British made footwear is still the best quality in the world. There are still plenty of British footwear makers. You can still buy British made shoes – why not do so and keep the industry alive. Here are well over 100 quality 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 – http://www.horacebatten.com
- 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 – http://www.grenson.com/uk/
- 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 – http://www.loake.co.uk
- 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 – http://www.barker-shoes.co.uk
- Joseph Cheaney & Sons – traditional English shoes for men and women – http://www.cheaney.co.uk
- 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) – https://www.celticandco.com
- New Balance – Look for the Made in UK label – not all NB trainers are made in the UK – US company New Balance have been making some of their sports shoes in the UK since 1982. According to their website “New Balance has proudly supported domestic manufacturing in the UK for over 22 years. Look for the Made in UK label on some of our most popular running and classic styles.” The New Balance made in the UK range varies over time. New balance took over the old K Shoes site in Cumbria after K Shoes closed – http://www.newbalance.co.uk
- Daisy Roots – baby shoes – http://www.daisy-roots.com
- Carre Ducker – men’s bespoke shoes – http://www.carreducker.com
- 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) – http://www.star-child.co.uk
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 – fairytale inspired shoes and bags are made in England – http://www.fairysteps.co.uk/
12. Dr Martens (R. Griggs/Airwair International Ltd/DMs) – http://store.drmartens.co.uk/t-AOIM.aspx – Dr Martens again now make some of their products in England. According to their website “In 2007 … the original Cobbs Lane factory in Northampton factory recommenced the manufacture of hand-made Dr. Martens Originals.” Dr. Martens make 95% of their products in Asia. Only their “Made in England” range for men and women are actually made in England and the vast majority of their boots and shoes are made abroad. Dr Martens own and operate a factory in the UK and also source finished footwear from China, Thailand, Vietnam, Lao and the Philippines and work with second tier material and component suppliers across Asia, Europe and South America. In the past they used to source finished footwear from other UK factories. for example NPS used to produce for Dr Marten. 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 and have since got rid of these. My other DMs are older and made in England. Their website does not hide the fact that most of their products are made in Asia. There’s some interesting information on DMs here – http://www.rocknrollproducts.com/doc-martens-c-348.html – they also have for sale some new old stock made in England DMs on this website – http://www.drmartens.com/uk/
14. Alfred Sargent. It says on their website “To this day, under that same roof at Portland Road, small groups of master craftsmen take time to select the best calf leathers and suedes, then cut, stitch, last and finish them as generations of Sargents have done for over a century”. They do private label work in addition to their off-the-shlef ranges. Available from stockists, for example Lissom and Muster sell some Alfred Sargent boots – http://alfredsargent.co.uk/
15. William Lennon and Co Ltd 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 Solovair boots and shoes are made in the UK but others, like CAT, are not – http://www.williamlennon.co.uk/ – https://www.rufflander.co.uk
17. Tricker’s. Men’s and women’s shoes, boots and slippers. Available from their website and their Jermyn Street store. According to their instagram tagline “We are England’s oldest shoemakers since 1829. Made in Northampton using Goodyear welted construction. Footwear for both men and women with a Royal Warrant seal” – http://www.trickers.com/index.htm
18. Church’s – 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 – http://www.church-footwear.com
19. Hotter Shoes (Beaconsfield Footwear, which trades as Hotter Shoes) have a factory in Lancashire but some of their products are made abroad. The company states 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 of shoes and the pair of boots I have at the moment are very lightweight and very 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 – http://www.hottershoes.com
20. NPS-Solovair – NPS Shoes Ltd (Northamptonshire Productive Society) is an independent business manufacturing hand-made Goodyear-welted footwear in the county of Northamptonshire, England. Established in 1881. Wholesale and retail. 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 mentioned and also make their own boots). Solovair are 100% made in England. Prices are quite reasonable. They also do their own ranges “NPS Heritage” and “Country” collections, which are available from their website. Their instagram tagline is “NPS Shoes has made footwear in Wollaston, Northamptonshire since 1881. Our shoes & boots are 100% made in England.” Apart from Solovair, other NPS boots are also available at the British Boot Company – http://www.nps-solovair.co.uk/ – http://www.aircushionboot.com – https://www.nps-shoes.com
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. 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 – http://veganline.com
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 (in December 2012). They are very comfortable. Retailers are listed on their website or their trainers are available directly from their website.
