The boot is lasted on the 365, a generous last intended for country footwear with wide, deep, rounded toes. It was first produced in 2009, but the 365 references the golden era of English shoemaking; it harks back to the robust work boots and walking boots popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, and isn’t dissimilar to some of the mid-century boots we keep in our archives. Unlike its cousin (and fellow C&J icon) Coniston, we only make Islay in hardy Dark Brown Scotch Grain for this reason; a more traditional boot warrants a similarly traditional material.
Generally, we’d expect the Islay to be treated as a casual boot, but some deft dressers out there demonstrate the style’s scope to wear with tailoring too. @weltandbarrell dresses up his boots with a pair of earthy grey flannel trousers, with a soft texture and fine houndstooth pattern that lend more than a hint of ‘Peaky Blinders’ styling to his look. The generous turn-ups help too. Likewise, @latelier_amsterdam pulls off a similar trick, pairing his Islay boots with finely checked grey flannels. Again, their mottled surface texture works well with Islay’s honest looks.
The rest of our well-shod friends and customers have embraced Islay’s casual side; pairing their boots with hearty, well-worn denim. @jesperbrannstrom’s washed mid-blue jeans display the perfect single turned-up hem, while @craigvpower goes for the full roll. @avaldeolmos keeps things a little cleaner with plain hems, and @imaunit brings up the rear with a slightly darker denim shade, which nonetheless works a treat.
If you’re a C&J regular, you’ll be familiar with our old adage “made to be worn”. Islay, perhaps more than any other boot we make, proves the point. It’s tough, versatile and satisfyingly timeless.