Saint Crispin’s: Relasting, boots and US activities

Friday, December 23rd 2016
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The ability - or more perhaps significantly, the willingness - of Saint Crispin's to re-last a pair of shoes is a key part of their attraction. 

Having a personalised last is great, and arguably better value than bespoke, but as with bespoke it can take a pair or two to perfect it.

If previous shoes can subsequently be re-lasted on that perfected last, it can avoid any wastage - or shoes that are sadly less loved than others. 

Saint Crispin's shoes waist shape

When I reviewed my Saint Crispin's shoes (shown above) back in May, the fit was generally good but had a specific issue with the length.

They were simply too short, despite fitting perfectly around the back half of the shoe. 

I sent them back with notes on exactly what needed correcting, and three weeks later received them back with the length now perfect. 

The sole and welt had been taken off, they had been re-lasted, and then re-made.

The medallion was a tiny bit further back, but not so much that it looked wrong. A sore point around the meeting of the wing-tip and counter had also been softened.


The wonderful thing about such a process going well, of course, is that it gives you confidence to return to the same maker again. I commissioned a pair of brown-suede chukka boots, on the same last (pictured above). 

Now one of things that artisan-based brands often struggle with is consistency.

Getting the same product in the same fit to the right customer can sometimes be a challenge; little money is spent on management systems or time-and-motion studies. 

So it was heartening to receive the chukka boots and find that the fit was now perfect, exactly the same as the re-lasted wing-tips. There was initially some rubbing around the ankle bone, but that has since softened. 


A suede chukka boot is an amazingly useful thing in the colder months, particularly when you wear a range of formal and less formal clothing. 

In the images above I wore them on a trip to Vienna, and they went happily with jeans while I was travelling, chinos one day, and (as pictured) cream wool on another.

I deliberately had this pair made with a rubber sole to experience the shaping through the waist that Saint Crispin's applies to rubber. 

They cut into and round the edge of the rubber here, retaining that elegant negative-space under the shoe that bevelled waists benefit from. It makes a fairly functional shoe just a touch more elegant. 


I also note here the expanded offering Saint Crispin's now has in the US. (Though it will make me no less annoyed that there isn't that service in the UK!)

Earlier this year ex-Armoury man Zachary Jobé took over running the Americas side of Saint Crispin's, and how has a showroom in New York as well as doing quarterly trunk shows around the US.

Appointments can be made in the showroom by emailing Zach at [email protected], where shoes can be tried for fit and orders placed. There is no stock - retailers remain the best option for that. Address is 130 W57th Street, Suite 11A.

The trunk shows are currently taking place in Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Denver and Seattle. The next ones are between end of January and mid-February. Details here:

Lastly there is more ready-to-wear and a made-to-order process available on


Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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Adam Jones

Trying to decide between a suede Chukka and a Chelsea boot at the moment. I would probably wear neither with a suit, so just denim / casual trousers. Would you suggest any reason for one over the other?


It is always slightly hard to understand the degree of fit to which you are referring. For example, when you say it was a tad too long, how big a difference is that? Equivalent to half a size, or a miniscule fraction of that? Is it always much better than off the peg fit?


Simon, lovely boots. I have a pair of C&J Ealing and they’re by far my favourite boots. I think brown suede chukkas are extremely versatile. I wear mine with jeans and chinos. Much smarter than wearing trainers.



Technical tailoring question for you: can a collar gap be caused if the shoulders of the suit jacket are cut too square for my frame? I thought it was the opposite – that a body with square shoulders fit into a jacket cut for sloped shoulders would cause a collar gap. I had a MTM suit made with a minor collar gap and the tailor’s solution is to raise the collar from the centre-back to increase the slope of the shoulders a bit.



Thanks for the clarification Simon. In general the suit does sit “back” on my body, with a slight pressure on my shoulders and the aforementioned collar gap, and when I tug it forward the issues disappear. Is this the front-back balance you mention? And what is the fix here?


Thanks Simon, I appreciate the help as always.


Lovely shoes, Simon. With suede do you do anything special to keep them looking good? Presumably you avoid wearing them on rainy days?


Hi, thanks for your article Simon.
Would you ever use any product to clean and / or protect suede ? Or is a brush the only thing one should ever use ?


I would like to know how you would compare these shoes with the equivalent ‘off the shelf’ from either John Lobb or Edward Green both in terms of quality and style.
I pose the question because, unless you have particularly difficult feet, I’m struggling to understand the benefits either stylistically or qualitively.
Suits, jackets, trousers, shirts and formal overcoats I get company completely.
I also enderstand the great enjoyment in commissioning personalised accessories but shoes ?
If I payed this sort of wonga and they made them too small – to say I would be incandescent is the understatement of the decade!
Happy Xmas to all.


I would add that a pair of MTM St. Crispin’s costs about the same as the equivalent pair of RTW Edward Green, and certainly less expensive than a pair of John Lobb. So why wouldn’t you want a pair that is made to fit your feet?


You will find that, on the whole, Lobb (Paris) RTW are less expensive than Edward Green. Their customer service is immeasurably better too.


I bought a pair of Edward Green’s Camden Chelsea boots a couple of weeks ago and they fit me perfectly.
Conversely I had Berliti Paris make me a pair of bespoke shoes a few years ago (way before the LVMH takeover).
They cost me an arm and a leg and they were an absolute agony to wear.
I just think if you can get what you want from the likes of Green or Lobb, why take the risk?
Aesthetically, unlike tailored garments, I don’t see the added value and it’s clear from this blog , there is a risk.
If you have really difficult feet, I get it. Otherwise ……..
Happy Xmas to all that haunt this hallowed cyber hall.


