Herring Shoes

Enduring Peaky style starts at your feet

6 March 2024

The BBC Peaky Blinders series spawned a fashion phenomenon that does not look like moving on too soon. Whether due to Cillian Murphy’s continued high profile around this weekend’s Oscars or the promise of an imminent film to bring the Birmingham gangland story to a close, the suited and booted look, complemented by a short back and sides with a floppy fringe beneath a flat cap, has endured.

In tandem with the Peaky style, designers have returned to the suit, smart tailoring and formal shoes for the autumn/winter 2024/25 season. See our journal article: The suit is back…so are formal shoes for more details. However, Peaky fashion is less about the formal shoes and more about the working man’s boot from the post-First World War era.

These boots are a style that we have been loyal to, even before Peaky Blinders. We like a rugged boot at Herring. The Peaky style is a Derby lace-up boot in black or brown leather. The Shelby was named after Thomas Shelby to accompany a three-piece suit and long overcoat, but you don’t have to go the whole hog! Sometimes, it is easier to take elements of a trend and weave them into your own style. Maybe a tie clip, a waistcoat and a pocket watch…or a good pair of boots?

The Badminton is one of our best-selling boots. Its rich leather ages beautifully; the more scuffs the better to achieve a peaky style. They are gentlemanly yet edgy. Equally rugged are the Sharnbrook and the Cambridge. All three have rubber soles though, which will make them much more hard wearing than their leather counterparts.

Our Cannock style is a chukka boot. Strictly speaking, this is a post-Second World War style, but we think it goes well with a suit or loosen the laces for a relaxed look with jeans.

If you are a looking for a sleeker style, our double monk Orwell boot swaps laces for buckles but does not lose any of its mean-street demeanour. If you want to maintain the lace-up vibe, then may I suggest the Flynn? This is a very elegant toe-cap Oxford shape but is definitely more Peaky-ish as a boot.

Orwell boots in black calf

Lastly, along the same lines as the Orwell and the Flynn, we have the Mawdsley. If you prefer brown hues rather than black, this leather-soled boot is made from a beautiful rosewood calf and offers a little give for wider feet as it has a Derby lacing structure. They are still super sleek and have both eyelets and hooks for the laces. Think Thomas Shelby in his Sunday best!

We wish the best of luck to Murphy ahead of this weekend’s Oscars and we look forward to seeing him in the new Peaky Blinders film very soon…just to peruse the fashion if nothing else!

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