English shoes: Ten brands that are still made in Britain

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English Shoes? Yes, there are some that are still made in Britain

Top_10_manufacturers_of_English_Shoes

Photo: Horace Batten

When I read that the British shoe company Clarks were thinking of bringing their manufacturing back to Britain, having made their last pair of shoes in the UK in 2005, it made me wonder which footwear you could buy these days that was still actually still made in England.

Here is my top ten list of English shoe brands that are still made in Britain, in order of the year that they started making shoes here:-

1. Horace Batten est. early 1800′s
Bespoke box calf leather riding boots are the Horace Batten bread and butter. This manufacturer is now in the hands of the 7th generation of the family, and the work is so labour intensive that even today less than 10 pairs a week are made.

2. Grenson est. 1866
Best known for their brogues with a Goodyear welted sole, this traditional men’s English footwear company recently paired up with Olivia Morris to make some fine shoes for women too.

3. Loake est. 1880
Still a family owned business, and based in Kettering, Northamptonshire. A handmade Loake shoe takes 8 weeks and 200 operations to make.

4. Barkers est. 1880
Barkers produce over 200,000 pairs of hand-lasted shoes a year from their manufacturing unit in Earls Barton in Northamptonshire.

5. Joseph Cheaney & Sons est. 1886
Proudly state on their website that they still hand construct every shoe they make, from the cutting of the leather to the final polishing. The Cheaney factory is in Desborough in the county of Northamptonshire.

6. Celtic Sheepskin est. 1973
As revealed in a previous post , these sheepskin boots were the original UGG and are still handmade in Newquay in Cornwall.

7. New Balance est. 1982
Originally a Boston based arch support company, New Balance started making some of their trainers in England in 1982. Today they make over 28,000 pairs a year in their factory in Flimby, Cumbria.

8. Daisy Roots est.1995
Many of the workers at Daisy Roots have joined from the ever-depleting shoe factories around Northampton and brought with them a wealth of experience. Their baby shoes are made from chrome and formaldehyde free leather.

9. Carre Ducker est. 2004
Deborah Carre and John Ducker, who met working for John Lobb, offer a bespoke shoe making service on the ground floor of Gieves and Hawkes. Keen to keep the fine art of British shoe-making alive, they hold several intensive shoe making courses throughout the year in London.

10. Starchild Shoes est 2000
Starchild was founded by Janet Middleton, previously a fashion footwear designer, who started their company making fun, soft leather shoes for babies from a footwear factory in Leicestershire. They have now expanded the range to include larger children’s sizes and even soft leather shoes for adults.

You may also want to read – English Shoes: 10 More Brands Made in Britain

Want to find more English shoes? Check out our directory

Do you know of any other footwear being manufactured in the British isles? Please leave a comment below if you do.

WE WOULD LOVE YOUR COMMENTS...

121 Responses

  1. Ren says:

    So sad that shoemaking has declined so much in Britain… glad that posts like this highlight that there are still shoemakers in this country, well done and thank you!
    I am proud to be a British Shoemaker!
    http://www.fairysteps.co.uk

    • Kate H says:

      Hi Ren

      Well done for making your shoes here. Long may British craftsmanship continue :-)

    • Marketa says:

      Hi,

      I am looking for factory which would able to produce leather shoes for kids sizes 3 to 8 and in price range of £12,00 to £15.00.

      I hope this not impossible task I hope I will be able to find factory that will be able to meet the price. I determinate for my shoes to be produce here in UK. Would be nice to see for change a sign “Made in UK”.

  2. Fran Martin says:

    Don’t forget Dr Martens still make some footwear in England.

    • Kate H says:

      Would be interested to hear which Dr Martens they were and what percentage of the total business is made in the UK.

      • Karen says:

        It’s their Made in England range and their Vintage range which are made in england. They sell around 700,000 boots a year from the British factory. Sad considering this is only 2% of their sales.

        I’ve just done a project at uni and I chose to create a marketing strategy to promote their made in england range which is why I know so much!

  3. David says:

    You should add Sanders & Sanders, Alfred Sargent & William Lennon to the list. Sanders and Alfred Sargent still manufacture their shoes in Northampton. William Lennon manufacture theirs in the Peak District.

    • Kate H says:

      Thank You for these. Are they all 100% made here or are the uppers stitched off-shore? I’ll check them out and add to a post at a later date.

      • Hi Kate

        Just come across you Top Ten British Footwear manufacturers list, and would like to mention my 4th generation family business WILLIAM LENNON & CO LTD.

        Started in 1897 by my great grandfather, we are a small Derbyshire based factory producing heavy duty safety and non safety men’s footwear for both industry and fashion.

