The James Bond Espadrilles

Well, I think it’s safe to say that espadrilles are back in style in a big way! Which is a very good thing. In this post we’re looking at James Bond espadrilles. But in general, the timeless design is one of the most comfortable pair of shoes you can wear in summer. Part slipper, part sandal, it’s also incredibly versatile. In the traditional construction of cotton canvas and jupe, they’re lightweight, breathable and quick drying. Basically perfect for wearing with shorts or more casual looks. Go with a more luxurious suede upper, and you have a dressier alternative to deck shoes or sneakers for a night out. And since almost all models come with a rubber sole, they’ll give you some traction when you’re heading from a slippery pool deck to the bar.

Orlebar Brown Thunderball espadrilles
Orlebar Brown’s take on the classic espadrilles, part of their 007 collection.

There are two styles of James Bond espadrilles we’ll focus on. First, the pale blue pair he wore in Thunderball. Most of us know about those ones. The second pair are Roger Moore’s navy ones from For Your Eyes Only.


The Thunderball Pale Blue Espadrilles

Sean Connery James Bond Thunderball Espadrilles

Sean Connery wore his espadrilles twice in Thunderball. First, during the hotel room scene when he listens to his secret tape recorder, sucker punches Felix in the gut, burns a bad guy in the shower and, finally, mixes some drinks. The second time is during his exciting car ride with Fiona Volpe. With their canvas uppers and jute soles, these espadrilles are a pretty classic design. The white elastic gussets are really the only things that set them apart.


Best Option for the Thunderball Pale Blue Espadrilles
Soludos Smoking Slipper in Washed Canvas Blue: $55.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

A classic at a very reasonable price. Even though it’s missing the elastic inserts, the color and overall style is a great match. I’ve had a pair of Soludos for three years now, and they’re still going strong. I would recommend getting your normal shoe size. They’ll feel a little snug at first, but the 100% cotton upper will stretch. Soludos has sizes 7 to 13 in stock. You can also pick them up at Zappos for $54.90. For those of you in the UK, you can get them from Amazon for the low, low price of … £93.00! What the what?!?!


Under $50
Zalando Essentials Espadrilles in Blue: £17.99

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

A nice, basic option for those of us on a tighter budget. The upper material is just listed as “Textile”. So I’m guessing it’s some kind of cotton/synthetic blend. That might not be a bad thing if you’re looking for espadrilles that dry a little quicker. The shoe comes in European sizes 40 to 46.


IDIFU Espadrilles in Blue 2: $30.96

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

Coming to us from Amazon. I’m 99% sure these are made-in-Asia generic shoes that get branded by various sellers. The same model shows up a few times under different names. But IDIFU has the best price and selection of sizes for ’em. Despite the navy blue trim and gussets, the color is very close. Maybe a good intro shoe if you’re just getting into this look?


Under $100
SeaVees Baja Slip On in Blue Mirage: $68.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

The SeaVees aren’t true espadrilles. More like a slip-on sneaker. But I wanted to include something a little more practical (read: you can get them wet). If you need a pair that will allow you to go from the water to the bar, these will get the job done. And with the pale blue uppers and gussets, they still have some of that Thunderball style. Zappos has sizes 7.5 to 13 available.


Viscata Portbou Canvas Espadrilles in Denim: $89.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

Once we cross that $50 threshold, we’re starting to get into more “authentic” espadrilles. For example, these ones are handcrafted in Spain from cotton canvas and 100% jute. Viscata also has a program where they plant a tree for every pair purchased. Which is nice for the environment. The espadrilles only come in whole sizes. But the comments on the product page note that these run small.


The Investment Pairs
Manebí Suede Hampton in Jeans: €90.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

And now for a totally luxe pair that shouldn’t go near the water. Designed in Milan and handmade in Spain from suede and natural jute, the Hamptons will look amazing for a stroll around your resort. If espadrilles are a key part of your summer casual style, then these are a worthy investment. European sizes 40 to 46 are available on the Manebí website. The Italist also has a few sizes left for €63.74.


Orlebar Brown Thunderball Espadrilles: $225/£145.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

Expensive! But screen accurate. Or at least as close as I can find. Part of Orlebar Brown’s 007 Collection, they work with a traditional manufacturer in Spain to craft these espadrilles from cotton canvas and jute. They also have a cork insole, which should make them a little more comfortable for walking around. All sizes are back in stock on the Orlebar Brown website.


The For Your Eyes Only Navy Espadrilles

Roger Moore For Your Eyes Only espadrilles

Roger Moore wore navy blue espadrilles when he was tied to Melina Havelock. And then managed to kick them off (without us seeing!) before getting dragged behind a boat over razor sharp coral. Now, Matt Spaiser of The Suits of James Bond has what looks like a screen cap of these (above). But I have watched that scene a dozen times and I just can’t spot them. Which just goes to show that Matt’s eyes are magic!

