Shortly before Jack Reacher, the hero of The Hardway, kicks down a door, the author Mr Lee Childs describes the detective's footwear. They "were bench-made by a company called Cheaney... The style Reacher had chosen was called Tenterden... made of heavy pebbled leather. Size twelve. The soles were heavy composite items brought in from a company called Dainite. Reacher hated leather soles. They wore out too fast and stayed wet too long after rain. Dainites were better."
A version of the Tenterden appears in this exclusive country-inspired collection of shoes that MR PORTER's own shoe guru Mr Sam Lobban has designed in collaboration with Cheaney, one of the oldest and finest shoemakers in England. "We wanted footwear that would work equally well in the city during the weekend as in the country at the weekend," explains Mr Lobban.
Located in Northamptonshire, arguably the global centre of Goodyear-welted shoemaking, Cheaney is now owned by Messrs Jonathan and William Church who, as their recogniseable surname betrays, are fifth-generation shoemakers. (The cousins bought Cheaney in 2009 from Prada, who had taken over their family company Church & Co in the 1990s.)
"Each shoe factory has its own distinct handwriting," says Mr Jonathan Church. "And you get some experts - often the true aficionados from Japan - who can tell just by looking at the construction where the shoe was made."