The Birth Of A Sanders Icon

Sanders Hi-Top

When in 1941 Nathan Clark was deployed to Burma it was because of two major reasons: to serve his country and look for new shoe designs for his footwear company.

He soon noticed that the military men in Burma were wearing crepe-soled rough suede boots as part of their uniform. These hard-wearing, durable but comfortable boots were designed to withstand harsh desert conditions, as well to offer protection. 

Clarke released his boot in the 1950's to acclaim and soon all the major English Shoe makers started manufacturing their own variations. Most of these styles were more or less the same as Clarke's, until Sanders & Sanders released their version in the early 60's.

This was something a bit different, it had all the hallmarks of a Desert boot, A soft suede upper and a crepe sole, but it had a couple of differences, A thicker crepe sole and a matching crepe foxing, that, to this day, gives the Sanders Hi-Top its distinctive look.

Burzan Blog Sanders Hi-Top

The Sanders Hi-Top rise to prominence was due ,in part, to the King of Cool Steve McQueen, one of a few men who could look as good in a bespoke three-piece suit as he could in boots, jeans, and a t-shirt. 

Much of his Style came from his personal charisma as much as it did his wardrobe, but for the man who wants to emulate his style, it is worth noting that he had a few favourite pieces that he kept returning to, A heavy knit, collared cardigan, chino trousers, and a pair of suede chukka boots.

Bullitt" Steve McQueen and wife Neile behind the scenes. 1968 / Warner

McQueen loved his boots so much that not only did he wear them in his private life but also in his movies including famously Bullitt in 1968. He favoured the thick crepe sole and foxing which made the Sanders Hi-Top stand out from the mountain of other desert boots.

Steve McQueen in Bullitt (1968) Sanders Hi-Top Polo Snuff Bullitt 1968

From arguably America's greatest style icon to Britain's, James Bond, in particular Current Bond actor Daniel Craig. As with McQueen, Craig wears his suede chukka boots in his personal life as well as on the big screen.

In Quantum of Solace and most recently in Spectre, he can be seen sporting the iconic thick crepe sole and foxing of the Sanders Hi-Top.

Behind the scene on Spectre

With these screen legends both choosing to wear the Sanders Hi-Top boot, it illustrates their timeless appeal and with that there really can be no greater endorsement.

Spectre 2015 Sanders Hi-Top Chocolate Behind the scene on Spectre


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