• Customer Service
  • Legal
Get your 3% VAT saving in Germany with code TAKE3. Find out more
SUBCULTURE

An Ode
to the
Plimsoll

Words by Tayler Willson
JUNE 2020

Plimsolls, daps, gutties or pumps. Whatever you call them, there aren’t many shoes that can evoke as vast a variety of memories amongst a number of different subcultures. From the sweaty depths of a mid-noughties indie night, to the halls of a school gymnasium, the plimsoll has seen it all.

The plimsoll – daps, gutties or pumps – are underrated in the world of footwear, undercelebrated for the way they can effortlessly adapt to their surroundings. Cool in high temperatures yet tough and durable in the cold, a plimsoll’s distinctive canvas upper and vulcanised rubber-sole makes them the ultimate all-rounder. It’s a testament to any shoe that after nearly two hundred years - and in the current climate of ‘sneakers’ and garish fashion - it still holds its own.

Originally made for beachwear in the 1830s - and aptly then-named ‘sand shoe’ - the plimsoll’s base design has remained almost untouched since birth. While there have been subtle variations on the classic style, the beauty and attraction of the shoe has always been in its simplicity.

As trainer designs continue to evolve, the plimsoll has steadfastly remained a neat, minimalist option, devoid of extraneous adornment and free of exhaustively high falutin sports technology. It’s this less-is-more approach that’s seen the plimsoll adorned by so many, across a vast number of subcultures for decades. Its ability to adapt to its surroundings means it’s effortless and easy; whether you’re an indie kid from the 2000s with plimsolls and drainpipes, a Brit Pop fan of the 90s matching your shoes with a fishtail parka, that kid who forgets his PE kit so did gym in his pants and lost property plimsolls, or on the feet of every tennis fan across the country, every plimsoll has a story to tell.

If the Fred Perry shirt was a shoe, it would be the Kingston. It’s our plimsoll; a classic canvas shoe made using the same DNA as the Fred Perry Shirt with twin tipping on the outsole and a tongue in signature colourways. It bridges life on and off the court, made for spectators not sports players and designed with relaxed off-duty styling.

The plimsoll’s simplicity, minimalism and effortless nature will ensure it continues to be adorned and admired by subcultures globally for many years to come. We celebrate it anew.