British made footwear is still the best quality in the world. There are still plenty of British footwear makers. Here are well over 60 UK footwear brands still manufacturing in the UK (in no particular order):
There is an excellent article on UK made shoes on the Make it British website. The first 10 British shoe manufacturers covered below are those in that article.
- *Horace Batten - Riding boots.
- *Grenson – Not all Grenson shoes are made in the UK so do check before buying. I have three pairs of made in England Grenson shoes and they are comfortable and well made.
- *Loake – My Loake shoes are made in England and they are very well made. However most Loake shoes and boots are not made in the UK anymore and some are just finished in the UK, so do check before buying.
- Barkers – It is suggested in the comments that Barker shoes are made abroad and finished in the UK or mainly made abroad, although their website implies they are fully made in the UK.
- *Joseph Cheaney & Sons
- *Celtic Sheepskin - Celtic and Co – Have their own factory in Cornwall but not all their products are made in the UK, so do check before buying – The little flags on their site possibly denote country of origin but I am not sure that is the case – Manufacturers of the original UK UGG boots (now called Celt Boots).
- *New Balance – Look for the Made in UK label – not all NB trainers are made in the UK.
- Daisy Roots – baby shoes.
- Carre Ducker
- Star Child Shoes - they make adult slippers as well as baby shoes and children’s shoes. They also own Triggerfish (see lower down this article).
Do you know of any other footwear being manufactured in the British isles?
These are the other shoe brands that manufacture in the British Isles that I know of (again in no particular order):
11. *Fairy Steps – http://www.fairysteps.co.uk/
12. Dr Martens (R. Griggs) – http://store.drmartens.co.uk/t-AOIM.aspx – Dr Martens again now make some of their products in England. I would love to know what percentage of DMs are made in the UK. As far as I can see only their “Made in England” range are actually made in England and the vast majority of their boots and shoes are made abroad. I was disappointed that when I checked one pair of my DM boots I discovered them to have been made in Thailand and a pair of my DM shoes was made in China. My other DMs are older and made in England. Some interesting information on DMs here – http://www.rocknrollproducts.com/doc-martens-c-348.html – they also have for sale some new old stock DMs on this website.
13. Edward Green – http://www.edwardgreen.com
14. Alfred Sargent – http://alfredsargent.co.uk/
Lissom and Muster sell some Alfred Sargent boots.
15. *William Lennon and Co Ltd – http://www.williamlennon.co.uk/ – heavy duty safety and non safety men’s footwear for both industry and fashion. Very competitive prices and free postage and packing. William Lennon have been manufacturing their ‘ruff-lander’ and ‘A L White’ branded footwear in their current Peak District premises since 1904. They are the only remaining heavy duty safety, foundry and agricultural boot manufacturer in the UK. They are also stockists and distributors of other footwear brands and styles, some of which like Solvair boots and shoes are made in the UK but others, like CAT, are not.
16. *Crockett and Jones – http://www.crockettandjones.com/ – as worn by Bond in the latest film “Skyfall”!
17. Tricker’s – http://www.trickers.com/index.htm
18. Church’s – http://www.church-footwear.com – Now owned by Dutch company Prada and a private investment fund. Church’s have a factory in Northampton, where they do factory tours and have a factory shop. On their website they say “100% of Church’s men’s welted shoes are manufactured in Northampton.” Pointedly though they do not mention their other shoes and this leads me to think that actually many of their shoes are now made abroad.
19. *Hotter Shoes – http://www.hottershoes.com – have a factory in Lancashire but some of their products are made abroad. The company state a desire to increase production in the UK, so let’s hope they do that. Their shoes are reasonably priced, but regrettably on their website they do not say which shoes are made in England. You can ask or visit one of their shops and the shoes themselves state the country of origin. I was in their Windsor shop yesterday (29.12.12) and every pair of shoes I picked up was made in England. They have a very impressive range of ladies and mens shoes, boots and slippers. They all look super comfortable and the prices are very reasonable. This is a shoe brand that is well worth checking out and I will be back in their shop or online again and again to buy shoes I am sure. The pair I have at the moment are very lightweight and super comfortable. Pleasingly Hotter are now (26.3.13) saying “all our shoes are designed and produced here in the UK”, however I understand some use Italian leather and some, despite this statement, are actually made in Italy.