If you want UK made trainers, sports shoes, pumps, sneakers or whatever you want to call them the choices is between New Balance who do a limited Made in UK range, Gola (Gola ceased UK production in 1981, but re-introduced a very limited made in England range in 2012; which are possibly made for them by Walsh) and Walsh whose sports shoes are all made in the UK. Companies like UK Gear and Reebok (J.W Foster and Sons became ‘Reebok’ in 1958; they no longer manufacture in the UK) are keen to stress their so called ‘Britishness’, but in fact non of their trainers are made in the UK. Hi-Tec trainers used to have a factory in Northamptonshire, but that is now long gone and nowadays Hi-Tec trainers are all foreign made.
25. Gaziano & Girling Ltd were founded in 2006 and have their own factory in Kettering, just outside Northampton. Men’s and women’s shoes available from their website and they have a shop on Savile Row in London – 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, so please check before buying. It does say though “Today, Sanders & Sanders remains in the same factory on Spencer road as it has done for the past century”. Mens and ladies shoes and boots, uniform boots and shoes, and mens, ladies and children’s riding boots. Lissom and Muster sell some Sanders Regent boots and state they are made in England – http://www.sanders-uk.com/ – http://www.regent-footwear.co.uk
27. Jeffery-West make some of their shoes and boots in England, although many are foreign made. Of their Goodyear Welted collection they say on their website “We are very proud to manufacture our designs with the fantastic artisans of England, Italy, and Spain”. Their other shoes are only foreign made. No country of origin information is given on their website against individual footwear products, so you will have to ask. Their ‘Dirk’ Jean Belts and their ‘Infamous’ Belts are made in England and a few of their wallets are made in England. Their other belts and accessories are foreign made – 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. On 7th May 2017 I tried to visit the Ducker & Son website and got this message “Ducker & Son has closed down – Thank you for your custom”. This iconic long-established shoe shop offered traditional, hand-sewn men’s calfskin and leather footwear and has been at 6 Turl Street for so long, since 1898 in fact, and it’s a big loss to see it has closed.
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. Alt-Berg used leather from the Pittards/Miers Tannery in Leeds (Yorkshire), but since it was closed down around 2003/4 they have used Italian leather. Prices, whilst not cheap, are reasonable. Nomad Travel sell the Alt-Berg Jungle Boot which they state is made in Britain (best check though). They also sell Leder-Gris boot wax which is made fro them by Grangers and I assume is made in England. Leder-Gris does not say where it is made on the tin as far as I know – http://www.altberg.co.uk
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 and boots hand-made in London.
36. Foster and Sons – http://foster.co.uk/ – Shoes hand-made in London. Another separate company with a similar name, J.W Foster and Sons of Bolton became ‘Reebok’ in 1958 and Reebok no longer manufacture in the UK – they don’t seem to be connected to Foster and Sons who continue to hand-make traditional shoes in London – http://foster.co.uk
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. Van Dal owners, the Florida Group (TFG), are now the largest traditional ladies shoe maker in the UK. The Florida Group originated the early 1900’s in London and in 1936 relocated to Norwich, a city, which at the time, was thriving with shoe factories specialising in ladies and children’s shoes. The company produced unbranded footwear and footwear for the armed forces, but in 1946 launched Van Dal specialising in wider fitting ladies shoes. “Around 20% of” Van Dal shoes “are made in its factory in the UK”. They are also agents Marc Shoes and Pikolinos shoes which are foreign made and their Rockfish wellies are I assume foreign made as no country of origin information is given on their website (although Rockfish socks are UK made – “All of our socks are manufactured right here in the UK, up in the Scottish Borders”) – http://www.vandalshoes.com
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) make the majority of their jelly shoes under their JuJu brand in the UK, but still import some of their jelly shoes. They do state on their website if a particular pair of jellies is made in the UK. Those shoes with no country of origin information are foreign made. The company had moved all 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…”. JuJu adult wellington boots are foreign made, but I understand that their children’s wellington boots are UK made. Unfortunately, the impression JuJu give on their website and twitter does not represent the truth. Information is very carefully worded to imply, wrongly, that all manufacturing is in the UK. Many JuJu products are still foreign made but anyway it is pleasing they have brought some production back to the UK. I had previously reported that JuJu wellies (wellington boots) are made in the UK because that is what they told me, wrongly, a while back – http://www.jujushoes.co.uk
I have also been told that JuJu make kiddies wellies (wellington boots) for Mothercare but I can’t confirm that is correct as Mothercare do not give country of origin information on their website.
