Style trend: Mixed Material Brogues
It’s very difficult for the show industry to keep fresh and bring in new styles. Ungainly squared off or elf like pointy toes aside, there hasn’t been a whole lot of new thinking, aesthetically at least, for a long time. Instead, subtle variations of the classic oxford/derby/brogues have been order of the day. That is until the mixed material brogues hit the scene. As a long time shoe hoarder, I am usually looking for reasons ‘not’ to but another pair. When I found out the elegant Jones Bookmaker Joplin Brogues were on sale, I just had to get a pair!
The trend was probably inspired by the black and white leather Oxfords from the 20’s. In the 90’s and 2000’s these had a resurgence in popularity and were labelled as Spats. In my humble opinion this was an error of marketing as the original spats were white gators worn over the shoe, but at least the era was correct.
I digress! Back to the Jones the Bookmaker Joplin Brogues! I must confess I am a real fan of Jones the Bookmaker. There seems to be a store in all the places I go shopping regularly and because they often have really good sales running, you can get a really good pair of shoes for very little money. I have already reviewed a few pairs of their shoes already (click here for my shoe posts) and my Jones the Bookmaker Valet box is just the best way to care for shoes of all kinds! As a brand, they are really good quality made with top grade materials, great styling and affordable.
The styling is actually quite subtle for a mixed material shoe sporting complimenting, rather than contrasting fabric. This leads to an interesting design which blends contemporary and classic perfectly. Another benefit is the fabric is on the top of the shoe, exactly where I find my shoes start to crease the leather. Since there is no leather there, it can’t happen. This will leave your shoes looking better for longer. It’s also a place where I find shoes are uncomfortable when breaking them in as the leather has to bend and stretch to accommodate the foot. Not a problem the Joplin has to worry about.
Comfort is very good, although it feels like the leather is stiffer and not quite as supple as other shoes I’ve had from Jones. This may actually be just a perception from the different construction method as these are very different in build from other shoes I have bought being of a ‘longwing’ design. Being an Oxford instead of a derby they are a bit tighter at the top of the foot, but once on they feel excellent with plenty of give in them to be comfortable all day.
My only real criticism is that Jones seem to offer less shoes with leather soles and this is one of them. It’s a shame because a leather goodyear welted sole is one of the things I usually look for in a shoe. In fact this is the first synthetic soled shoe I have bought in a long time, and only because of the brand, I have never gone wrong with Jones, and the price, it really is great value for money.
There is a good side to the synthetic sole over a leather one, it’s thicker, but not so such that anyone would notice by looking at them. Overall I’d say they gave me a 10mm lift over my regular shoes. OK that’s not massive, but I’m only 5’9 or 175cm so every cm counts for me.
These are shoes that tread (excuse the pun) the smart/causal line very well. Perfect for wearing with smart jeans, you can pear them with a shirt and blazer with no issues, but also just a simple sweater so even though they are very styled, they are just as flexible as you’d hope for a pair of smart/casual shoes. Another nice touch is the inclusion of both brown and purple laces. The purple matches the lining of the shoe, but compliments them brown perfectly and give the shoe a more casual feel, adding to the flexibility further. You can change the look to suit your mood or the occasion you are wearing them.
Overall at only £69.99 down from £99.99, any criticism get blown away because you can’t buy a good brand of shoe for that money anywhere else! If you want to buy some Jones the Bookmaker shoes, visit their website here: www.jonesbootmaker.com or follow them on twitter here @JonesBootmaker
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