pure classic.
325 last, Dainite sole. Arguably the greatest shortwing brogue of them all.