I am struggling to find any other British made wellies (wellington boots)! Surely companies must still be making wellington boots in the UK? What would the Duke of Wellington say? Do you know of any 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 😦 Hunter Boot Ltd. is a rubber Wellington boot and footwear brand. Originally established as North British Rubber Company in 1856, the company is headquartered in Edinburgh. Scotland. Besides rubber boots, it sells other products such as bags, socks, and other accessories. It previously made tyres, conveyor belts, combs, golf balls, hot water bottles and rubber flooring. Hunter holds several Royal Warrants by Appointment as suppliers of waterproof footwear. In 1966, North British Rubber was bought by Uniroyal Limited of the USA and there have been several ownership changes since. Some of their wellington boots were also folded branded as Uniroyal. The company outsourced production to Asia in 2008, with the famous boots now believed to be predominantly made in China. Its website states that its products are made by supplier factories located in China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, as well as the UK. Hunter had its factory in Dumfries, Scotland, up until 2008.
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, a footwear and accessories distributor, are now having some of their children’s wellies (wellington boots) 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. Originally William Lamb manufactured clogs and then later trainers and football boots. I have also been told they may be connected with Rushton Ablett mentioned above.
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 other English manufacturers as well as some imported shoes. They also sell made in England slippers, including made in England velvet slippers. They also sell welsh made Corgi socks, English made ties. Their t-shirts, luggage and belts are foreign made.
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 – http://www.widerfitshoes.co.uk
62. Rays Veldts Boot and Shoe Makers, Suffolk, England. All their footwear is made in their own Suffolk workshop, using the Veldtschoen or Stitchdown construction. Desert Boots, Derby Shoes, etc. Small scale shoe production. Retail or trade. Founded in 1998, now branded as Suffolk Shoes, they say on their website “Our products are designed and made in our own factory in Suffolk, England.” Business-to-business as well as selling direct to the consumer, some of their customers have included Oliver Sweeney, Clarks International, and Carreducker. Their retail range is desert boots and shoes – 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. – owners of the Gripfast, Tredair and White1890 brands – Wholesale – http://www.whiteandco1890.com – Now made for them by NPS and possibly other companies (according to Wikipedia) – White and Co closed down their 2 factories in around 1999 and 2006. At that time, along with a number of other companies, they were also makers of DM boots, who around that time moved production to China and elsewhere in the far east. Gripfast and Tredair are available at the British Boot Company. Tredair vegan are also available from Veganline – http://www.veganline.com. In North America you can find Gripfast at http://www.gripfastboots.com – http://www.whiteandco1890.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. Shoes and boots that are made in the UK are clearly labelled as such; their other shoes and boots are foreign made. They also have a collection of UK made men’s shoes and boots – 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, and most, if not all of their other shoes – ladies ballet flats, heeled fashion shoes, wedding shoes – are made in England too. Freed of London has three factory’s in the UK, in Norwich, in Leicester and in Hackney London. In an interview with Made to Last the company is described as “one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of professional dance shoes, which are hand crafted in the UK…”. They also see dance related garments, some of which are made in England. Items made in England are clearly marked as such on their website – http://www.freedoflondon.com
75. Björn Clogs make Swedish style clogs in Scarborough, England. They have a shop in Scarborough and their clogs are available online via their website. They make hospital anti static safety clogs, work clogs, orthopaedic clogs, men’s clogs, women’s clogs, children’s clogs, and fashion clogs in a variety of colours and sizes. All their clogs are made on their premises in Scarborough and are competitively priced. Note that they also sell foreign made shoes. – http://www.bjornclogs.co.uk
76. Equitector continues to produce riding boots in Britain – long riding boots, showing boots, hunting boots, short boots, gaiters and accessories for men, women and children, incorporating toe protectors – http://www.equitector.com
77. Peal & Co. closed in 1965, but the name now lives on with American company Brooks Brothers, who own the Peal name and have their Peal branded shoes made for them in England by Crockett and Jones or Alfred Sargent. There also seems to be a connection between Peal and Foster and Son with the company adopting the Peal ‘Boot & Fox’ logo when the business closed in the mid-1960s as explained by the Tweed Pig. Another separate company with a similar name to Brooks Brothers, WJ Brookes of Earls Barton, Northamptonshire which was founded in 1898, and made famous more recently in the 2005 film Kinky Boots, closed down in 2000.
