Updated June 21st, 2019: When Bond laced up his Crockett and Jones Highbury derbies that morning, he probably thought he’d only need them for casually observing the interrogation of Raoul Silva. But when the threat level escalated in Skyfall, they seemed to serve him well for running all around London and a scenic drive to Scotland. You can still purchase the Highburys from Crockett and Jones for £430.00.
And now that it appears that the Highbury will be making a return in Bond 25, this seems like a good time to once again go hunting for affordable alternatives!
Features wanted for the Skyfall Crockett and Jones Highbury shoes
- 3 eyelet derby style shoe in black leather
- Slightly chiseled toe box shape
- Dainite style rubber sole
- Quarters to vamp stitching is straight
Style-wise, there are three characteristics that really set the Highburys apart from your standard derby dress shoe. First, there’s the distinctive Crockett and Jones elongated, chiseled toe shape. Second, the quarters are sewn onto the vamps at a straighter angle, rather than sweeping back in a curve as we see on most other derbies. Third, the shoes only use three eyelets; four to six eyelets seems to be the norm.
So I’m going be very strict with our alternatives and only include options that come as close as possible to these details.
And once you pick out the pair you want, remember to read through our Complete Shoe Care Guide to learn how to keep them looking sharp!
Best Option for the Skyfall Crockett and Jones Highbury shoes
And I break my rule with the “Best Option”. But I figure it’s worth giving up one set of eyelets considering what else you get with this shoe. The full grain calf leather uppers and leather lining are nice. But the fact that they’re under two hundred bucks AND Goodyear welted is a great deal. Even better if you live in the UK. In terms of looks, the toe on these isn’t quite as chiseled as the one on the Highburys. But the way the quarters are sewn to the vamp is very close. The Charles Tyrwhitts also have a leather sole. Which you can easily cover with a Toppy if that’s your preference. I should also note that these are described as a wider, higher volume shoe. Something guys with bigger feet should appreciate. U.S. sizes 7 to 14 are in stock on their website.
Deer Stag Abundant in Black: on sale for $49.97
An option for those of us on a tighter budget. They come with a leather upper and textile lining; the sole is some man-made material. I’ll warn you that the Abundants are not the best reviewed shoes out there. But most of the complaints have to do with the fit, not so much the quality. They’re obviously very high volume. Again, a bonus for gentlemen with larger feet. If you’re feet are smaller-narrower, you might want to consider sizing down or using a 3rd party footbed. As for the lighter colored outsole and heel stack, some cheap Edge Dressing will take care of that. I’ve linked to Nordstrom Rack above, where sizes are getting thing. However, you can also find them on Amazon (various prices) and Zappos ($55.00).
To Boot New York Alba in Black: on sale for $210.00
A jump up in price. But style-wise they’re getting real close to the Highburys. To Boot has used a full grain leather upper, leather lining and rubber-leather combi-sole. And they’re made in Italy, which is a plus. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a pair of To Boot suede chukkas for going on four years now, and I’ve been very happy with them. Zappos has sizes 8 to 10.5 available.
Those of you in the UK score the better price yet again! These creatively named shoes come with a leather upper, leather liner and leather outsole. I can’t speak to the quality of the leather used. However, it looks suspiciously like corrected grain. That’s not the end of the world (and it is easier to take care of). But, in my experience, it doesn’t last as long as full grain unless you’re prepared to baby your shoes. As for looks, aside from the double row of stitching where the quarters are sewn to the vamps, they really capture that Highbury feel. Marks & Spencer has almost all sizes in stock.
Produced by the seventy year old Portuguese manufacturer, the 7201s capture the looks of the Highbury and offer excellent value for the money. The shoes are made in Portugal and feature a full grain leather upper and leather liner and sole with a Goodyear welted construction. But a word of warning. Since each shoe is hand colored, they do require some special care to maintain them. Herring Shoes is stocking the “Black Shadow” as a standard color and has UK sizes 5 to 12 available. To learn more about Carlos Santos shoes, check out their website here. Or you can read reviews on this StyleForum thread.
The Investment Option
Not much of an “affordable alternative” if you live in the U.S. But for those in the UK, the Matlock is about £100 less expensive than the Highbury. It’s also a darn nice shoe in it’s own right. Barker is another heritage British manufacturer that’s been in operation in Northamptonshire for over 135 years. And the quality of their shoes compares very favorably to that of Crockett & Jones at a slightly lower price point. I’ve linked to Herring Shoes above. They have the Matlock available in UK sizes 6 to 12. And you can learn more about Barker on their website here.
Found some great alternatives for the Skyfall Crockett and Jones Highbury shoes? Share the link in the comments! And to learn how to keep your shoes, new and old, looking great, check out our Complete Shoe Care Guide. If you’d like to see more Bond, remember to head over to our Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram pages!