Hi Simon,
Do you know if they have any plans to start coming to London? Looks like this is an operation which is growing nicely so it is rather odd that they have not come to London yet (probably full of customers who will find heir happiness with their offering)!


Are the grey socks from Drakes? More of an Oatmeal?


Dear Simon,

Forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask but I have an urgent query which I hope you will be able to address; I will be heading to Lisbon in January for a week and would like to know if you have any sartorial recommendations of interest?

Thank you,



Hi Simon,

Do you have thoughts / experience on the Church Ryder model?



I’ve narrowed down my search for the prefect Chukka between the St. Crispins and the G&G Ayran. Did you find the rubber sole to make the shoe a bit more clunky? Regardless, it is likely much more practical. I am still up in the air about which rubber sole to get, or wether or not to go with a double leather sole. What do you think?


Thanks for the great post! May I ask what suede you went with for this pair? I’m curious about the differences between the types of suede that Saint Crispin’s offers.


Dear Simon,
Thank you for this great article.
Is your last model 507 or 524? It seems to be a Riva last, model 524.
Thank you.


Thank you very much for your reply.
All the best and once again congratulations on your work.


I heard a lot of goods thing about SCs before and loved them when I tried them on at the Armoury,. However, the fit was ok, but not good enough for me to buy some. Then your article about your first pair of SC’s with the personalized last in addition to the possibility of a relasting convinced me to get in touch with Philip Car to have a pair made.

I am planning to go for a Split Toe (most likely Mod. 633.). I am planning to wear the shoes rather casually most of the time with chinos or jeans but still want to be possible to dress them up a bit. Which kind of leather would you recommend for versatility? A mid or a dark brown (guess I shouldn’t go for tan or light brown)? A smooth or a grained leather (I really like SC’s russian calf for example or your double monks in russian reindeer, but wondering if that is too casual)?


Why does St Crispins use wood tacks in the waist section of the sole? It appears to be the only shoemaker among those you use to do so.


Just wondering your thoughts on desert boots? How and where they fit into a wardrobe? Brands etc?



If I may, what kind of rubber sole is it on these boots?


Simon, did you have to see them in person again to have the last for your initial pair (oxfords) modified to make a boot? Or are they able to translate a regular custom shoe last into a boot without a second measuring session?


Simon, did you find the Saint Crispin’s chukkas were also stiff at first, compared to other brands? I’m considering their chukka vs. the Edward Green Banbury — if you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them. (And I agree that the slim waist even on a rubber sole is a great touch.)


Do you find these boots versatile enough to be worn in the UK for winter, spring and autumn? I have scrolled through your look book here and on Instagram and I can only find them pictured as per article with cream wool . Do you have other examples of them being styled? Three years on, is there anything you would change about them?


Hi Simon, did you wear a pair of pure line Bresciani socks in the first photo? I realised you wore these in winter outfit, is it okay to wear linen socks in winter ?


Hi Simon. I’m planning to commission a pair of Saint Crispin’s chukka boots in dark brown suede as a go-to for both in & out of the office.

I was interested in your thoughts on a leather vs rubber sole. The latter is potentially the more versatile, particularly as rain is probably less of a factor with well-looked after suede. But there’s nothing quite like a nice leather sole!

How do you find your choice of rubber? Any regrets? Thanks.


Do you think a three eyelet derby in suede (eg Foster’s Holkam derby) would be as versatile as smart Chukka boots like your St. Crispin’s if placed on a slim rubber sole?

I’ve tried on multiple Chukka’s, from the standard C&J Chiltern up to St. Crispin’s – and the only ones I like are Alden’s, but they are much more casual. There is something about a sleek last and the vastness of a Chukka that just doesn’t seem to combine well for me so I’m searching for an alternative.


Hi Simon, I was wondering how comfortable you find your SC boots to be for days of long walking? I have seen a few comments online with people saying that the sleek/narrow nature of the last means they are not the most comfortable for long walks, but it could be they had not broken them in.

Related to that, say you were exploring a city as a tourist and planned to walk a good 6 miles, or simply have a long day walking around London, what footwear would you choose?



Hi Simon,
I remember reading a piece about your opinion on black suede shoe (chukka?). May you share the link?
In addition, how the does the the Saint Crispin’s rubber sole hold?


Hi Simon, I was wondering if you wear the chukka boots with a bespoke tailoring jacket?

Many thanks,


Hi Simon,

How do you find the thinner rubber soles compare to something thicker like a danite or commando soles for someone who walks a lot.


Hi Simon,
I’ve been in conversations with SC about acquiring a pair of the dark brown suede Chukkas. I suppose my question would be absent the desire for a personal last, can you tell a several hundred pound difference between them and your Shanklins from Edward Green?
Also, I quite like the Mocha Suede Shanklin from EG, but I do wonder if the lightness of the edge of the sole is too much of a contrast to the dark brown suede just above it. Here’s quick link for reference.
Thanks as always!


Also, are your SC chukkas unlined?


Hi Simon –

Is this SC chukka variant:

1) with the GEYO sole, and;

2) is it two eyelet or three?