78. The Gola sports brand ceased production in the UK in 1981, but in 2012 they re-introduced a range of made in England trainers called “Made in England – 1905”. Possibly these are made for them by Walsh, but I am not sure this is the case? All other Gola products are foreign made. http://www.gola.co.uk/collaborations-c2/made-in-england-1905-c12#page1:infscr1045
79. Chancery Footwear Ltd t/a Crown Northampton shoes are all made Northampton, in England. Made to order to one of their designs or to a customer’s design. This is a small company serving the needs of special footwear retailers and wholesalers. Contact them for prices. Founded in 1908, current production ranges are as follows: Vegan Footwear for men, Tap and Jazz Shoes, Mens Ballroom, Nomex Lined Race Boots, Karting Boots, Orthapedic Slippers in 5A fitting Velour and Leather, Moccasins Hard Sole from size 3 to 17, Soft Sole Wool Lined Slippers, Special Forces Boots Nomex Line, Police Boots, Steel Toe Cap Court Shoes, Mens and Ladies ranges of Bowls Shoes, Boxing Boots for kid’s synthetic materials, High Top, Boxing Boots for Ladies and men, Leather High Top, Tyson Low Boxing Boot, Rowing Shoes from Size 6 to 15, Steel Toe Cap Range of Low Riding Boots with Thermal Lining, Full length Riding Boots and Hunter Boots with steel toe cap, Thermal Lined Hand Made Riding Boots (Made To Measure), Mens And Ladies Waterproof Golf shoes, Mens and Ladies Golf Sandals, Gaiters and Medical Bags. They also make belts and a key fob and they sell Crown branded shoe tress made in England by Spring Line – http://crownnorthampton.com
80. Reynolds traditional British made leather cycling shoes are still available. Their website, such as it is, does not state country of origin but an email I received from the company on 3/9/14 confirmed that Reynolds shoes are made in Northamptonshire. Prices and further information are given on the order form on their website. I found out about this company from an article on the CTC website which states that traditional British made leather cycling shoes are still available from a company called Reynolds – http://reynoldsshoes.co.uk – The company now seem refer to themselves as REW Reynolds and appear to have changed their website address to http://reynolds-england.com
82. Margaret Howell sll a few UK made Margaret Howell branded men’s and ladies shoes and boots. They also sell Tricker’s shoes and boots which might be made in England (you should check; they are not labelled as such). Other shoes and boots sold by Margaret Howell are foreign made – http://www.margarethowell.co.uk
83. Gandolfi are retailers and manufacturers since 1920 of ballet shoes and dancewear for schools, theatre, TV and film companies. Gandolfi own brand shoes and garments sold online and in their shops are manufactured in their factory in Wellingborough, UK> their shops also sell foreign made products – http://gandolfi.co.uk
84. Lewis Leather (Aviakit) are Britain’s Oldest Motor Cycle Clothing Company – Established 1892. They say on their Facebook page in a comment dated 31/5/15 that “all of our leather garments are handmade in the UK” – leather jackets, leather boots and leather gloves. There is some history on the company on Wikipedia. They have a shop in London. Their non leather products are presumably all foreign made, although they do sell some made in England wool mix socks. They also sell British made leather key loops for belts and a British made leather wallet. No information is usually given on their website about the country of origin of individual products or more generally, so please check where the leather boots or jacket or gloves you are thinking about buying are actually made before buying. Possibly they sell British made motorcycle boots – http://www.lewisleathers.com
85. Swift and Co shoes are made in Lancashire, England. Established in 2013 they also have a tagline on their website of “Great British Shoemakers since 1934”, which is puzzling. No explanation of this anomaly is given on their website and I can’t find any information about the company on the net. Swift & Co make very interesting footwear in Burnley, Lancashire – a cunning mix of classic uppers and sporting soles – men’s smart/casual brogues and boots. I have no idea about price or where you can buy their shoes, as this information is not given on their website. They currently (as of 13 December 2015) have a Kickstarter campaign on the go – http://www.swiftshoes.co.uk
86. Northampton Sneaker Co sell exclusive British made leather ‘sneakers’. Their product is Goodyear Welted (this involves stitching the sole and upper together) and that means the sole can be replaced (sneakers / trainers usually have the soles glued on). The shoes are made for them in an established factory in Northamptonshire (NPS, see above). The Last used is made by Springline (see below). The uppers are made of European leather or British Stead’s suede (see below). The tread of the sole is by Vibram of Italy. The company kindly provided me with a bit more information on 4/3/17 as follows “Our trainers are definitely on the list of the ‘trainers that are made completely in the UK’. They are made from start to finish by NPS Shoes and the soles are prepared by TR Lawmans of Rushden, Northants. The leather is supplied by NPS and the sole tread we import from Vibram Italy, via a UK supplier” – http://www.northamptonsneaker.com
