Now August is officially over, it is back to work time. The tan may remain and the instagram feed will certainly be proof that good times were had but the reality right now is that the second half of 2014 has just got underway and it’s all to play for. Historically, I have always found that the best way to keep that spring in my step, is to put my feet in some new steppers, so fortunately, I have a whole new AW14 collection of handsome black shoes, specifically designed for those of us who mean business in the shoe department.
I can honestly say that our new AW14 collection contains the best shoes Mr. Hare has ever made. We have upgraded the leathers, we have re modeled the lasts and we have improved all the constructions and finishing. On top of that we have defined a blacker more contemporary house style which truly sets Mr. Hare shoes apart from all other shoes.
In the realms of business footwear, there is no smarter, chicer, handsomer formal shoe than a five hole, toe cap, black Oxford. The closed lacing placket sculpts the shoe close to the contours of your foot, giving the Oxford its unmistakably elegant shape. Now there are many black Oxfords available but as with everything we do at Mr. Hare we have contemporised ours with sweeping lines that accentuate the foots interesting proportions. You will notice the undulating dips and hips, the folded seams and the perfectly proportioned toe box. If you are going to the trouble of wearing particularly sharp modern tailoring then you should go to the trouble of teaming it with sharp modern shoes. These are those.
A stylistic alternative to the five hole Oxford is the clean look of a Monk Strap. Where the double Monk Strap can look utilitarian and bulky, the single Monk Strap is the E-Type of the swish, buckling formal shoe world. It is a very close fit which will not work for everyone, especially if you have particularly high arches (I am working on a more roomier quattroporte monk strap for you guys as we speak), but if it works, you are rolling in possibly the handsomest shoe we have ever made.
A black Derby is the most universal formal shoe there is. Oxfords tend to favour slender footed wearers. A high arch or a wide foot will distort the distinctive elegant shape of a close fitting Oxford in much the same way that a broad chest and thick set shoulders will diminish the appeal of a slim fitting one button single breasted jacket. The Derby on the other hand, with its side attached, wide opening lace placket will accommodate a greater variety of foot volumes and retain an elegant profile. This is the most important distinction to be aware of when looking for the right formal shoe. The Mr. Hare Blakey is a very clean shoe with only the Mr. Hare ‘Donnie Dark One’ toe brogue pattern for embellishment. When choosing shoes to indicate you are a serious person, it is important to remember that Smart is Flashy, but Flashy is not Smart.
Our fourth and final style in the executive AW14 collection is the Dizzy Wingtip. Now the Wingtip is an example of structural shoe engineering which is yet to be excelled. How do you construct a perfectly sculpted toe which will retain its shape yet remain light and comfortable throughout the duration of its life? The winged tip is not merely a decorative detail, it is the frame that retains the toe’s shape. That’s why a good wingtip is as solid as bridge built by Brunel. The Mr. Hare Dizzy is a thoroughly modernist affair with striking clean lines devoid of stuffy nostalgia. Again, you will find many wingtips on the market, but few will be taken as seriously as a sharp modern Mr. Hare one.
Some of us are not 9 to 5 desk Jockeys shaping the world from carpeted environs with Ad Lee accounts. Some of us have to get up and get amongst it on the reg reg. If the greater proportion of your working life is spent on your feet then you won’t find a more comfortable and robust pair of smart shoes than a Mr. Hare Bernard Derby (Well maybe a Mr. Hare Bacon or Deacon or Baldwin or Toussaint, but more on those later). While I make many shoes for many occasions, the Bernard is probably the formal shoe I get the most use out of. I live in London, where the streets are thoroughly walkable, but mean and it rains a lot of the time. The Bernard is a no nonsense utilitarian Derby shoe with a thick leather commando sole and made from sumptuous calf leather that holds a shine like chrome does. A lot of shoes of this calibre are purposely made chunky so as to make them universally appealing. Now Mr. Hare is company that prides itself on the elegant refined sculpting of its products so even our most utilitarian execution of a shoe is more elegant than bothersome. Go try one on and see what I mean.
The Mr. Hare Douglas Long Wing Derby. If you have been concentrating throughout this blogpost you will by now be aware of the structural and aesthetical advantages of wing styling. You will be aware of the universal fit benefits of a Derby shoe and you will know that all Mr. Hare shoes veer on the elegant handsome side even when they are made to stomp. What we haven’t properly touched upon is just how much of an influence London has on the output of Mr. Hare. I was born and bred here. The post 1970 history of London is my history. Young Boy, Rude Boy, B-Boy, Club Boy, No longer a boy, Man, Shoemaker and now Mr Hare. If I had to roll all that I have learnt, through all that time, into one shoe, this is it.
I hope this little tour of our new styles has been helpful. I also hope that it has re-ignited a little of that holiday feel good, the stark reality of going back to work may have diminished. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us directly at