I thought that it was time to do a blog about a long-standing shoe design, The Hammerhead.
Named after one of nature’s most beautiful, yet functional & strange lifeforms, the Hammerhead shark, the shoe has a distinctive flared, square toe, which unlike a lot of other square toed designs, also has a very low profile.
The history of square toed shoes goes back to the Renaissance & the reign of King Henry the Eighth, when fashionable shoe styles changed from being long & pointy to this much more functional shape.
The first use of this toe in a Westwood/McLaren collection was for the AW 81-82 ‘Pirate’ collection (the design was used a lot by seamen, so of course Pirates also wore them) & then the first Hammerhead design was created for the successive SS82 ‘Savages’ collection.
Originally having three stripes on each side of the shoe, the present shoe now has two (I wonder why? ) & comes in two versions, a fake snakeskin & a black leather.
Both versions have the Worlds End logo of the arm & cutlass at the back, above the heel (this design is taken from the Thomas Tew pirate flag from 1692).
Luckily, during preparing for this blog I noticed that Peppe here at the studio was wearing a pair, so I was able to ask him what it was like to wear them.
He said that they were very comfortable, although a bit strange at first, because they are like wearing a pair of very short flippers, especially since when new, the leather is stiffer. However, they soon wear in (see Peppe’s soles) & one feels surprisingly stable in them.
SO…If you feel like walking with a bit of a swagger, following in the footsteps of pirates & Henry the Eighth, then you know what to do.