The Ankle Boot

20
Sean Connery’s boots in Thunderball

In Thunderball, Bond wears a short black boot with his suits. This style that finds itself between the height of a shoe and a more typical boot is often called a demi-boot. The Thunderball boot has no laces, but it has elastic under the instep to help get it on and off while helping it fit snugly around the foot. The literary Bond ‘abhorred laces’, so this shoe is quite appropriate for the character, albeit with an update for the 1960s. Because of the plain toe it is more formal than the casual loafers or moccasins that the literary Bond wore and more acceptable for a suit. Since it is also a boot and has a very plain design, it can also dress down easily too, making it a very versatile style.

The Thunderball demi-boot is made from three pieces of leather: the vamp and the two quarters. The two quarters are held together over the instep and under the vamp with a strip of elastic. Edward Green made a similar boot they called the ‘Aintree’, but in the 1960s it was a more popular style that many shoemakers produced. In You Only Live Twice, Bond wears a shorter shoe version of this style

The Edward Green ‘Aintree’

Sean Connery wears a different demi-boot in Goldfinger. The boot (pictured below) is more like a short Chelsea boot with a elastic gusset on the sides and can be seen with the dark brown striped suit in the Fort Knox scene as well as with the black knitwear and flannel trousers on Goldfinger’s laser table.

20 COMMENTS

  1. I would say that the "Aintree" by Edward Green is closer to Bond's shoe than the Alfred Sargent shoe.

    Perhaps it is on Green's website?

    Keep-up the good work.

    Mark E. Seitelman

  2. Wow, that shoe looks spot on! Thanks for letting me know about that. I'm sure the style was far more common in the 1960s.

  3. In You Only Live Twice, Bond leaves his shoes at the entrance of Henderson's (and presumably recovers them from Aki later) and leaves in the shoes he takes from the assassin who kills Henderson. The latter pair seem to be quite natty black and white elasticated spectator shoes, not something I had previously associated with 1960's Japanese henchmen. Is there a sartorial explanation that makes this shoe actually make sense in this context?

    • You do have a point there, but there’s a catch – that guy was supposed to be an elite assassin, not just a regular henchman. As he was sent to assassinate Bond’s contact (no small fish himself) it’s easy to presume he has eliminated some high rollers before that – so he could have taken those shoes from his target, as [war] booty. After all, Bond came in possession of those shoes it that exact way. There’s also a possibility those shoes were given to assassin by a zaibatsu officer, as a kind of reward for loyal service (prized status symbol in henchmen hierarchy) – ”for 5 years of service and excellent track record as our assassin we present you with these beautiful shoes” [or raise your monthly pay so you can buy them yourself]. I’m just guessing, as possibilities are limitless.

  4. When did Bond actually wear a chelsea boot? His ankle boots were usually much shorter than chelsea boots and not make in the same style.

  5. Why so little discussion on Bond's apparel in You Only Live Twice?

    Granted, for a lot of the 2nd half of the movie, on account of his "marriage" on the Japanese island, he's dressed as a native.

    I'd be interested in view on his suits in this movie. From what I recall they didn't seem as neat looking and fit as well as in the previous movies. Can this be to do with the fact that Terence Young was no longer influential as director on the character's style? Do you think the suits featured in YOLT were by Anthony Sinclair?

    • Yes there are, in the preopening scene. He wears a pair of black ankle boots along with a pick-and-pick light grey suit, grey tie white pin-collar shirt with cufflinks

  6. Man, I wish I could find these boots! Like Bond, I hate shoelaces, but I like the way derby shoes look. This seems like the perfect go between, but I cant find any like them anywhere! Any hints would be greatly appreciated

    • Have you ever bought shoes from this site? I’m curious because I would consider buying them, I’m simply cautious of sites like these. This one looks pretty good but I thought I’d ask.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.