87. James Taylor & Son is a British bespoke shoemaker, established in 1857, making footwear ranging from fashionable shoes and boots, through to complex orthopaedic footwear for all types of foot condition. All their own brand shoes are made in their Paddington Street shop, near Baker Street, London. As well as bespoke (for which prices are not quoted), they make and sell ready made shoes, including classically styled men’s shoes and the Status range of elevator shoes (providing a lift of several cm). They also sell German made Finn Comfort shoes. Additionally they offer shoe repairs – http://www.taylormadeshoes.co.uk
88. Robinson’s Shoes say they are Northern Ireland’s only bespoke shoemakers, and they stock off-the-shelf own-brand men’s shoes and they mention bespoke shoe making and repairs in the About section of their website (but not elsewhere). They do not specifically say their own brand or bespoke shoes are made in Northern Ireland, so they may well be foreign made, but you can ask them. They also sell some English made shoes for men and women and English made socks and foreign made shoes by companies like Anatomic (made in Brazil) and Chatham (who most;y manufacture abroad; they have a small range of British made men’s deck shoes)- http://www.robinsonsshoes.com
89. Mollie Bailey, one of my twitter followers, have the twitter tagline “Luxury British footwear brand with four generations of leather know-how. Timeless classics – designed for the modern woman. Handcrafted in Northampton, GB”. That’s all I know. Their website, as of 19/2/16, is just a picture of some shoe lasts and the words “Mollie Bailey Hand Made in Great Britain”. The first Mollie Bailey collection will launch online just after Easter 2016, date to be confirmed – molliebailey.co.uk
90. Goral & Son Ltd, one of my twitter followers, are shoe uppers production subcontractors to other shoemakers and are involved in the manufacture of orthopaedic footwear where specific size and shape are required. They say “Our shoes are still hand-crafted entirely in our original factory” and “We are one of the few companies that still produce handmade shoes in the UK”. They will also manufacture prototypes or provide limited runs to complement production by others. They also seem to make shoes and slippers for other shoemakers. No information is given on details like price on their website. Their factory and manufacturing still appears to be in Sheffield as far as I can gather. Their website has been updated (August 2017) and they have kindly provided me with more information. They say on their website “Established in 1936, Goral is an independent family run business manufacturing the finest traditional handmade footwear from our base in Sheffield, UK” and “Our shoes are still crafted entirely by hand in our factory. From hand cutting of the leather components through assembly, stitching and final polishing ensuring that the shoes have the highest possible quality. No machine will ever match our extraordinary handmade quality. Over the years we have been steadily growing, recently moving premises to a modern, fully equipped factory unit where we employ highly skilled craftsmen, fully conversant with traditional shoemaking, to produce high quality footwear to defined specifications. This makes us one of the very few footwear factories focusing on traditional shoe making left in England.” They manufacture footwear for independent labels or offer footwear production services such as upper clicking and closing and they sell their own brand footwear. Their own brand range includes sneakers and high-top sneakers for men and for ladies lace-up and buckle shoes, creepers, loafers, and sneakers – http://goral-shoes.co.uk
91. Shackleton Company sell he Shackleton ‘Crew’ boot: a classic working boot in rich, waxy, black leather and the Shackleton ‘The Boss’ boot (named after the affectionate nickname given to Shackleton by his men), both made for them in England by Joseph Cheaney & Sons. Shackleton also sell lots of other nice clothing, accessories and banjos the vast majority of which are UK made – http://shackletoncompany.com
92. Skyscrapers sell what they describe as fetish footwear and say they have been established for over 26 years selling high quality UK custom made footwear. On their website they say “all footwear is made to order right here in the UK”. They sell leather boots, court shoes, and mules for women. Skyscrapers are one of my twitter followers and I came across them through their twitter – http://www.sky-scrapers.co.uk
93. Gilbert and Bailey from Northampton makes men’s shoes to order. They have a new bespoke online ordering website due to launch in August 2016. No indiction of price is given on their website currently. They make Loafers, Slippers, Monkstrap and suchlike. Very little information is given on their website about the company. They joined twitter in February 2016 and are perhaps a new company. I don’t know if they make the shoes they sell themselves – http://www.gilbertandbailey.com
