Alfred Sargent™ for J.Crew double monk strap shoes
Product Details
Family-owned UK cobbler Alfred Sargent has been making shoes in the traditional English manner since 1899. Our design team worked hand in hand with the cobbler to create this exclusive style, crafted from fine Italian leather. Bench-made by master craftsmen in their Northamptonshire workshop using a process that takes eight weeks per pair and involves over 200 separate steps, these shoes are shaped on Alfred Sargent's signature 87 last and finished with a genuine Goodyear welt—meaning the sole is sewn on rather than cemented, so you can have them resoled over and over again for a lifetime of wear.
  • Leather upper and lining.
  • Leather with micro rubber midsole.
  • Goodyear welt construction.
  • Made in England.

Alfred Sargent™ for J.Crew double monk strap shoes

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The company’s home for nearly a century.
The dashing founder, Alfred Sargent. 
Some Union Jack for the office. 

Welcome to Rushden
Rushden, Northamptonshire, has long been the home of traditional English shoemaking and, not coincidentally, Alfred Sargent. Founded in 1899 by its namesake and currently overseen by his great-great-grandson Paul, Alfred Sargent still handcrafts every pair by carving the lasts, selecting the finest Italian calf leather and attaching a Goodyear welt. Altogether, the process requires more than 200 separate steps and has changed little in over 100 years.

  1. 01.The company’s home for nearly a century.

  2. 02.The dashing founder, Alfred Sargent. 

  3. 03.Some Union Jack for the office. 

A supply of wooden lasts over which the shoes are stretched. 
Handwritten blueprints for the double monk strap shoe. 

Things have, of course, evolved. Today, Alfred Sargent can produce over 100 pairs a day. Some tasks that were once completed by hand are now mechanized, though the company preserves its time-tested techniques. “I call it art assisted by machines,” explains Paul Sargent. The fundamentals, however—the attention to detail, the dedication to craft, the respect for tradition—remain. Some things, after all, are meant to last.
  1. 04.A supply of wooden lasts over which the shoes are stretched. 
  2. 05.Handwritten blueprints for the double monk strap shoe. 

  3. 06.Steeped in tradition, little has changed on the factory floor.
Steeped in tradition, little has changed on the factory floor.

To learn more about Alfred Sargent's craftsmanship, Paul Sargent led us on a tour of the Rushden
factory, where we got to witness a few of the 200 steps required to make every
shoe—including the J.Crew double monk strap. 

The J.Crew double monk strap shoe begins as a handmade drawing. This is design-6, meaning it's the sixth variation of this style that Alfred Sargent has made.

Hundreds of leather skins are considered. 

Leather controller Terry Bradbury sorts the leather that will be used for the J.Crew double monk strap in the leather room.
He's looking for inconsistencies, defects and other undesirable marks.

Once selected, the leather is cut into shape using double-edge press knives. (Notice the monk straps sticking out at the bottom.)

Using a 99E last, the leather is then side stapled with brass staples to hold the upper to the rib, where the welt will later be sewn on. 

Granulated cork is applied by hand. It will form the layer between the sole and the insole, which will mold to the foot with wear. 

The cork is mixed with a solvent to keep it flexible and is set to dry.

After the shoe is soled and the Goodyear welt is applied, it's edge-trimmed, a process that smooths the area where the welt meets the sole.

The next-to-last step in the process happens in the shoe room, where antique cream is applied to the leather. The cream protects and gives a burnished look to the leather.

In the final step, each pair of shoes is polished by hand.

The monks are placed in a custom shoe box designed for J.Crew.

A shoe is born: the J.Crew double monk strap.