        Completely manufactured in our factory from the roll of leather right down to the final polish and labelling.

        If you could find room to squeeze a mention in for us we would really appreciate it – you are also very welcome to visit our factory if ever you are in the Peak District National Park.

        Kind regards

        Libs Slattery
        Company Director
        Wm.Lennon & Co Ltd

        • Kate Hills says:

          Hi Libs

          Thanks for getting in touch and letting us know about William Lennon.
          I will email you.
          Kate

          • Idesign my ladies shoes and boots in Brighton, using leather from Northamptonshire and velvet from Bradford. I use a little shoe factory in Burnley that create one-off pairs of ladies shoes for me and I sell them from my boutique in Brighton. Have a look at the gallery on my web site called Fab Shoes to see some of our creations, and they are reasonably priced.
            You CAN still buy completely UK made ladies shoes for under £100 despite what the media say
            Linda

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Kate,
    I am a great supporter of buying British made goods, especially shoes, and I’m sorry to say that I find your post misleading. You list both Grenson and Loake who make many of their shoes abroad, and also Barker, who I believe have their shoes partially made abroad and then are finished in the U.K. On the other hand you don’t mention other firms such as Crockett & Jones and Trickers whose shoes I believe are entirely made in the U.K.
    Edward

  5. The quality of British shoes is appreciated all over European countries and the shoe manufacturing I believe that it shouldn’t be moved to somewhere outside UK as this is definitive for the brand. Sanders and Sanders are comfortable and an example of top brands

  6. Peter Rüegg says:

    As the well known CHURCH SHOES are not listed and I can as well not find, to my surprise (maybe intentionally…), any information on their website, not produced in Northampton anymore???

    Quite a problem is, as well to my surprise, that it is very difficult to find British made shoes abroad and if, at really prohibitive prices, compared to GB-prices. Many international brands do have, even small, shops abroad in the main city’s. But almost none of the British shoe makers.

    Well, my first pair of Englisch made shoes, CHURCHS CHETWYND, were handmade in 1983 (!) and are still going strong, except from some age related small cracks in the leather where it is bent when walking. So there is definitely no better and longlasting investment you can make when buying a pair of traditional shoes.

    Best regards from Switzerland,

    Peter

    • Jo says:

      yes Church’s shoes are made in their factory based in Northampton, i work in their factory shop which is attached to the factory. there is some history on their website http://www.church-footwear.com alternatively see if you can book a factory tour +44 01604 751251
      You will have an amazing and informative tour from one of the world’s top manufacturers.

  7. Kevin says:

    I can’t believe nobody has mentioned the UK’s biggest shoe manufacturer. To quote from their website:

    “Quality footwear, meticulous detail

    Striving to deliver the promise of world-class products we have invested millions of pounds to create one of the most advanced shoe making facilities in the world – here in Lancashire. Having full command of production in our factory, making more shoes per year than any other shoe maker in the UK, gives us great flexibility, 100% control over quality and a built-in desire to deliver the best we can. Did you know, for example, that every single pair of shoes is millimetre perfect when we make it and is hand polished before it is meticulously wrapped in tissue and then placed in its box – left shoe first, side down, followed by right shoe, side up so when you open the shoe box the first thing you see is the colour and detail of your shoe!

    As a continually evolving brand there is always something new to learn about Hotter, something more exciting and something more comfortable for you to try. We love to speak to our customers and listen to your feedback – which is how we knew that you loved our shoes but wanted Hotter comfort for all your wardrobe options. Our design team have worked hard to make this vision a reality and we’re proud to have introduced a new selection of fabulous heels and canvas styles.

    As we’re not yet able to make this type of product in our UK factory we’ve scoured the world to find a small number of quality partners to work with on these new projects. These partners are selected because they manufacture world class products in these niche areas and now work under close supervision of Hotter’s own design, technical and production teams to meet all of Hotter’s stringent requirements for achieving true comfort, style and quality.

    Each year we’re increasing the number of shoes we make here in our Lancashire factory – a record 1.3million pairs last year – and we are delighted that our commitment and passion for footwear has lead to us become the biggest shoe manufacturer in the UK.”

    • Kate H says:

      HI Kevin

      You are completely right for pointing out that Hotter shoes have been omitted, and it is great to remind everyone that it is not just Goodyear welted brogues made in Northampton that this country can produce in the way of footwear.
      I have heard great things about the Hotter footwear factory in Lancashire and it would be great to pay it a visit at some point to see the quality of production.

  8. Philipp says:

    Solovair or NPS still produces in the UK http://www.nps-solovair.co.uk/.