20. *NPS-Solovair – http://www.nps-solovair.co.uk/ – NPS Shoes is an independent business manufacturing hand-made Goodyear-welted footwear in the county of Northamptonshire, England. Established in 1881. Wholesale only. 100% of their shoes and boots are made in England, from start to finish. NPS make for the likes of John Lewis, Jack Wills, and ASOS.com. They also have their own brand Solovair boots and shoes (air cushioned soles; rather like DMs), available online at http://aircushionboot.com/ and at a few shops (the British Boot Company in London, Jump the Gun in Brighton, Pediwear Menswear in Halifax and William Lennon in Derbyshire – who I have already mentions and also make their own boots). Prices are quite reasonable. They also do their own ranges “NPS Heritage” and “Country” collections. Apart from Solovair, other NPS boots are also available at the *British Boot Company.
21. John Lobb Ltd – http://www.johnlobbltd.co.uk – is family owned, and continues to operate independently from its premises at 9 St James’s Street, London.
22. The rest of John Lobb was acquired by the Hermes Group in 1976 and is completely separate from the St.James Street company! They make ready to wear boots and shoes in a factory in Northampton and bespoke shoes in Paris. http://www.johnlobb.com
23. *http://www.veganline.com is a vegan shoe brand seller. Many (but not all) of their products are made in the UK, for example Tredairs Bouncing Boot range (made by White and Co. / NPS), court shoes made in Northampton and a range of UK-made office shoes and a range of slippers. *Tredair shoes are also available at the British Boot Company.
24. *Norman Walsh Footwear – sports shoes, trainers and sports casual shoes – confusingly they seem to maintain two unlinked websites – http://www.walshcasual.com and http://www.walshsports.com. Possibly the last British owned sports footwear brand still manufacturing in the UK. They have a stand at the fabulous London Sunday UpMarket and I bought a pair of casual trainers there the other day. They are very comfortable.
25. Gaziano & Girling Ltd – http://www.gazianogirling.com
26. Sanders and Sanders Limited / Regent Equestrian are rumoured on the internet to make their shoes in the UK in Rushden in Northamptonshire and you can see the words “made in England” on the pictures of some of their shoes online, but I cannot find anything on their website to confirm all their footwear is made in England - http://www.sanders-uk.com/ - Please check before buying.
Lissom and Muster sell some Sanders Regent boots and state they are made in England.
27. *Jeffery-West – http://www.jeffery-west.co.uk
28. *Ducker and Son, Oxford – http://www.duckerandson.co.uk – bespoke and off-the-shelf shoes and other accessories like ties, bags, belts and socks all made in Britain. Some of the stuff in their shop is made abroad I think. You’ll need to visit the shop really if you are interested.
29. Websters sell UK made shoes – http://www.webstershoes.co.uk – their shoes are made by Remploy. Remploy is one of the UK’s leading providers of employment services and employment to people with disabilities and complex barriers to work. Their shoes are targeted at people who themselves have a disability.
30. Padders (T. Groocock & Co. (Rothwell) Limited) – http://www.padders.co.uk – have a factory in Kettering in the UK and appear to make some of their shoes in Britain but mostly they are apparently made in China. As is the case with many companies they fail to mention the made in China bit on their website and emphasise their British heritage! They specialise in wide fitting shoes.
31. DACEY and ACE is a company based in Cardiff, south Wales who make bespoke and semi-bespoke shoes; mainly their clients are medical referrals. http://www.dacey.co.uk/
32. *Alt-Berg make bespoke and off-the-shelf boots in Richmond, North Yorkshire and in Italy. I don’t know how you can differentiate which boots are UK made except perhaps by asking. They do walking, police, military and motorcycle boots. Prices, whilst not cheap, are reasonable. http://www.altberg.co.uk. Nomad Travel sell the Alt-Berg Jungle Boot which they state is made in Britain (best check though).
33. *Conker Shoes – http://conkershoes.com – hand-made in Devon, England. Prices, whilst not cheap, are reasonable. They make cowboy boots, deck shoes, desert boots, ballet pumps, children’s shoes, sandals and more. They also sell made in England socks.
