There is a fairy tale in dress shoe community. Once upon a time, there was an American brand called Cole Haan. It is the current running brand Cole Haan however it is not in fact. It entrusted factory in the UK to make its shoes and focused on sales domestically. It sounds nothing special with made in China and sold in the US superficially. But there is one difference to note, the factory in the UK was Edward Green.
Cole Haan later was acquired by Nike, so we can think there was a collaboration Nike x Edward Green such as recent Corthay x Lining.
Cole Haan today looks like this.
How was it like yesterday?
Since I read that Cole Haan was made by Edward Green in a time, I am so keen to have one pair. Sadly luck does not hit me. This pair was “barely” made by Crockett & Jones.
Let us have a look.
You can tell this is an English last by the first sight. I put it alongside with Edward Green 202 last and Crockett & Jones 236 last. Even though it is not absolutely at the same level, I can attest it is super amazing!
This is the best shape of dress shoes in my mind, elegance.
The same as Chelsea from Edward Green. Cap toe oxford without any brogue, swan neck at the quarter.
Two aspects are noticeable to be different. One, the size of cap toe is bigger which makes vamp very short. Two, there is a small round piece of leather at the end of laces. I heard this piece is for decoration however I cannot appreciate its beauty if it has any.
Colour copies Edward Green again, Dark Oak. Look at the creases, top notch without any dispute.
Left foot is slightly worse but still wins 99% shoes sold in our age.
There are fudge on the welt, and stitch density is quite good, better than Crockett & Jones Bench grade.
Golden stitches in the slot are the signature of Crockett & Jones, the stamp on the waist is “Benchmade in England”.
Logo on the half sock lining.
There is a very strange phenomenon that the leather sole is lighter than the welt, why welt ages more than sole?
Information on inner lining, size 7E, last 60 or 160.
7E is US size, and it corresponds to UK size 6EE. Because standard width in US is D, E is extra wide.
This pair fits my feet. Some would exclaim that your regular size is UK 5E, why 6EE fits?
It is because I have the last before and I knew it fits me!
Left one is Poulsen Skone & Co made by Crockett & Jones, and its last number is 160. Observe very carefully and you will find they should be the same last only the right one is slightly wider.
Although they share one last, the final aesthetics is far away.
As I mentioned in section Pattern, the proportion of this pair of Cole Haan is problematic, the sizes of cap toe, vamp and quarter are not in harmony. Comparably Poulsen Skone & Co makes everything right.
Heel cup of Poulsen Skone & Co is apparently higher which gives better grip of foot heel.
Lastly, welt finishing, I don’t think any description is needed.
Crockett & Jones should be sued for discrimination!
We can tell the instep is not high enough for normal Asian feet and all other parts are great.
This oak colour is loved by many but not easy to pair with outfit, only the earthy brown and dark oatmeal colour can have a chance, any city outfit consist of black, navy and grey would fail.
If I haven’t put Poulsen Skone & Co aside, this pair of Cole Haan is an amazing one and I love to wear it for another decades!