    Merry Christmas, Philipp

  9. Colin Salter says:

    I have recently noticed some of the loakes shoes are now made in India, which is a shame, as I now need to check them before buying.

  10. R T says:

    Now i’m shocked to see,not not see in this case no John Lobb on this list.

  11. jimmy preston says:

    hotter shoes are made in india ….dont be fooled by the advert, uk company ..yes, uk made no!!! uppers all done abroad the sole units put on by injection moulding by a guy flicking a switch

    • Kate Hills says:

      Hi Jimmy

      That’s a fair point, and it does seem to be the case that a lot of footwear manufacturers do the more labour intensive parts of the work offshore.
      I cannot comment personally about Hotter as I have not been to their factory, although in their defence I think it is at least better that they still employ a large amount of people in the UK making something than not at all. Don’t you?

      • Judy says:

        Hello

        After reading the above comment, I got in contact with Hotter shoes and this was their response:

        “We built a new factory in Lancashire ten years ago and invested £6 million in plant and production; since then we have continued to invest and develop our footwear manufacturing capabilities here in the North West. We currently operate one of the most hi-tech facilities in the UK and Europe, which secures the future of Hotter shoes production in the UK and the jobs of more than 1,000 employees. We are the UK’s biggest shoe maker, manufacturing around 35,000 pairs per week.

        Like many brands we source component parts from a very select group of long standing suppliers globally but the majority of the work and creation of the shoes takes place here in the UK.”

  12. Jo says:

    Church’s – i was very fortunate to gain sponsorship from Church’s who manufactured my Men’s A/W 2012 Collection in their factory in Northampton :)

  13. Jo says:

    Other shoe manufacturers in Northampton include Edward Green, John Lobb, Trickers, Joseph Cheaney who manufacture Jeffrey West, Dr Martens also manufacture their shoes in the UK i have been on a recent factory tour.

  14. Nick Smith says:

    Rubbish article – the writer knows next to nothing about English shoes.

    Evident gaps i.e. Trickers (est. 1829), Crockett & Jones (est. 1879).

    Where’s Edward Green, John Lobb, etc. The bespoke makers?

    I really wish people would leave be rather cobble (pun intended) something together. It’s misleading and useless information.

    • Kate Hills says:

      Hi Nick

      Thanks for your comments, and it is a fair point that my list above is not an exclusive list of shoemakers in the UK. I could have gone on and listed another 20 easily, which is why I asked for everyone to comment about who else they thought should be included. I also wanted to cover a variety rather than all men’s formal shoes.

      At the time when I wrote the list I also tried to include only those manufacturers that made the entire shoe here, as there is much controversy surrounding some brands as to whether they have the uppers of their shoes stitched off-shore.

  15. Tredairs are still made in the UK – usually at NPS, and usually for the Veganline.com Bouncing Boot range. Alongside them are court shoes made in Northampton, the last of the slippers made before Rosebank closed, and a range of UK-made office shoes. Both William James Shoes and Fantasy Shoe Co, cemented shoe manufacturers, have restructured and closed under those names in the past year but both have spawned new businesses.

  16. Andy says:

    Went to Debenhams to look at shoes and noticed a pair of loake brogues that said british made. Next to them I seen Loake oxfords which I presumed were also made in England but they did not have them in my size. Ordered them at the store and when they were delivered I opened the box and see no “made in England” or “british made” but hidden under the tongue it says “hand crafted in India”. They are going straight back. I am not interested in paying over the odds for shoes made in India. I feel conned. I will save up the extra money for C&Js or similar.

  17. Luke says:

    Churches are made in England and use the best standard grade leathers, all the shoes are handmade and have much more attention to detail than Joseph Cheaney & Sons.

  18. Mick says:

    I have just been to Grenson to follow up on a delayed order and was informed that some of their shoes are made in India. Needless to say, I cancelled my order as I do not believe that India has the same shoemaking traditions as England.

    • Kate Hills says:

      Oh dear, that is a bit of a shocker.
      I will look into this further and find out which of their products they are now making offshore.
      Thanks for letting me know.

  19. Mark Connor says:

    A great selection even British made desert boots.

  20. Chris Gleave says:

    Don’t forget Walsh trainers of Bolton

  21. Allan says:

    I believe gaziano & girling are made in the UK. They seem to be 1 of the most sought after brands these days.

    (great post by the way)

    Allan

  22. John says:

    Well, I’m a bit late adding to this discussion. But I must reiterate Nick Smith’s comment of March 4. Please research your subject more before putting it on the web. The first three manufacturers, Grensons, Loakes and Barkers all manufacture a part, if not most of their shoes outside the UK. And there are many other Northamptonshire companies that are not listed that do not do this (Trickers, Crockett and Jones, Edward Green, Churches, John Lobb (Hermes), Cheaney, Sargent, Jeffrey West, Sanders, Gaziarno & Girling……..) to the best of my knowledge.