94. Chatham of Exeter do a small range of made in Britain men’s deck shoes. The rest of their shoes (including all their ladies shoes) are all foreign made. It is unusual to find deck shoes that are made in the UK these days, so it’s great to see this company have brought deck shoe production back to the UK. These deck shoes are “British made in our Exeter, UK factory” they say on their website. They also say they are “now made in Britain…made by our team of craftsmen here at our HQ in Exeter” so I assume previously they were foreign made. They also say “Chatham are proud to be bringing some manufacturing back to the UK” – https://www.chatham.co.uk/men/footwear/shopby/made_in_britain
95. Baby Pure baby shoes are all made In the UK. The same company also make Katz Dancewear, dance wear for children and adults from handmade ballet shoes to tutus. Their products are made by them in Thrapston, Northamptonshire – https://www.babypure.co.uk – https://www.katz-dancewear.co.uk
96. 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 – https://sheepskin.co.uk
98. Rosebank Slippers (wholesale) are apparently the last remaining British manufacturer of traditional vulcanised sloe slippers. Telephone and email enquires – email@example.com / 01706228759. Rosebank slippers are available from http://www.veganline.com
99. Derek Rose mens slippers are made for them in England; I’m not sure by whom. Perhaps surprisingly given how much they cost, Derek Rose pyjamas are not generally made in the UK, although I understand some of their silk products are made in the UK and they do sell a made in England dressing gown – https://www.derek-rose.com
100. 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
101. Moorcraft Sheepskin have a shop in Cheddar Gorge and a workshop in Somerset and their products are available on their website. As far as I can gather, some of their products are made by them in Somerset, such as some sheepskin / leather jackets and hats and they sell some British made products such as moccasins. i assume their other products are foreign made. The products they make themselves are clearly labeled as such on their website – http://www.moorcraftsheepskinshop.co.uk
102. 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 – http://www.exmoorslippercompany.com
103. 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
104. Pixieland in Dartmoor are known for their range of sheepskin products, most of which are made in southwest England, and include unisex and mens and women’s sheepskin wool lined slippers, wool insoles and sheepskin rugs. The other products on their website are mostly foreign made. They also have a shop on eBay – http://www.pixieland.co.uk
105. Nursey Sheepskin appear to have kept their production in the UK, although you should check as country of origin is not given against all products, suggesting some are foreign made. “After 170 years in business, Nursey Sheepskin handmakes the finest luxury sheepskin slippers, hats, headbands, gloves and mittens. Cut and stitched in the family’s original workshop in Suffolk, a Nursey Sheepskin product will last you a life time” it says on their website. It seems they had a factory shop up until 2014 and that they no longer do wholesale. Founded in 1846 and they have the claim to fame that Del Boy’, portrayed by Sir David Jason, in the hit BBC comedy ‘Only Fools And Horses’ regularly wore a Nursey coat – http://www.nurseysheepskin.co.uk
106. Green Shoes say on their website “Everything at Green Shoes is hand made by us for you from the finest materials in our workshop on Dartmoor, Devon” and “our shoes are made by us here in Devon…” The company was founded in 1981 and sell men’s , women’s and children’s ready-to-wear and order made shoes, boots and sandals. They also do a re-sole service and sell a range of accessories, some of which are made in the UK such as John Arbon socks – http://www.greenshoes.co.uk
107. Grinders give no information about their company and very little information about their products on their website. It seems they were established in 1965 and, looking around the British Boot Company website, some of their products appear to be made in England. Their range includes steel toe capped shoes and boots with commando soles, and air cushioned sole shoes and boots. I do not know who makes their products. Many of their products are made in Mexico, such as their cowboy boots and their biker boots. The British Boot Company stock most of their products and those that are made in England are clearly labelled as such on the British Boot Company website – http://grinders.co.uk
108. Joseph Azagury now have a few of their ladies shoes made in the UK. Most of their shoes are made in Italy or France, but some of their shoes are now made in England. for example some of their own brand low heeled shoes, evening shoes, Wimbledon themed shoes and bridal shoes. The website front page tagline ‘Handmade in London’ is rather misleading as many of their shoes are foreign made but it is good to see they have moved some production to the UK – https://www.josephazagury.co.uk
