Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 23 June 2018

Percy Stride: review of Nightfall Blue oxfords

In which G.M. Norton implores you to not step on his blue leather shoes.

Following on from my factory visit to see where Percy Stride have their shoes made, I was very kindly sent a pair of their Nightfall Blue oxfords.

During my tour, I had seen and handled these very oxford shoes while they were still being made at the Northampton shoe factory, so it was even more thrilling than usual when the shoe box arrived.
As a child, my mother and father would take me to Clarks to have my feet measured and choose some school shoes. I still remember how excited I was at opening the box when I returned home and admiring my new footwear.

As somebody in recent years who has bought quite a number of pairs of shoes from beneficiary boutiques, it really is a treat to receive a brand spanking new pair. They have that unmistakable 'new shoe' smell.

There's just something about a new pair of shoes. I've stopped buying second hand shoes now, unless they are in 'as new' condition. The footbeds have been moulded to feet that aren't mine, which is never going to work.

Percy Stride's Timeless collection is really quite exquisite. I was tempted by their Nightfall Chestnut Brown pair, as I do tend to favour a brown shoe. But blue shoes are quite a rare beast so I couldn't resist them.

So far this week, I've worn then with both my grey and red Spencers trousers, so they are versatile enough for my liking.
The shade of blue is rather lovely. It's a dark blue and catches the light nicely. Subtle enough for people who shy away from standing out, but with enough to satisfy your inner-dandy.

The shoes arrived with a bonus pair of laces in a different colour, which is a lovely touch. The shoes feature five eyelets and Percy Stride's unique Roman numeral embossing to the back quarter of the shoe, completely befitting a shoe from the Timeless collection.

The last shape is very easy on the eye too, Danielle from Percy Stride made a good decision there. Danielle did tell me when I met her that she decided to go for quite a wide last. As I'm a half size with quite wide trotters, I ended up sizing down on these and the fit is really good.

As one would expect from a pair of Northampton English-made shoes, the oxfords have a Goodyear welt, which means that you can take them to your local cobbler to get re-heeled or re-soled when the time comes.

I do love a leather sole. Of course, it means you need to be careful if you get caught in the rain. If you get them wet, make sure you stuff them with scrunched up newspaper to soak up the moisture and leave them to dry for a day or two. The Percy Stride shoes come with a quarter rubber tip fitted to make them more hard-wearing.

Examining the shoes, the quality is first class. A pristine pair is a sight to behold, you almost don't want to walk outside in them. But of course, I did, because that's what shoes are made for.

Retailing for £250, you are getting what you pay for. And that's a properly made pair of shoes, hand-crafted by skilled shoemakers in an iconic English shoe factory. Mixed with the heat-pressed embossing design detail and the choice of blue leather on offer and the Percy Stride oxfords really are quite something.

EDIT - if you fancy a blue pair yourself, I have a code giving you £75 off. Just quote 'NortonofMorton' at the checkout.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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