Ncuti Gatwa is the Doctor Who Wears Great Kicks

The newest lead of the long-running show rocks fittingly modern-yet-retro British kicks.
Published: 15 February 2024
BBC Studios

On BBC's Doctor Who, there is a long, long (I'm talking, like, since the 1960s kind of long) tradition of each new generation of the Doctor having his or her own distinctive look. For David Tennant's Doctor, it was a slim-fitting pinstripe suit, a tie, and Converse high-tops. For Matt Smith's Doctor, it was a funky red bow tie, suspenders, and, often, a tweed blazer. And for the newest Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa), it boils down to something simultaneously fresh and vintage: Grenson's Sneaker 51.

BBC Studios

Gatwa debuted as the Fifteenth Doctor in last year's Christmas special. As is par for the course for Doctor Who, he kicked some alien ass, saved a few lives with his new companion, and introduced the world to his iteration of the iconic character. And he did all of it in a British heritage brand that combines history with modernity. At the end of the day, isn't that the heart and soul of Doctor Who?

Really, there couldn't be a more fitting shoe of choice for the Doctor than Sneaker 51. Grenson, as a footwear company, can trace its English roots all the way back to 1866. The brand made a name for itself by crafting high-quality, traditional footwear for over 150 years. Just the blink of an eye, if you're the Doctor. He's evolving with the times to produce modernised footwear and accessories. Now, the brand has a factory in Rushden, Northamptonshire. It's not quite Gallifrey. But it's clearly a place where the Doctor can source some "G"-logo kicks that are good enough for escaping a goblin spaceship.

BBC Studios

The Sneaker 51 (which the Doctor pairs with a very retro outfit) takes its inspiration from sneakers of the '70s. It has calf leather and suede panels that imbue the style with a fresh feel. The shoes, like Doctor Who, are British heritage pieces brought back to life for the 21st century, paying homage to their roots. Gatwa's new season of Doctor Who doesn't air until later, but if the showrunners are already building Fifteen's identity down to the very detail of his shoes, this is going to be another era of the show that's absolutely unmissable.

Originally published on Esquire US

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