    • Kate Hills says:

      Hi John
      Thank you for your comment.

      I take on board your point about the fact that there are some brands listed above that do not make 100% of their products in the UK, however, they do all still have a manufacturing base here that supports jobs for British workers, so that should not be forgotten. I would love there to come a day when there was complete transparency about exactly what part of a product is manufactured where, in the way that there are standards to organic and fair trade production, but for now we have to rely on what the brands are telling us or what we see for ourselves. If the names that you mention would like to come forward and state their case then that would help to clear things up.

      I also agree that the list above does not include all footwear brands that manufacture in the UK, it was merely a starting point for discussion, and it has certainly created much of that!

      Thanks for reading
      Kate

      • John says:

        Yes, it’s a bit like Swiss watches – I believe 30 % is the lower limit for a product that can still carry the Made in Switzerland indication. And most of them are about that. But to take up the employment issue, I don’t think that a firm such as Grenson, and possibly Loakes, will be contributing very much to local employment, unfortunately. They may have a few people putting shoes into boxes for posting.

  23. Penny says:

    I have stumbled across this website while helping my daughter research the British shoe industry. I felt compelled to that whilst I absolutely support British industry the comment made about India not having the same shoe making traditions as England could be refuted. My daughter “interviewed” my 90 year old mother today about her involvement in the shoe industry in Leicester and was interrupted by my father, who lived in India at the time, to say that shoe makers would call upon them at home and make bespoke shoes for them. They carried a last and a brochure of British shoes and made them to order. The finished results were most satisfactory and a fraction of the cost of those in England.

    • John says:

      I think the issue is not that the capacity or skills cannot be found in India (or elsewhere). Most countries have their skilled shoe makers. The point, I think, is that English-made welted shoes have a special, deserved international reputation. Customers buy from some established English-registered firms not knowing that the products are not made in the UK. The shoes are considerably cheaper and they think they are getting a good deal, but the quality is likely to be inferior. Why inferior ? Because that’s the quality the English firm asked for. One Indian businessman said recently that his company can make delux shoes if that is what is required, but that is not asked. UK firms want cost-cutting and maximum profits even when the manufacturing costs are less. The result of this is reduced confidence in the long term for English shoes, and loss of employment in the industry in the UK. Happily, there are still a good number of UK manufacturers who do not do this.

  24. wendi nolan says:

    I live in Australia and i’m desperately trying to find best quality english brogues for ladies by Crockett & Jones; Church’s; Trickners or any of
    similar quality.
    Might someone please kindly help? Grensons or brands with the small, sewn down centre opening are not suitable, I need the centre opening to open reasonably wide for a high instep.
    Thank you in anticipation of a response.
    Sincerely,
    Wendi.

    • John says:

      It’s an evergreen debate, Wendy. Women’s shoes from the Northamptonshire shoemakers. If you can find a shop selling the brand, then you should have access to the women’s range of models. Or you could order by internet, but be prepared for problems with sizes, necessitating returns and general hassle. But the problem with the traditional shoemakers is that they are mostly men’s shoe specialists, and their women’s shoes tend to look like men’s shoes, but smaller. Church make some beautiful models, and Trickers have some superb ankle-high boots. Look on their site. My wife has some – they’re very special. But if only they could make more effort. I spoke to Trickers about it, and the reply was that they didn’t need any more work (!).

  25. David Courtney says:

    I have bought shoes since a being a student in Oxford at Ducker & Son in Turl Street. 100% Made in Oxford and as beautiful as ever.

    Highly, very highly, recommended!

  26. Elaine says:

    I came across Websters which makes mens and womens shoes, they seem to be part of Remploy.

  27. David Turner says:

    I’ve worn Padders for twenty years. As far as I’m aware they’re made in England, yet nobody seems to mention them on here.
    I think your article’s wonderful and very thought-provoking.

    • Ele says:

      Sorry to inform you but much of Padders is now made in China.

      Just come off the phone with their customer services who told me this. I was trying to find a “local” stockist and mentioned that I was so glad they were still producing shoes and slippers in Britain – the lady corrected me and informed me that some of their products are made in Britain but many of their shoes and slippers are made in China =- in fact all Ladies slippers are made in China. Their website does not differentiate between country of production (at time of posting this).

  28. Hi Kate, thanks for including us in your list.
    BTW established 2000.
    We also do adult shoes http://www.star-child.co.uk/babyshoes/big_kids

  29. maria says:

    Hi
    I work for DACEY and ACE this is a company based in south wales Cardiff.This company makes bespoke and semi bespoke shoes.
    Our main clients are medical referrals but we do have private clients also.
    We are also on the internet,look us up.

