New shoes commemorating London’s Underground were officially on sale today (1 Feb 2023.) They’re made by the London based shoe company Mallet. It may not have been realised by those who covered the new product in the media however the shoes were created to celebrate the 160th anniversary of London’s Underground! Hence TfL’s involvement. So far sales are doing extremely well even though the shoes aren’t exactly cheap. They’re made from bespoke quality materials that are exemplary even for trainer style shoes.
The shoes were launched with a fair amount of publicity today and the product range is as known Mallet X TfL Collab. The images used to publicise the shoes were taken on a pair of tube carriages including the 1983 Jubilee line stock at the London Transport Museum’s site in Acton. A video was also released and its interesting how they have tried to emulate the sense of being on a moving tube train! It’s very well done in fact!
The covers of Malett’s X TfL Collab publicity sheets. The photo shoots were taken at LT Museum Acton.
Mallet have also done a hand out showing large renders of those publicity photographs. Copies can be picked up from Mallet’s shop in Carnaby Street, London – as well as being able to view/try on the shoes should one be thinking about purchasing a pair. They’re not cheap. The price ATM is £250 a pair. The stores staff informed me the shoes had sold fast on the first day. Every size of shoe the store had in stock were sold out by the end of that day except the size twelves!
The shoes have a label on the front (which is removable) and this commemorates the fact London’s underground is 160 years old. In other words London’s tube system is the original having been opened in 1863. Clearly the shoes are aimed at the enthusiast as well!
The tube roundel is pretty well reproduced on the shoes, outside, on the inner sole and the bottom sole. The latter is of interest because the entire sole is made from a transparent plastic, and the large roundels on the reverse of the inner sole show up well from the outside. The white pair does this better than the black pair because the inner sole itself is white and that renders the roundels very well. The same effect can be seen on the black pair but not so well even though the colours are reversed. The concept was also used on a different range of TfL Collab shoes in 2018 so its possible the same designer was employed for those as well.
The tube map as rendered on the X TfL Collab shoes.
The shoes have sections of London’s tube map reproduced on the sides. At first glance it may not look as if these are based on the real thing, but they are. For example the area covering the tube around Liverpool Street, Bank, London Bridge, Aldgate as well as Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster, Embankment etc is shown on the outer sides of both pairs. Even the Thames is shown. Its mostly just the main tube station interchanges that are shown however one TfL route isn’t included – and that is because its not even a tube!
Update 4 Feb 2023:
A short video was released 3rd Feb showing the work at LT Museum Acton to film the promotional videos and photos for the new shoes. It can be seen on Facebook.
The shoes can be purchased from Mallet’s in Carnaby Street or ordered online.
Shoe sizes range from 5 through to 13.
Mallet, 45 Carnaby Street, London, W1F9PP, United Kingdom.
Nearest stations Oxford Circus (Bakerloo/Victoria Lines) or
Bond Street (Hanover Square exit) Elizabeth Line.
All photographs by the author at London Rail Blog.