Monday, May 10, 2010

The Last shall be First

A brief, and highly opinionated run down of the various last shapes available in store as part of the Crockett & Jones Collection we carry;

The 337 - The original last of the handgrade collection, and in my opinion the most universal and elegant. It is a slightly extended, soft chisel toe, neither as long as the 348 nor as round as the 341. It is also the most three dimensional of the last shapes, with toe box having a slight raise at the point and a soft curve in to the chisel. The mouth and heel cap are narrow and well lasted, cradling the foot, and the narrow waist shows evidence of the longer lasting process. As it is in the Handgrade quality, the sole is channel cut, a process where the sole is split and lifted at the edges, the welting stitch sewn through, and then the sole refinished. The sole edge is elegantly rounded at the waist, accentuating the narrower shape, and the classic shoe making detail of bevelling the inside heel edge to stop it catching a trouser cuff finishes it off. It carries the same 16 nail pattern in the heel and dove tailed rubber that is seen throughout the C&J collection.

The models available in the 337 are all the Handgrade, and all the Handgrade we carry are 337 - The Punch Cap Oxford Belgrave in Black calf and Chestnut calf, the Wing Tip Brogue Clifford in Antique Tan and Black calf, and the Single Monk Savile in mink calf suede.

The 341 - Probably the most traditional and English of the available lasts, the 341 is a fairly symetrical almond shaped toe box - certainly appearing round on the foot. While not as round or as heavy as the traditional Church shape, the 341 could be described as a refined version of that classic last. The toe box is neither high nor low, giving it an even appearance. Great for men with larger feet compared to their height, the 341 de-emphasizes the length of the foot and fits cleanly over the arch.
While being almost bucolic and old-school in the oxford, the last gains elegance in the penny loafer, with the U-tip stitching emphasizing the almond shape of the toe and the gentle sweep in to the penny strap.
Available in store in the Cap Toe Brogue Westfield in Black calf, Brown calf and Tobacco Suede, and the Sydney Penny Loafer in Black calf and Brown calf.

The 348 - The most requested last shape since we have had the C&J range in store, particularly to new customers of Crockett & Jones shoes, the 348 is the most Italianate of lasts to my eye, the most flamboyant and striking. Extended in the toe box compared to the width of ball or height of arch, the 348's toe box is a shrp and angular version of the chisel, flatter to the actual toe on top. An ideal shape of shoe for those with small to average sized feet, the style lends length and interest to draw the eye to the foot.
Available in store as the Lowndes double monk in black calf and brown claf, the Hallam cap toe oxford in the same two colours, the Edgware medallion toe in Black calf and the Tetbury chukka boot in dark brown suede with a Dainite rubber sole.

The 366 last - a new last for C&J, available in just the Poole loafer so far. Similar in shape to the 341 last with a light almond shape to the toe, the Poole loafer has an exposed, unfinished U-tip from the penny strap that makes for a slightly more casual feel than the Sydney. The 366 is still quite an elegant last despite it's casual application, with a raised and even toe box. The heel cap feels a little lower and straighter than others, and the mouth fairly clean, so I'd recommend breaking these in with a light pair of socks before going barefoot. Available in three variations - the poole in Navy reverse calf, brown reverse calf and dark brown antique nubuck.

The 238 - Our version of the classic australian side gor boot, or Chelsea boot for our English cousins, is the Chelsea on the 238 last. Taking cues from the 348 last, the 238 is like a subdued version of this last - clean and elegant, with a soft square toe box.

The 325 - Our country shoe - the Dainite soled, scotch grain Onslow - is the only shoe we have chosen in the 325 last. Traditionally used by C&J for their cordovan collection, the 325 is our version of a Budapester style shoe - sturdily built, stoic and traditional. The only true blucher in our collection - a style of shoe opposite to the oxford, where the two sides that hold the laces are seperate and unattached - the Onslow shares similarities with the 341 in it's almond shape, but heavier and more rugged. Available in the Onslow in Tan scotch grain.

No comments:

Post a Comment