  30. Nick sills says:

    How about William Lennon who make some of their work boots here and a small company called alt berg who produce walking boots in Yorkshire as well as Italy, have you heard of those , then there is conker,shoes they are based in Devon and Bison Bushcraft who produce clothing and boots here, kind regards again nick 07973693279

  31. Ken Craig says:

    As far as i can see, youve omitted Hotter comfort concept. Made in Lancs, they are superbly comfy straight out of the box!
    They make 1.1 million pairs ayear, they are tough too.

    • Kate Hills says:

      Hi Ken

      Thanks for putting Hotter forward, and you are right, they were not on the original list. Someone please correct me if i’m wrong, but I do believe that they are the largest manufacturer of footwear in the UK now.

  32. Mark Pawson says:

    Hello Kate,

    You forgot to mention Crockett & Jones, also based in Northamptonshire like Cheaney & Sons. These two companies produce the best shoes I have ever worn. The quality of the product is absolutely outstanding. To anyone reading this, you simply have to try a pair and you will very quickly realise why they are so highly regarded.

    Best regards,

    Mark.

  33. Michael. says:

    The Brish Government’s (Labor or Tory) appalling attitude and record when it comes to supporting,strenthening and enhancing the UK manufacturing base and capacity, speaks for itself. They don’t give a damn about it. Uk industry survives in spite of those excuse for half-witted politician’s incompetence and total lack of leadership. Clothing and shoe manufacturing are high profile examples. It is no surprise that other countries recognise the value of UK clothing brands and buy them up when they are on their last legs due to lack of investment and/or incompetent management, turn them around and promote them on their heritage. The Italian clothing companies have done this and still do. It’s pathetic. Companies like Private White, John Smedley and others show what can and must be done, and need our support.
    I would like to also point out George Cleverley and Foster and Sons are alive and well and producing some of the finest shoes on the planet. Save your pounds and invest in a pair and if you look after them , they will last as long as you. That is what Made in the UK is all about, qaulity and longevity = value.

  34. Connor Davies says:

    The shoes on the Loakes website says they are “handcrafted in India”.

    So they’re not made in Britain at all.

    Do your research better.

  35. The Duke of Dorset says:

    John White is another “British’ shoemaker in Northamptonshire, and kitted out the British army in WWII.

    Some of their loafers are made in Italy, but what about the rest of their range. Anybody know?

    Great thread, btw, though the lack of courtesy shown by some posters is distinctly Un-made in Great Britain …

  36. Paul Ganley says:

    What an excellent site, and heartwarming to know I’m not the only person for whom the provenence of shoes, and other goods on the high street, is as important as quality and price.
    I have been caught out in the past by advertising tomfoolery like: ‘designed/ inspired in Britain,’ or when a company says they are ‘so and so’ of London. I don’t object to Chinese-made products, I just ask that the packaging states that fact clearly.
    I am now wise to garments that say ‘Pour Homme’ that come from Vietnam.
    I bought a pair of socks by William Hunt, of Savile Row, that turned out to be made in Turkey. A very nice email from the company said that they couldn’t make clothes in Britain, due to manufacturing costs.
    The pair of Dr. Marten’s shoes I bought to replace the British-made ones: only the sole is made in England. I wonder where the rest comes from?!
    I contacted T.M.Lewin, as their site didn’t make any mention of what was made in Savile Row. They emailed to say ALL their goods are imported.
    I asked House of Fraser why, along with all the info regarding their products on their website, could they not add one small detail: where it was made. I got an automated email, just the other night, that the question “didn’t fit their guidelines,” whatever that means!
    Pringle sweaters, once made in Scotland, now imported, according to Matalan.
    Yves Saint Laurent and Puma- both now made in the Far East.
    The list could go on and on! BUT, thank you for highlighting companies that are still Brisitsh, and hopefully will be around for years to come!

    • John says:

      please read the previous comments before adding repetition, it seems this blog line, despite a shaky start, has finally done some credit to the current UK (really-made-in-the UK) shoe discussion. No mention yet of Haynes and Cann Ltd (Overstone Road, Northampton), makers of boots to the British army, including a famous WWII boot that could be quickly split up to form a civilian shoe (in the case of a soldier landing up behind enemy lines), able to conceal a knife and compass., and inspirational for Ian Flemming. The company heard, in 2011, that the government preferred to buy its army boots in the US, and the company has been forced to close (as far as I know, but perhaps the situation’s changed ?). Great government support for our industries!

