Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
In the past, Heddels has published a breakdown of the most common shoe sole options. One such sole type is crepe, a rubber made of coagulated latex that is recognizable due to its wrinkled textured. Although traditionally derived directly from the rubber plant, these days crepe is often synthesized artificially.
Crepe’s versatility allows it to be crafted into wedge soles, heeled soles, or any manner of novelty sole. Beyond its flexible utility, crepe is loved by consumers for the incredibly comfortable cushion it offers when used as a sole. The below list of crepe-soled footwear is far from comprehensive, but it does offer a brief glimpse into what the world of crepe-soled shoes has to offer.
1. Clarks Desert Boots (Beeswax)
Perhaps the most recognizable of all crepe-sole boots is the Clarks Desert Boot. While difficult to resole and less sturdily constructed than the remainder of this list, these Clarks are still a fan favorite among many. The leather ages beautifully, and their look effortlessly blends into many different wardrobes. They might not become your new daily wear, but at $130 you can add another pair to your rotation without breaking the bank.
Available for $130 at Zappos
2. Common Projects Combat Boot (Black)
Common Projects may be known for their sneakers but that doesn’t mean their welted footwear should be overlooked. Save for the gold stamp on the heel, these combat boots come completely blacked out including eyelets, stormwelt, and of course the crepe sole. While a dark colored crepe may not be what most people expect, it certainly adds a beautiful texture to these boots while maintaining crepe’s cushion-like walking experience. They are also available with burgundy uppers on black crepe or burgundy uppers on white crepe.
Available for $485 from End Clothing
3. Alden + Context Roy Boot (Roughout Earth Chamois)
There’s something about roughout leathers and crepe soles that just seems to work together harmoniously. I’m not sure if it’s just the dueling textures laying adjacent to one another or if it has to do with how roughout and crepe age, but seeing them come together is always something of beauty. These Aldens offer a ribbed crepe sole with a leather toe patch, which offers better traction in bad weather while promising overall better sole longevity. Complete with 5+4 eyelet closure and reverse Goodyear welt, these boots are sure to have a home in any footwear collection.
Available upon restock for $585 from Context
4. Rider Boot Co. Dundalk (Buccaneer Pull Up Burgundy)
For those who wanted something slightly dressier than the aforementioned Common Project Combat boots and slightly sleeker than the Alden+Context Roy boots, here are the Rider Boot Dundalks. Constructed using a smooth pull up calfskin, these shoes are certainly more formal than the rest of this list, while still maintaining all the positives that come with crepe soles.
Available for $575 from Rider Boot
5. Red Wing 9156 (Copper Rough & Tough) By Rancourt
What crepe-sole boot list would be complete without some true-moccasin construction? They might not be on the Goodyear Welt bandwagon, but as a part of Red Wing’s Genuine Handsewn collection these boots are well constructed. Built by Rancourt using Red Wing’s Rough & Tough leather and a heeled-crepe sole, these boots are sure to get a beautiful patina with wear. As is the case with many moccasin constructed pieces of footwear, these boots are built on a naturally wide last, so keep that in mind while ordering!
Available for $319 from Amazon
Plus One – Quoddy Ring Boot (White Chamois)
Quoddy shoes and boots have been steadily growing in popularity over the last few years, but that comes as no surprise to anyone lucky enough to have handled their products. With a two-ringed closure and lipped crepe sole, these shoes are brought together beautifully by their fine-suede white chamois leather. They might not be for everyone, and they might not leave the closet more than a few times a month, but it’s hard not to stop and stare when you see a pair.
Available for $400 from Gentry NYC