109. Rudels slippers (Dippers?) are made in England. These wool felt slippers are made from British wool which is woven in the north of England (I get the impression from their twitter by Hainsworth) and then manufactured in the south west of England (they do not say who manufactures for them on their website). The brand appears to be trade only and possibly they are supplied to luxury hotels (looking at their twitter) – https://www.rudels.co.uk
110. Lanx have their shoes made for them in Lancashire. They say on their website “Since April we have proudly been making our footwear in partnership with a local Lancashire shoemaker who has over 30 years of shoe manufacturing experience” (2019?) and their web pages each carry a ‘Made in England’ logo at the top. Lanx say their partners who manufacture for them and supply components and materials are located in the UK and abroad; they don’t go into much more detail beyond this. Men’s and women’s shoes and ankle boots, and made in England socks. Prices are realistic – https://lanxshoes.com
There is a 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.
I have a twitter follower called AlbertLoafer whose twitter tagline is “Travelling Loafers & Bespoke Slippers. Handmade in England.” Can’t tell you any more than that as their website does not work (as of 4/6/16) – http://www.alberslippers.com
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”. Axminster say on their website (as of 18/11/16) “We’re proud of our heritage, our people and our designs. Quality in design and craftsmanship is guaranteed with every Axminster Carpet™ – each one is made in Britain using our traditional methods and is individually inspected”.
Charles F Stead are tanners of suede leather in Leeds. They specialise in the tanning, dyeing and finishing of high grade suedes and speciality leathers with interesting grains. They supply to established footwear brands as well as making speciality suedes for garments, bags, accessories and automotive interior trim. For example, their suede is used in the Clarks desert boots mentioned below – http://www.cfstead.com
Spring Line in Northampton, England are shoe last makers. The company was founded in 1982 and is now the only remaining last manufacturer in Britain. They manufacture bespoke hand-crafted wooden models through to bulk supply of durable plastic lasts in all sizes and fittings, to shoemaker’s requirements. They also make shoe trees and shoe last shaped book ends, candle holders, door stops and roll holders. Prices on request – http://www.springline.net
Thomas Ware and Sons Ltd, established in 1840, is a traditional leather tannery, best known in the shoe trade where they supply sole leather to the shoe manufacturing and repair markets. They also supply equestrian leather including saddle straps , bridle, stirrup and harness; industrial leathers including leather belting and friction leathers: leather for leather goods including wallets belts and briefcases; and speciality leathers including cricket balls and dog lead leather. They appear to have maintained some production in the UK, in Bristol, and they use UK hides for some products such as leather for leather goods, leather for shoe soles and leather for some equestrian products. It is not clear from their website whether they outsource some leather production abroad – http://thomasware.co.uk
Blenkinsop Leathers Limited are a leather finishing company in Northamptonshire, established in 1989. “Producing an extensive range of work Blenkinsop Leathers Ltd. is one of the few remaining leather factories within the United Kingdom to have full wet and dry end facilities on site.” They work on items like shoe linings, shoe uppers, bag leathers, belt leathers, leather accessories, equestrian leathers, re-enactment leathers and so on for the trade – http://www.blenkinsopleathers.com/
John Rushton of Wimpole Street in London specialise in selling English made men’s shoes from brands such as Joseph Cheaney and Crockett & Jones. They say on their website “All our British shoes are bench made in Northampton in a time honoured tradition. The quality of materials and craftsmanship can not be produced anywhere else other than in the UK” but please note they also sell foreign made shoes such as those by Orca Bay. They have a shop at 93 Wimpole Street, a stones throw from Oxford Circus, behind John Lewis, in London – http://johnrushtonshoes.com
William Norman, one of my twitter followers, seem to be a new company who are going to make velvet slippers in England. No website as yet but you can find them on twitter – https://twitter.com/williamnorman_
Millers shoes of Cumbria were once a major shoe maker manufacturing in the UK. Footwear from Millers was sold to the big name stores of the time, such as Freeman Hardy and Willis, to Littlewoods catalogue, Dolcis, Stead & Simpson, Benefit and to Lewis’s department stores. Their products would never carry the Millers name but at its peak the company’s products were on display in the shop window of almost every high street shoe store in Britain – and in some Continental and Scandinavian outlets too. They had factories in Cockermouth, Egremont, Cleator Moor, Frizington and Workington and at one point every week they turned out 60,000 pairs of shoes. Sadly the company closed down in the early 1990s. Also see K Shoes below.