      • s. wallbank says:

        Sounds like the same government department that decided to buy the Army socks from China as HJ, a British maker, were to expensive! “Never mind the quality feel the width”springs to mind. Add the cost of the dole cue created by this, not just at the sock factory but at the mills and farms that supply the fleece and yarn, and the price goes up. Not to mention the lead time involved. Bottom line maths at its worst.

  37. elena says:

    Hi everyone,
    I literally stumbled across this page, in search of uk shoe manufacturers. I am in the process of starting a uk based shoe brand and I am desperate to have my shoes made here. I want them to be 100% British! So…If anyone is able to give me some time and would be interested in creating shoes for me, please do let me know I would be very grateful! I have been constantly directed to china and I really dont want to be another company taking business out of the UK! Thank you.

  38. Hi,
    What an interesting artical. Most people dont ever consider where their shoes or clothes are made or by who. I hope the following is also of interest to you all.
    There is a great British shoe company that makes really comfortable, long lasting shoes called Conker. They have been making hand made shoes in Totnes since 1977. There website is http://www.conkershoes.com if you would like a look.

  39. David Murray says:

    Bought a pair of Grensons thinking I was doing the right thing and supporting UK manufacturing. However, having read your article (and associated comments) on checking their website seems all their G.Two range (the trendy ones) are made in India. As the Pistols so succinctly put it ‘Ever feel you’ve been conned?’

    Grenson- You’ve just lost a customer.

    • rick says:

      Hi David, I went over to their shop in Spittalfields after Christmas to have a look at the Grensons only to find out from the sales assistant that a lot of their shoes were made in India; she did assure me it was a family owned business though! Needless to say I left without purchasing any shoes! I decided to stay with Joseph Cheaney shoes which ARE made in the UK & I admit they are lovely shoes & I confess I did think the Grenson brand had some bargains in their sale but I didn’t want to buy expensive Indian shoes!

  40. andrew green says:

    Hi,
    Glad I came across this site.I’m looking for a casual brogue type shoe Made in England!
    Just as well I didn’t buy any of the products that I thought were Made in England when they were only boxed and glued in England.Being from Scotland it’s like haggis,shortbread,irn bru,the list goes on produced in India.
    Get rteal and recognise you have a niche market and exploit it it!

  41. s. wallbank says:

    I bought a pair of William Lennon Hill Boots. They are superb, made to order at their factory in Derbyshire as they have been since 1899. I chose the hob nail sole option, but flat nail and rubber soles are available. Excellent British product, and excellent service too. I would recommend them to anyone.

  42. s. wallbank says:

    My wife had some bespoke clogs from Phil Howard . She is thrilled with them. http://www.nw-clogs.co.uk

  43. Kev says:

    If you do a little searching you’ll easily find where and who makes what,

    Loakes are still made in Kettering but only the 1880 range
    Grenson are the same but only the g0ne the rest are imported.

  44. Kev says:

    Cheaney and Crockett as far as I’m aware are all made here

  45. Mark Tomlin says:

    Hotter shoes made in Skelmersdale. Lancashire.

  46. Mark Tomlin says:

    Made in Skelmersdale Lancashire.

  47. Joy Pearce says:

    Just watched at old Flog It from Northampton where Paul Martin visited the Crockett & Jones factory and followed the entire process from skin to finish. Website only seems to illustrate men’s shoes but does anyoneknow if they make ladies’ shoes?

    Joy

    • Aaron Procter says:

      Just to answer your question if i may. There are a few companys that still make ladys shoe’s but they specialise in made to messare footwear for say the elderly. But there is goinging to be one company in the UK called ProFootwear in Lancashire which was set up in 1985 and closed its doors when the UK whent import mad . Now i am reviving the company once again as it was and still will be a famiy run company . It is turning out to be a mamath task to get wholesalers to buy in britan once again but the ever increasing cost of making shoe’s in china is helping but the big chine’s company’s are moving there production factorys to asia in a attempet to keep hold of there manafactoring cost. But we here at ProFootwear are going to give it a go and see if we can get back a industry that the goverment through away. Thank you Mr A. Proter ( owner of ProFootwear )

      • Kate Hills says:

        Hi Mr Porter
        This is very interesting about ProFootwear and I’d love to know more about the business.
        Kate
        Founder
        Make it British

        • Aaron Procter says:

          Hi Kate ask me anything you like i will do my best to answer you questions fire away. Mr A Procter

          • Aaron Procter says:

            Hi Kate did you recive my Answers iv been having a few problems with my e-mails lately there not going through correctly. Cheers Aaron.

