(00)7 Essential James Bond Shoes

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Across 25 films, James Bond has worn countless footwear styles. While it is difficult to choose only seven of the types of shoes that Bond wears, here is a short list of a well-rounded basic wardrobe of Bondian footwear staples. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you may want to exchange a pair of formal shoes for something more casual.

001. Black oxfords

The John Lobb “Becketts” plain-toe oxford, which Daniel Craig wears in Casino Royale. This shoe is a modern take on the oxford.

The black calf oxford is the standard traditional shoe to wear with a dark suit, and it can also serve double duty as a shoe to wear with a dinner jacket if it doesn’t have broguing (perforations). James Bond has worn these shoes with his suits on a number of occasions throughout the series. Because these are dressy shoes, leather soles are a must.

Pair these with: navy, charcoal, grey and dark brown suits, dinner jackets

002. Black plain-toe derbys

The Crockett & Jones “Highbury” three-eyelet derby, which Daniel Craig wears in Skyfall and No Time to Die, with different rubber soles in each film.

The black plain-toe derby, particularly one on a trim last with two or three pairs of eyelets, works just as well with dark suits as the oxford does but is also better with a blazer than the oxford is. Bond has also shown how well this minimalist style can work with a dinner suit. This style is mostly exclusive to finer English and Continental shoemakers, who build it on a trim last and thin sole for a very dressy look. These shoes are best with either a leather or a slim rubber or Dainite sole.

Pair these with: navy, charcoal, grey and dark brown suits, blue blazer and grey trousers, dinner jackets

003. Black calf loafers

The Crockett & Jones “Merton” loafer is similar to the footwear that Ian Fleming described James Bond wearing.

Black loafers (or “casuals”, as Ian Fleming called them in his Bond novels) are a staple of the literary Bond wardrobe but also of the Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton Bond wardrobes. Though Bond wears these with dressy suits, loafers work best with more casual outfits. Due to their casual nature and current trends, brown loafers are likely more useful for the modern man than black loafers are. These look best with thin leather or rubber soles.

Pair these with: sporty suits, sports coats, wool or linen trousers

004. Brown suede chukka boots

The Church’s “Ryder 3” desert boot, which Daniel Craig wears in Quantum of Solace.

Brown suede chukka boots are the modern Bond’s go-to for sporty footwear. They’re particularly versatile and work just as well with sporty suits as they do with a polo shirt and jeans. Dainite studded soles can make these very versatile shoes, but double leather soles and crepe soles are also traditional.

Pair these with: sporty suits, odd jackets and trousers, linen trousers, chinos, jeans

005. Brown boots

The Crockett & Jones “Islay” boot, which Daniel Craig wears in Skyfall.

Bond more frequently wears black shoes than brown, but multiple pairs of brown shoes are a must in any man’s wardrobe. Tall boots are useful for sporty and casual outfits. Brown grain leather boots with lug soles like what Pierce Brosnan wears with his tan suede jacket in Die Another Day and what Daniel Craig wears with his Barbour jacket in Skyfall are useful for rough terrain.

Pair these with: cords, jeans, safari suits

006. Dark trainers

The Nike “Air Articulate II”, which Daniel Craig wears in a different colour in Casino Royale.

Every man needs a pair of trainers, primarily for athletic activities. But Bond also wears “sneakers” in the evening for sneaking around without making much noise, and for this reason they should be dark-coloured. Bond has worn trainers in black, dark grey and dark blue, along with lighter colours too.

Pair these with: athletic clothes, dark outfits for sneaking around at night

007. Blue espadrilles

The Orlebar Brown “Thunderball” espadrilles are inspired by Sean Connery’s footwear in Thunderball.

Resort footwear is a must for the Bond lifestyle, and blue canvas espadrilles in either a light blue or navy with a rope sole are perfect for wearing at the poolside, around a resort town or on a boat. The Fleming Bond purist may want to exchange the espadrilles for leather sandals.

Pair these with: chinos, swimwear, terrycloth playsuits

This post is not sponsored by any of the shoes brands pictured here.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Nice post. I was surprised by number seven, but on reflection it makes sense. I thought you might have included the short black boots that Connery wears. Was it one you considered?

    Happy New Year to you, and I hope bondsuits.com continues to go from strength to strength!

    • I tried choosing styles that multiple Bond actors have worn and that are relevant today. As much as I like the short black boots, they’re not as relevant as the styles listed here.

    • Derby shoes vary considerably in formality, and the right kind of derby shoes are appropriate for black tie. Bond has worn derby shoes with dinner jackets on multiple occasions.

    • Honestly, soon as I get a pair of black derby shoes, that’s the first thing I’ll go to when I have a black tie event. There’s something so sleek and cool about them that an oxford doesn’t quite satisfy. But I still very much like oxfords — they’re classic for a reason.

  2. What about monk straps? I recall Daniel Craig wearing Crockett & Jones Camberlys in Spectre and I believe Connery wore monks as well.

    • I would personally have a shoe collection of just seamless wholecuts and plain derbies.

      Agreeably to one of the commenters, boots would have been better than trainers.

  3. Nice analysis, Matt.
    Indeed No.7 is a welcome one, and makes me think of what Moore wears in TMWTGG, in the martial arts school. Actually I don’t recall you covering this outfit, unless I am wrong?

  4. I’ve been an adherent of espadrilles for many years. I like the Riviera brand. That said, my most recent pair wore out by the end of the summer and I’ve been thinking about leather sandals as a “Fleming-esque” replacement. But it’s hard to find a pair that I like!

  5. I have wide feet with high arches, so chukka and desert boots invariably pinch the bridge of my foot, or at least the ones I can find do since they all place the lacing low on the vamp. Any suggestions for a brand that places the laces higher up toward the throat that’s in the same price range as Clarks or something similar?

    • I have a similar issue. Try Shoepassion they have wide fitting options and shoes suited for a high instep. It is actually really difficult to get the correct fitting. With Clarkes one needs to go for wide fit. I have the additional problem that my correct size is 11 1/2 and most sizing stops at 11 in respect of half sizes. Narrow lasts are simply not an option.

    • Take a look at Loake. A Bond brand (to the extent that matters to you), but on the less expensive end as compared to Crockett and Jones. I have a pair of their chukka’s and the laces are higher up. They are similar to the C&J Chiltern last. Mine have a dainite rubber sole, which makes them very versatile for a suede boot.

      • I like Herring’s offerings in general. I got the bow tie for my tux from them. I know some of their shoe brands aren’t available for shipping to the States. Is Loake available here?

  6. When wearing loafers or the shoes without laces or buckles, should they be on the smaller side? I ask because most of my shoes are 4.25 on the width of the soles. Should I go for a slightly smaller width?

  7. Matt,

    When is it appropriate to wear black plain toe oxfords? Is it only with a dinner suit or is it appropriate to wear with a business suit during the day time?

    Best,

    PK

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