What do you get if you cross top-grade shotgun specialist James Purdey & Sons and the bespoke shoemaker (crowned Marsh Heritage Craft Made in Britain Award winners) Carréducker? A highly desirable capsule collection of bespoke shoes that blends the bucolic aesthetics of country pursuits with the supreme styling and handcrafted durability of specialist gentlemen’s footwear.
Shoes (£3,400), calf-length boots (from £3,650), knee-length boots (from £4,500), slippers (from £2,200), monogrammed slippers (from £2,800) and gaiters (from £800) form part of a collaboration that master shoemaker James Ducker refers to as “the most natural of fits”.
“We started the project by visiting Purdey and meeting the gun team to better understand the performance their customers might want from their footwear,” Ducker tells me. “Our response is a collection showcasing different leathers, constructions and styles that serve simply as the starting point for conversations with customers. From here almost anything is possible, whether that’s shearling-lined stalking boots or felt-socked walking shoes.”
A dizzying array of choices includes: leather, canvas, tweed, suede or fur for the uppers; leather, shearling, sheepskin, felt or fur linings; and personal touches including initials debossed in the leather, nail patterns in the sole and brogue or gold-wire monograms.
Each pair, requiring on average two fittings, takes six months to make, from the initial consultation and foot measurements to the choice of style and leathers, selection of heel height, toe shape and finish, last manufacture, upper-making, fittings, hand-sewing and the making of bespoke trees. The results – which have an expected lifespan of 10-15 years if cared for correctly – have a welted construction (traditional, Norwegian or storm welt), and are hand-finished, polished and waterproofed.
Purdey chairman James Horne described the collection as a worthy continuation of the house’s tradition of bespoke gun-making excellence. “The attention to detail and craftsmanship that Purdey embodies is shared by Carréducker,” he says, “and this new collection of bespoke shoes perfectly complements the lifestyle of any passionate field sportsman.”