          • Kate Hills says:

            Hi Aaron
            No i didn’t. would you like to send them again?
            Or add them to the contact form on the website?
            best regards
            Kate

  48. MR CLOUSTON says:

    I’s sorry if someone has already mentioned but aren’t John Lobb worthy of that list?!

  49. [...] we first compiled an article with a list of ten brands of English shoes that are still made in Britain we never could have believed how popular it was to become and the strength of feeling it would [...]

  50. June Graham Designs in Rottenstall. Hand making wedding Shoes for small boutiques

  51. Hi all, great thread! Anthony here from Special Footwear in London’s West End. We fit and create bespoke shoes right here on the premises in our workshop. Please pop in and see us and give us your support. Would be delighted to show you around! Trading for over 50 years now!

  52. gill cooper says:

    I want to buy exciting inspiring British made ladies shoes? WANTED quirky, zany, eclectic, SHOES for parties, proms, & weddings.. any links? Surely there’s a student shoe designing Brit, who’s hungry to make their mark in the world of fabulous footwear fashion?We eagerly await their inspiring a new generation to buy brilliantly British designed & crafted trailblazing boots & shoes………. …..Irregular choice are my choice but I’d love to buy British. Hoping this inspires someone….kind regards gill

  53. charlotte@wardie.com says:

    Hi, I am looking for a uk factory to make a range of ladies cemented leather upper rubber soled shoe can anyone help?

  54. Simon says:

    The pair of Grenson boots I bought recently were definately made in India, NOT Britain! Grenson themselves acknowledged this when I sent them back.

    Simon

    • Kate Hills says:

      HI Simon
      Sadly it appears that a high percentage of Grenson’s shoeas are now made in INdia :-(

      • Bart says:

        Rose and Masterpiece lines are made in Northamptonshire, as well as all shoes produced for Brooks Brothers.

        It is far more reasonable to distinguish particular lines when making any judgements. It works best to treat them as different brands.

        • karl rees says:

          I agree.

          I’ve a pair of Grenson/Barbour Acklam boots which are 100% made in England and they’re the most beautiful boots I’ve ever owned.

  55. Mandy Rees says:

    Hi there, I was wondering what lasts our UK only based manufacturers use when making their shoes and when they say bespoke and made to measure do they use a last just for you or select the nearest fitting standard last? I’m finding this site fascinating and as a Podiatry student at the moment I’m seeing a lot of poorly fitting shoes at the root of a lot of problems.

  56. Andy says:

    New Balance do not make 28000 pairs of trainers a year, they make nearer to 28000 pairs per week, but none are completely manufactured in britain.
    They buy finished trainers from china or vietnam for which they pay 17% tax,
    They buy 1,200,000 pairs of soles, uppers and inserts from china or vietnam, which they only pay 3% tax and assemble these into finished shoes at their flimby factory; allowing for the N.I. and Tax paid by the people at the flimby factory this saves them about £1.8 million in tax.
    They make about 200,000 pairs of uppers from leather, pig skin etc. at their flimby factory which are then assembled on to soles and inserts made in china or vietnam and these are the shoes which have the union flag in them. Due to innefficient production of these shoes they sometimes cannot meet demand so they get uppers cut, sewn and embroidered in mexico or boston and shipped to flimby for assembly into shoes sold as made in uk.
    The head office for New Balance is in USA and they charge UK with a “supervision” cost.
    If i wanted to buy footwear made in UK i would not buy New Balance, your feature is misleading.

    • Kate Hills says:

      Hi Andy
      Thanks for your comments. You obviously feel very strongly about this as you have posted these comments about New Balance in several places on this blog.

      The soles which New Balance use on their shoes are bought from China I suspect because they cannot be made in the UK. It is like this for many products manufactured here – so at what point do you say that they cannot be called made in Britain? This is why i wrote this article here http://makeitbritish.co.uk/made_in_britain/made-in-britain-where-do-you-draw-the-line/

      My thoughts on New Balance, having met the guys that sew the uppers at their factory, is at least they are manufacturing some of their shoes in the UK and helping to keep people in jobs.

      In response to your comment “Due to innefficient production of these shoes they sometimes cannot meet demand so they get uppers cut, sewn and embroidered in mexico or boston and shipped to flimby” – Surely it is better that the factory is busy than they do not have enough shoes to make and hence close it down?

      As for saying that their production is ‘inefficient’ , I cannot speak for them on that – but you obviously can. Are you a disgruntled ex-employee by any chance?