Bata, a previously Czech company, used to have a factory in Cumbria making Wellington and canvas type shoes, but that has now closed down.
Start-rite children’s shoes was founded in 1792 (although the name Start-Rite was first used in the 1920s) and are former Royal Warrant holders. This royal warrant was withdrawn in 2003 on production being moved from the UK. Production is now in India and Portugal. Start-rite is a subsidiary of a company called James Southall Ltd. Start-rite shoes are foreign made nowadays.
K Shoes (founded in 1842) had factories in Kendal, Lancaster and Workington, the last of which in Kendal, Cumbria closed down in 2003. The company had been taken over by their main competitor Clarks Shoes in 1981. They used to be a well known major brand, in the UK especially, producing shoes, boots, court shoes and sandals for men and women and like Clarks used to be a major employer. The K Shoes band is no longer used.
According to the Make it British article, Clarks, the former 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 – let’s hope they do so, but I am not holding my breadth. Clarks shoes are made in Vietnam, Brazil and China these days. Clarks are having 1950 x Desert Boots made in England for them and these will be released for sale in limited drops throughout 2015. This is being done in collaboration with an English shoe maker (not sure which one) and British suede from the Charles F. Stead tannery in Leeds (who used to supply the suede for their desert boots before Clarks moved production abroad). Let’s hope this is the start of a re-opening of the Somerset factory! Clarks has now (July 2017) announced that they intend to build a small factory in Street, Somerset to make their Desert Boots – if this comes to fruition it will be a great start. Clarks also own the now defunct K Shoes brand – see above. Many people seem to have the idea that Clarks shoes are still made in the UK – they are not – they are foreign made, except for the few desert boost mentioned above.
Billy Ruffian Shoes give a very strong impression on their website that their shoes are English made, without actually saying so. Billy Ruffian Shoes are actually all foreign made.
Nicholas Deakins is a menswear store in Leeds selling footwear and casual clothing, some of which are their own brand. According to their history section on their website their shoes were initially made by W. J Brookes (see above), but there is nothing on their website to suggest that any of the products they sell today are British made.
For laces, shoe polish, shoe brushes, shoe protectors and insoles, please see my article “British Made Shoe Laces, Boot Laces, Insoles, Shoe Brushes and Shoe Polish“.
Northampton Shoes is a website that “exists to help others enjoy the rich heritage and distinctively English design that typifies shoes and boots made in and around Northampton” detailing for example information about factory shops in Northamptonshire – http://www.northamptonshoes.com
Dub’l-Lif specialises in the manufacture of a range of sturdy, quality products for use in agriculture, road surfacing, sporting facilities, equestrian/small holding, emergency services and the construction industry. They are known for their squeegees, scrapers and also make boot wipers, boot scrapers, and telescopic brooms. They at their own site and all products are made in England – http://dubl-lif.co.uk
British Drainers sell British made shoe tidies (shoe racks), as well as British made Dish Drainers, sink baskets and sink mats, plate racks, bathroom tidies, shoe tidies, clothes airers, fruit and vegetable storage stands, milk bottle carriers, wine racks, spice racks and saucepan stands in various designs of mixes of stainless steel, chrome and black or white plastic coating – http://www.britishdrainers.co.uk
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 materials and British made components of course).
Over 100 manufacturers of 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.