34. *Bison Bushcraft – http://www.bisonbushcraft.co.uk – sell made in England boots that are made to their own design.
35. George Cleverley – http://www.gjcleverley.co.uk/ – Shoes hand-made in London.
36. Foster and Sons – http://foster.co.uk/ – Shoes hand-made in London.
37. Gina – http://www.gina.com – Luxury ladies shoes, made in London.
38. *Van Dal ladies shoes “Made in England” collection are made in Norwich, England – http://www.vandalshoes.com/landing/made-in-england2. The rest of their collection is made abroad. Click “made in England” from their homepage to see the full range.
39. Geo Sol Shoes (wholesale only) – http://www.geosolshoes.co.uk/ – make ladies boots and shoes in London.
40. Draper of Glastonbury – http://www.draper-of-glastonbury.com – manufacture sheepskin slippers, sheepskin boots, sheepskin accessories, leather footwear, socks and knitwear for men and women in Glastonbury, England. Although they do have a factory in Glastonbury lots of the products they sell are manufactured abroad, so you will have to check with them before buying that the product you want is actually made in the UK.
41. *Ringside Boots – http://www.ringsideboots.com – make wrestling boots, boxing boots, footwear for the film and television industry, circus and clown footwear and theatre and stage footwear in England.
42. *George Cox Footwear (wholesale only) – http://www.georgecox.co.uk – best known for their traditional crepe sole creepers – Men’s and women’s footwear, made in England at their factory in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire – https://www.facebook.com/GeorgeCoxFootwear/info – Available from the British Boot Company
43. Handmade ladies shoes from Marsha Hall – http://www.marshahall.com
44. Ladies and girls wedding shoes from Bannsshe Designs – http://www.bannsshedesigns.co.uk – Wedding and special occasion shoes and boots made in England.
45. *Brodequin hand made shoes for men and women – http://www.handcraftedshoes.co.uk - made in Devon, England.
46. Caroline Groves – Bespoke Women’s Shoemaker – http://www.carolinegroves.co.uk
47. Flora Harrison - Flat shoes for women, made in the UK – http://www.floraharrison.com
48. *French & English Confectioner’s – http://www.frenchandenglishconfectioners.com – leather bags and shoes handmade in London.
49. *Guat Shoes - http://www.guatshoes.co.uk – men’s and women’s shoes, boots, and sandals made in Sheffield, England – leather or non-leather.
50. Hetty Rose Shoes - http://www.hettyrose.co.uk – shoes handmade for women from vintage materials, primarily Japanese kimono fabrics.
51. *Wellywarmas are soft cosy liners for warm feet in Wellington boots; made in the UK from micro and polar fleece – http://www.wellywarmas.com – prices are very reasonable.
52. *Rushton Ablett Ltd of Northampton (Juju Footwear) are possibly the only British manufacturer of wellington boots left; they sell wellington boots (wellies) and jelly shoes under their JuJu brand #JuJuJellies #JuJuWellies
Very reasonable process. I found them available on the internet at a company called Mr Shoes – http://www.mr-shoes.co.uk/Products/juju-vintage-festival-wellies-black#.URPx07SKwlJ
The company had moved their production to China but it was reported in Drapers in June 2012 that “Footwear manufacturer JuJu is moving production of its sandals back to the UK from China, according to reports” – http://drapersonline.com/footwear-maker-juju-brings-production-home/5037892.article
I have had a tweet directly from JuJu Shoes confirming that now they only manufacture in the UK – “Hi there, they are all 100% produced in our Northampton factory!”
I have also been told that JuJu make kiddies wellies for Mothercare.
I am struggling to find any other British made wellies! Surely more than just one company still makes wellington boots in the UK? What would the Duke of Wellington say? Do you know of any other British made wellington boots please?
Please note that Hunter Boots (Hunter wellies, Hunter wellingtons) are NOT made in the UK. They used to be made in Scotland, but not anymore :-(
There are a couple of websites listing Border Wellingtons as being British made (http://www.yorkvetsupplies.co.uk/product/border-wellington-boot/ and http://www.watermanscountrysupplies.co.uk/catalogue.php?c=Wellingtons&s=N) but a recent conversation on twitter tells me this is not the case, so if you are thinking of buying these boots, then please check first that they are really made in Britain.