Anyway, it’s difficult to discern too many details about the shoes from a single image. They’re navy blue, obviously, and appear to have elastic gussets at the tongue. Probably their most distinguishing feature is the prominent heel. Most espadrilles today have a flat sole. So finding alternatives with this particular design is challenging.


Best Option for the For Your Eyes Only Navy Espadrilles
Marks & Spencer Cotton Slip-on Espadrilles in Navy: £19.50/$34.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

We already shared another pair from Marks & Spencer in our June Best Budget Bond Finds. These ones actually have a higher customer rating. We’re not going to pretend these are “hand crafted in Spain” level quality. But for running around town in a pair of off-white chinos and blue T-shirt, they’ll work just fine. UK sizes 6 to 12 UK (U.S. sizes 6.5 to 12.5) are available on their website.


Under $50
Asos Wide Fit Espadrilles in Navy Faux Suede: £14.00/$23.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

In general, espadrilles tend to fit on the slim side. So having an option for those of us with wider feet is appreciated. While I still wouldn’t recommend getting them soaked, the faux suede should handle some water (or shrimp sauce spills) without staining. ASOS has UK sizes 5 to 11 in stock.


Burton Navy Twill Plimsoles: on sale £14.40

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

Basically a slight step up from the ASOS ones above. These are a cotton/synthetic twill canvas. So they should dry out pretty quick if you get them wet. The elasticized gussets are also a more screen-accurate touch. Burton has UK sizes 6 to 12 available.


Ben Sherman New Jenson Slip-on Sneaker in Navy: on sale for $29.97

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

A little chunkier than you’re typical espadrilles. Which I guess is why Ben Sherman calls them a “sneaker”. If you want a sportier looking shoe, these would be a good option at a great price (suggested retail is $85.00). Currently available at Nordstrom, where they have sizes 7.5 to 13 in stock.


H&M Slip On Shoes in Dark Blue: $39.99/£29.99

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

If you look closely at Sir Roger’s espadrilles, you’ll notice they actually have a heel. These ones from H&M have a heel. The uppers are a faux suede that’s been perforated across the vamp. A different look than your traditional espadrilles. But they should be even more comfortable for those guys with hot feet. Sizes 8.5 to 11.5 are available on the H&M website.


Under $100
Aldo Selania in Navy Suede: $80.00/£59.99

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

And once again, we’re moving into “style over practicality” territory. Aldo has gone with a genuine suede upper and (I think) jupe outsole for the Selania. And I have to say, their product photos make it look pretty swank. Not sure about the cotton lining though. On hot days, that’s going to retain moisture and make your feet feel kind of sweaty. Maybe best to keep these for nights out. U.S. sizes 7 to 13 are available on the Aldo website. If you’re in the UK, you’ll find European sizes 40 to 45 on Zalando.


Dune London Bertie Barage in Navy Suede: £75.00/$99.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

A lower profile, sleeker looking shoe from Bertie via Dune. To me, the looks of the Barage are more in keeping with Roger Moore’s general style. Suede uppers again. But this time they’re unlined, so breathability should be better. This model only comes in whole sizes, and U.S. sizes 7 to 13 are available on the Dune website.


Viscata Capsasal in Navy Blue Suede: $99.99

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

Another model from Viscata, this time in blue suede. Viscata also makes these ones in Spain from genuine suede and 100% natural jupe. The Viscata models don’t have a footbed insert. Instead, the jute midsole is exposed. Now, I can tell you from experience that this can be a little uncomfortable at the start. But the jupe does mold to your foot and provides much more breathability than a rubber insole would. So, to me, it’s worth the time it takes to break them in. One other nice thing is these ones are available in U.S. 13.5. So guys with bigger feet can have some of that For Your Eyes Only style.


The Investment Pair
Aurélien Navy Suede Yacht Slipper: €165.00

James Bond espadrilles alternatives

If you want a blend of style and comfort, the Aurélien Yacht slippers are hard to beat. Like the SeaVees, these aren’t a true espadrille. But they are handcrafted in Portugal, with the calf lined suede uppers attached to a made-in-Italy Margom sole. That’s the same sole that’s used by Common Projects and other high-end Italian sneaker makers. The result is casual and sporty but still beautiful footwear. And as an added bonus, you can use them for Bond’s License to Kill Hemingway House look! Aurélien has European sizes 40 to 45 on their website.


if you have some ideas for James Bond espadrilles, let us know in the comments! And remember you can catch us on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest if you’re looking to stay on top of deals from around the net or just need some inspiration!

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