George Cox marketed the original commercially made brothel creepers--a take on the crepe-soled desert boots British vets wore while conducting postwar "covert ops" in London's nightclubs and houses of ill repute. Cox's beefed up frankensole, broad toebox and creative animal-print flourishes appealed to the developing Teddy Boy culture in England, and the shoes have had a bad rep ever since. Resurrected by Malcolm McLaren in the 1970s, nerdy ted Duckie in the 80s, and ska kids in the 90s, the style lost some of its creepy appeal and ended up a pretty toothless symbol of punk rock antifashion lite.
But George Cox, the company, continued making the shoes in Northamptonshire, and these well-made originals held appeal for dedicated rockabilly fans and students of subculture. They also manufactured sharp-lasted winklepickers, another shoe with a complicated history among rock-and-roll subgenres. The last few seasons have seen yet Cox-style shoes creep back into the public eye with chonk-ass shoes from Prada and Sonia Rykiel for women, and Prada and others for men. Cox themselves are making shoes for Siki Im, Oki-Ni, and Bape, among others.
The Cox versions are remarkably reasonable for UK-made shoes, although the construction and materials are not necessarily up to the standards of Northampton makes like Crockett and Jones or Edward Green. And the styles are, obviously, a little harder to slip into the average dude's wardrobe than a pair of plain brown laceups. Cox is also branching into some more standard-issue "classic" men's shoes--saddles on red rubber soles, etc., but the most original makeups are the originals.