I have been told that William Lamb are now having some of their children’s wellies made in the UK, but you will have to check which with the company before buying as country of origin information is not given for individual products on their website. William Lamb moved all their production abroad in the early 1980s and pleasingly this is clearly stated on their website, but it seems they may have returned some manufacturing to the UK. Let’s hope they continue this move.
53. *Johnson Shoes - http://www.johnsonshoes.com – Mens and ladies dance shoes, shoe styles from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, loafers, brothel creepers, winkle pickers, bowling shoes, boots, Chucka boots, desert boots, biker boots, hippie shoes, clown shoes and more. Prices are very reasonable too. Usually made to order.
54. Silvia Campbell Bespoke Shoes for Women - http://www.silviacampbell.com – bridal shoes.
55. Justin Deakin design and sell a range of premium made in England shoes, available from their shop in London. They also sell made in England socks.
56. Herring Shoes have a range of English made own brand shoes made for them by Barkers, Cheaney, and Loake, as well as selling shoes by English manufacturers as well as some imported shoes. They also sell made in England slippers, including made in England velvet slippers.
57. Peter Bullock (Pete’s Shoemaker and Repair) - http://www.englishshoemakers.co.uk - apparently have a factory in Sheffield and appear to sell some British made shoes. You’ll need to ask to be sure if the shoes you want are made in the UK. They also claim on their website that their factory is in Nottingham. All in all not very clear cut but possibly they make shoes.
58. Welkin have a factory in Northamptonshire and it is possible that some or even all of their bowls footwear (and other bowls products) may be made in the UK, but you will need to check as it does not say on their website - http://www.welkin.co.uk
59. DB Shoes specialise in wide fitting shoes, slippers, boots and safety boots. The majority, but not all, of their shoes are made at their Rushden factory in England.
61. Izzy Lane sell a range of made in the UK ladies shoes.
62. Rays Veldts Boot and Shoe Makers, Suffolk, England. All their footwear is made in their own Suffolk workshop, using Veldtschoen construction. Desert Boots, Derby Shoes, etc. Small scale shoe production. Retail or trade - http://suffolkshoes.com
63. Anthony Andrews - Handmade bespoke shoemaker in London – Ladies and mens bespoke shoes, orthopaedic shoes, theatrical shoes, orthotic insoles for adults and children, adapted, built-up and raised shoes, exotic skin shoes, and quirky shoes – The focus of this small company is on specialist footwear and orthotics - http://www.specialfootwear.co.uk
64. White and Co. – makers of the Gripfast, Tredair and White1890 brands – Wholesale - http://www.whiteandco1890.com - Possibly now made for them by NPS (according to Wikipedia) – Gripfast and Tredair are available at the British Boot Company. Tredair are also available from http://www.veganline.com.
65. Yull – Ladies high heeled shoes – Whilst their main collection is not made in Britain, they have a small made in England range, thanks to funding from the Prince’s Trust to set up UK manufacturing of women’s shoes - http://www.yull.co.uk.
66. Pro Footwear manufacture own brand ladies fashion footwear and also make private labelled goods for other companies. Made in the UK, in Lancashire. Everything is done on-site at their UK factory and components are sourced from within the UK. Originally founded in 1985, ceased trading in 1994 and started up again in 2010. Ladies shoes. Wholesale enquires can be made via their website. I’m not sure where you can buy their own brand shoes.
68. Wildsmith mens shoes are handmade in England by the skilled craftsmen of Northamptonshire, and are available in a range of traditional classic styles that include loafers, brogues, derbys and oxfords.
69. Mudlark & Co are a new sandal making company based in the East End of London, whose sandals are British made. They are one of my followers on twitter.
70. The British Flat Shoe Co. sell luxury British made ballerina style ladies flat shoes made by UK shoe craftsman.
71. Sloppas Welly Slippers are made in Britain. “For busy people who need to pop indoors without removing their muddy boots or shoes”. I saw them on the Dream GB website and other stockists are listed on the Sloppas website.
72. Some Charles Tyrwhitt formal shoes are made in England. Regrettably all the other products (shirts, etc.) they sell are foreign made; this despite them using the name Charles Tyrwhitt Jermyn Street London, having a store in Jermyn Street, talking on their website about their British charm and about how Jermyn Street is famous for its craftsmen making shirts.
