Crockett and Jones (C&J), an extraordinary British shoe & boot maker, has cemented itself in the luxury market as one of the finest footwear companies in the the world. The company has been family owned for five generations, established in 1879 in Northampton, England by James Crockett and Charles Jones. Initially, the company started with only 20 employees working out of a small factory, where a quarter of the staff was comprised of family members. By 1891, the company had become quite successful, allowing them an opportunity for expansion into a larger factory on Magee Street, where production continues to this current day. The second generation was led by Harry Crockett, Fred Crockett, and Frank Jones. The company was awarded the “Diploma of Honour” at the International Manufacturing Exhibition in 1911. This success had presented them with the opportunity of manufacturing boots for the Antarctic Expedition, Shackleton Endurance Expedition, and for troops during the first World War. By 1927, Gilbert Jones stepped into the family business as the third-generation owner, and during his employment, an increased demand for women’s footwear arose due to current fashion influences in the market. Production had accounted for 60% of their manufacturing towards women’s footwear. Jonathan Jones joined the family business as the fourth-generation owner, inheriting the company at its worst in 1977. The company was headed for termination due to low interest in Goodyear-welted shoes. Jones took a strong position on redeveloping the product line that paralleled itself with the changes brought on by consumer demands. They dedicated themselves to perfecting the craft of designing a superior pair of Goodyear-welted shoes. By 1990, Crockett and Jones had received the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, which prompted them to opening up their first store front that would become a retail legacy. In 1997, C&J opened their doors to their first retail store, anchored on Jermyn Street, in London. In 2006, Philippa Jones became the companies fifth-generation owner, and begins to steer the company towards retail growth. By 2016, the company had exported shoes to nearly 30 countries and continues to retain consumer loyalty within the market. In 2017, Crockett and Jones are announced as the “shoe of choice” in the James Bond film, Skyfall. The company gained significant popularity from the major motion film and was featured again in Spectre.
Why is this a good shoe for New England?
To any New Englander who can appreciate fine quality and craftsmanship, Crockett and Jones should be your next consideration for a wardrobe investment. The company uses only the finest materials when designing their products. Their product line contains shoes comprised of waterproof waxed leather, fine young calf, waxed suede, grain, and cordovan. However, the major element that separates Crockett and Jones from other brands are their extensive options of last (shape of the shoe sole). The company offers 25 different styles made to accommodate any occasion at any time. In my business, I have a widely diverse clientele, each looking for a shoe that fits their lifestyle. Crockett and Jones, has products from a sharp, elegant tuxedo shoe to a strong durable hiking boot for the country side. In my experience, the shoes wear well overtime and I’ve come to embrace the signs of wear on them. I believe this is what gives them character and to me, that is what a well-engineered product should be able to showcase. The technique behind Goodyear-welting is another sign of superior craftsmanship. A time-consuming method where the sole of the shoe is double-stitched to the upper leather, and then to the welt. This provides added strength and durability to the overall shoe. The welt also serves as a buffer for between the sole and upper leather, adopting a water-resistant feature. Next time you’re looking for a well-engineered shoe at an affordable price point, think Crockett and Jones.