Hand Grade or Main Line? A tough, but nice decision to have, both collections are made up of a combination of seasonal styles and core classics. They are all manufactured at Crockett & Jones’ factory in Northampton and go through the same tried and tested Goodyear welted manufacturing process undertaken by the same skilled hands. Slight differences between the ranges set one apart from the other making The Hand Grade Collection from Crockett & Jones one of the finest, highest quality ready-to-wear shoes from England today. Below we have outlined each collection and their differences:
Hand Grade Collection: An asymmetric last, shaped to the natural contours of the foot, gives exceptional fitting qualities. Uppers cut from the finest calf skins with a supple tannage, provide glove like comfort. Fine aniline dyes in the leathers and extensive hand polishing of the finished shoes, creates a rich depth of colour which will be enhanced with age if regularly polished and cared for. Soles that have been slowly tanned with natural barks, in the most traditional way, have superior comfort and flexibility. The hand of our skilled craftsmen can be appreciated in the fine stitch detailing of the uppers and the expert way the soles are trimmed and stitched before the final wax polishing: a process which lasts up to 10 weeks.
Main Collection: The Men's Main Collection from Crockett & Jones encompasses a wide range of elegant calf styles for city wear, as well as country shoes and boots, house slippers and driving shoes. This assortment of footwear with leather or rubber soles is made from the finest leathers, including aniline calf, suede, country grains and specialised waxed leathers. Hand-crafted by the traditional Goodyear welted construction, Crockett & Jones shoes have an exceptional combination of comfort, elegance and longevity in wear. Each pair takes up to 8 weeks to manufacture in a process involving over two hundred separate operations.
What goes into our Hand Grade Collection?
All Crockett & Jones lasts are developed by our Managing Director. He works alongside a last maker working on toes shapes, back parts and the overall fit of the last. The development of a new last is a process that can last months, sometimes years. The toe shape of a style is the signature of a shoe and can be the defining element between success and failure.
Highest Quality - Our Hand Grade leather is the finest on the market, sourced from the best tanneries in the world. We call our Hand Grade leather “Antique Calf” as it requires many layers of antique to achieve the finished result. Our Main Line calf is a slightly older calf and requires about half of the finishing of the Hand Grade leather. We still antique and burnish this leather, but it takes less time to achieve the final finish.
Greater Skill - You will notice in the images above that the sole stitch is hidden on a Hand Grade sole. By cutting a flap of leather into the sole and folding it back, a channel is opened up allowing the sole stitchers to get close into the hinge of the flap. This flap is then cemented and beaten down, completely hiding the stitch. This operation is done purely for aesthetic purposes.
Fine Details - The removal of the inside corner on a Hand Grade heel is not just for aesthetics, it reduces the snagging of the inside of your suit trousers as you go about your daily routine.
Inside Perfection - We also use superior quality lining leather, which is available in various colours, for our linings and full in-socks. You will notice a smooth comfortable feel to the shoes during wear.
Bespoke Look - Our Hand Grade soles are tanned with natural bark giving them further durability; they are rolled to the contours of the last and then given a full sole finish with wax sealed edges.
Historical Link - Finally, all Hand Grade styles are stamped with our recognisable Hand Grade logo that dates back to Crockett & Jones shoes in the 1930’s.
The Articles. Delve into the authentic world of Crockett & Jones.