73. Freed of London is the leading producer of pointe shoes in the world and a supplier the Royal Ballet School. All their pointe shoes are made in London, but given the lack of country of origin information on their other shoes it can be assumed they are foreign made - http://www.freedoflondon.com
There is some suggestion that some of these brand’s products are actually made abroad so, as always, please check that the product you are buying is actually made in the UK before committing to buy.
This turned out to be a rather comprehensive piece on shoes, boots, specialist footwear, slippers, trainers and children’s shoes made in the UK. Please note I have not tried all these shoes personally!
For very reasonably priced British made *sheepskin slippers check your nearest *indoor market – I have bought top quality UK made slippers in Cardiff and Swindon indoor markets recently. You might also find British made insoles and British made *wool insoles in your local indoor market too, as well as them being easily found on e-bay. You’ll often find UK made slippers and moccasins on e-bay too.
Sheepland Ltd sell a range of made in England sheepskin slippers at http://sheepskin.co.uk. They also sell a limited range of other UK made products, such as a UK made leather flying jacket, hand-made teddy bears, sheep stools and a least one British sheepskin, but a lot of their products are not made in the UK so please check before purchase. If it does not say it is made in the UK then it is not made in the UK. Make it British have an interesting article on Sheepland Ltd.
This article also discusses the bankruptcy of Axminster Carpets (which I understand has now been saved from closure by a management buyout) and the subsequent sale of the Devonia Tannery to Eastern Counties Leather (see BBC article). I am not sure what Eastern Counties Leather intend to do with the Devonia Tannery. They have their own tannery in Cambridgeshire, where I get the impression they still manufacture coats, gloves and footwear but in recent years have specialised in sheepskin rugs and chamois leathers. It is not clear from their website which of items they sell are manufactured in the UK, so please ask before buying. According to this BBC article Axminster Carpets (2013) intend that “carpets would continue to be designed, developed and produced in east Devon”. The Axminster Carpets website confirms this and their intention to “work closely with other British manufacturers”.
*Rosebank Slippers (wholesale) are apparently the last remaining British manufacturer of traditional vulcanised sloe slippers. Telephone and email enquires – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01706228759. Rosebank slippers are available from http://www.veganline.com
Derek Rose mens slippers are made for them in England; I’m not sure by whom.
Sheep Sheep (Glencroft by Richard Sexton & Co) sell a few UK made moccasin slippers and UK made wool insoles, as well as good value British made sheepskin rugs, British made belts, British made jumpers, British made hats, British made chamois leathers, etc. Some of their products are foreign made - http://www.sheepsheep.co.uk
The Exmoor Slipper Company in Minehead – manufacturers and retailers of genuine suede moccasins (slippers) and wool insoles since 1982, based on Exmoor. Note they also sell foreign made branded footwear. Available on e-bay. Telephone 07815 741 894 or 01643 702063.
Danecrafts - made in Glastonbury, Somerset, England – this company state that they endeavour to only use British products within their manufacturing process – Mens, ladies and children’s slippers, moccasins, booties, and hats – Most products seem to be made in the Glastonbury factory, but if it does not say that on their website then do check product origin as it may well be from abroad - http://www.danecrafts.co.uk
Neither Clarks nor Start-rite shoes are made in the UK anymore.
According to the Make it British article, Clarks, the British shoe company, are thinking of bringing their manufacturing back to the UK, having made their last pair of shoes in the UK in 2005 – that would be great if they did, so let’s hope they do so.
*My personal favourites.
For laces, shoe polish, shoe brushes and insoles, please see my article “British Made Shoe Laces, Boot Laces, Insoles, Shoe Brushes and Shoe Polish“.
For shoe tidies (shoe racks) see British Drainers.
Doubtless there are other British shoe and boot rack makers out there, or most builders / carpenters can no doubt integrate them in work too, or you can make your own (sourcing British components of course).
70 + British made shoes, boots, safety boots, specialist footwear, children’s shoes, baby shoes, trainers and slippers – UK made shoes, boots, safety boots, trainers and slippers – Shoes and boots made in the UK – British boots and shoes.