Fit is a rather ambiguous topic, which forms the basis of every single buying decision when considering to buy high quality shoes. A topic that we discuss with customers day in, day out.
It is our responsibility to work hard to make you, the customer, happy. To advise where we see fit, but to also support you and work with you during your buying decisions.
As a manufacturer and retailer, it is our job to be experts in both fields. The art of producing excellent fitting lasts, and an array of them at that, and the art of skilfully turning that knowledge into digestible and useful information for our customers.
The last is the heart of a shoe; a fundamental requirement of shoemaking, the development of which cannot be compromised. A last must carry all of the aesthetics and fitting qualities that we need to produce our shoes & boots from the outset.
Over time, we have been able to learn from more than a century of last making experience as we have adapted and developed each new last, crafted in Northampton at Springline. Due to continued growth in key markets throughout the world, we are known globally for our diverse selection of lasts, unique to Crockett & Jones. Chronologically numbered, the lower the number, the earlier the date of origin (excluding our 140th Anniversary Last).
A last has a multitude of measurements, none more important than the Instep, Waist, Joint, Heel height, Stick Length and Tread Width… There are other characteristics which need to be taken into account also such as Heel Bowl, Toe spring, Seat, Inside and Outside Waist shape… And trust me, we are not just showing off here, last making is a serious business that involves long discussion, including prototyping, pull-overs, test fitting, reworks and more prototyping. Usually it will take roughly a year to fully develop a new last, and see shoes appear in the collection.
Length & Width
In slightly more manageable terms, when fitting customers we are most focused on Length and Width.
When measuring your foot at home, envisage that you are using a fitting board in a retail store, with your heel butted up against a vertical surface (a wall will do the trick at home, which emulates the inside heel of the shoes). The length measurement is then marked at your longest toe (not always your big toe!). The Width measurement is taken between the two widest point on the inside and outside of your foot, which is usually across the joint (roughly 5cm back from tip of your toes). See our fitting guide for further information…
When providing us with this information, it is important to also share previous experiences with footwear. Share as much information as you can, such as your usual size that might help us in determining your correct size in Crockett & Jones’ shoes. Do you own any other English / US brands, and what size have you found to work? We can use this information to help size for Crockett & Jones. The more time we take now, will help in the long-term.
The standard Crockett & Jones fitting is E, which is equivalent to many other English brands F fitting. Crockett & Jones does also carry a collection of wider F & G fitting styles. These can be found by using the filters on our website.
General Fitting Advice
Ordinarily, we don’t like using the word ‘general’. However, there are a few basic rules to live and die by, that we have taken from years of experience when fitting customers from all over the world. The below points are not factual, but they are a great start for those looking for some general advice.
- US to UK sizing. Go down a full size from a US size to a UK size. So if you are a US9, we’d recommend a UK8. The only exception to this rule is our shorter loafer lasts. For the following lasts, we recommend going down half a size: 325,314,376,375.
- Unlined. Go down a half size to take the lack of lining in account.
- Our Hand Grade lasts, can often be taken down half a size. Particularly 363 and 373, in comparison to our Main Collection lasts.
- Collection by Last. If you know your size in a particular last, you will be the same size in all shoes made on that last.
- Driving Shoes. If you are a half size, always go down to the nearest whole size. (If you usual fitting is a 9.5, choose a 9).
- Heel Fitting. Slippage at the heel is sometimes caused because the shoes (often loafers) are not yet broken in. In some cases, the shoes need to ‘learn’ how your foot flexes. What you want to avoid, is a big gap at the heel.
- Socks! Especially for the winter season. Remember that a thick winter sock for walking, will take up room in the shoe / boot. If you are looking for a pair of boots for walking using a thick walking sock, consider going up half a size.
Fitting Advice from Retail for certain characteristics:
- Low Arch? We’d recommend trying Oxfords & Loafers. These sit tighter against the last around the instep measurement.
- High Arch? We’d recommend trying Derbys, Monk Straps or Derby Boots. All will give you a little more space across the Instep.
- Narrow Heel? We have the last for you! Due to the popularity of Crockett & Jones in Asia, where feet tend to have wider treads and narrow heels. Look for the following lasts: 363 (Hand Grade). 375, 376, 378 & 379 (Main Collection).
To fit shoes for high arches you are looking for space on the top of the shoe rather than extra width. A Derby lace-up tends to be favourite among the high-arched as the lacing opens up far down the shoe. This gives a lot of room to accommodate for a high arch. As Derbys vary in style from the elegant Highbury to the chunky Pembroke there tends to be something for everyone.
Having said that, we recently had a customer with a high instep who mentioned that he loved the idea of loafers but could never wear them due to his instep. As loafers with a band lower down on the shoe can also work with a high instep we fitted him with a Harvard which worked perfectly.
Loafers where the band sits higher on the shoe such as the Merton work well for those with a low instep. The high position of the band secures a large part of the foot, comfortably holding it in place. Both Oxfords and Derbys can also work well for feet with a low instep, though some lasts will work better for certain feet.
Fitting of any kind is down to a customer’s own interpretation and experience. Plain and simple, for every customer who enjoys a close fitting, there is a customer who prefers a little movement. Feet vary, considerably. However, there are some similarities that Crockett & Jones have taken from the many markets we trade in, and we hope the above gives even a little advice to those looking to wear our shoes for the first time, or existing customer looking for something new. These are general rules but nothing can beat experience when fitting shoes. With 13 retail stores around the world and many wonderful stockists, there are many opportunities to experience Crockett & Jones shoes.