      • Andy says:

        Hi Kate
        in your article “New Balance launch exclusive trainers made in England for Schuh” you state
        “They have updated the iconic NB 577 in great retro colours, and all of them will be produced in the New Balance factory in Flimby. Not sure about the ‘plasticky’ looking tag hanging off, which I’m sure is not manufactured here, but we’ll let them get away with that because the rest of these funky items of footwear are made in England.” yet this is clearly not true, it is only the uppers which are made in UK, the soles and insoles are made in china/vietnam and assembled in the UK to uppers made in the UK.
        The information you put out on BBC breakfast clearly states that all of the shoe was made in the UK, WHICH IS NOT TRUE and people believe the BBC so you have a duty to tell the truth, I am happy that, in your reply, you have had admitted “The soles which New Balance use on their shoes are bought from China I suspect because they cannot be made in the UK”.
        Why do you suspect the soles cannot be made in the UK, (a country of advanced manufacturing ability) what is the basis for your suspicions ???
        New Balance could invest in a double density polyurethane shoe sole injection carousel and employ more people and the whole shoe would then be UK manufactured.

        Like you, I had the factory tour and found it entertaining, the workers seemed genuine and likeable, I hope the factory expands, however, I saw no evidence of sole or insole manufacture so I asked where they got these from and they told me china or Vietnam, surely you must of wondered why they didn’t show you sole making.

        The factory tour, which took place a couple of years ago, proved very enlightening, there were 2 methods of manufacture on which I would like to note my observations, you could of made the same observations on your tour.
        Firstly they made the high class shoes from cutting the leathers, suede’s and fabric to sewing and embroidery to closing, this was brilliant and it was great to see such high class workmanship but I noticed that there were a lot of people, (I counted about 90) involved in the process and they were only boxing up 1 pair in just over one minute per team, this works out at about 4,000 pairs per week, again I asked them how many they made in a week and they confirmed 3800 to 4200 depending on the style, so if they make 4000 for 50 weeks this gives an annual production of 200,000 pairs. If there is 90 people working 37 hours for 46 weeks (allowing for holidays) it means that their process is taking at least 153,000 hours to make 200,000 pairs of shoes or 46 minutes per pair, since they told me they worked a lot of overtime this figure is probably nearer to 50 minutes which seems to be a long time, maybe some of the other shoe manufacturers could advise if they consider this to be efficient.
        Whilst talking to the people assembling these shoes they mentioned that due to production problems they couldn’t make enough of the 992 or 993 style uppers themselves so they had them made in either Mexico or Boston and shipped to the UK, apparently the uppers made abroad were more difficult to assemble than those made in Flimby. After the factory tour I visited the shop which was selling the high class shoe rejects as made in the UK and I asked if the uppers were those actually made in the UK or those brought in from Mexico/Boston, they couldn’t tell me DESPITE SELLING THEM ALL AS “MADE IN THE UK”

        The second method of manufacture in Flimby consisted of assembling Soles, Uppers and Inserts, all manufactured in China/Vietnam, into a finished shoe, there were 11 teams working on these shoes and again each team was producing a pair in just over a minute, so 11 teams working 37 hours for 50 weeks is 1,200,000 minutes or 1,200,000 pairs of shoes. When I asked why they didn’t make the uppers in the UK they said they hadn’t enough capacity, when I asked why they didn’t just buy the finished shoe they were evasive, so I contacted HM customs and asked what the duty was on imported shoes from outside the EU and they said 17%, I asked them what the duty was on soles and uppers and they said 3%, you can check this yourself.
        Now 1,200,000 pairs of finished shoes costing say £15 each would give the UK government over £3 million in revenue at a duty rate of 17%, whereas 1,200,000 pairs of soles and uppers with a combined cost of say £13 would only give the government £470,000 a saving of £2.5 million in duty to new balance. I counted less than 50 people involved in this process so if we calculate the employers NI, employees NI and income tax on 50 people earning £25,000 per year we get less than a £1 million, in other words NB is avoiding paying at least £1.5 million in tax, I don’t know how much the finished shoes, soles and uppers cost when purchased from china/Vietnam so I guessed, but if they cost more than the £15 I guessed the tax avoidance is even greater. On the other hand, if they made all 1,200,000 pairs in the UK they would need 540 people, which would be great for the people of the UK and the government would get £5.7 million in NI contribution and income tax.
        I have been involved in Manufacturing for over 40 years and I am passionate about it, I have seen both UK and foreign owned firms shipping the work out to other countries and assembling over here to avoid paying tax and duty in the UK, just look at our debt. This affects our children and the BBC owes it to us to tell the truth, now Kate, for the sake of all your viewers check out my logic, challenge it where necessary, and I will do my best to help you, but report the truth.
        Andy

        • Aaron Procter says:

          Hi my only contribution to what you have stated is it takes 45 minutes to make a shoe from start to finish .
          your quote “so I contacted HM customs and asked what the duty was on imported shoes from outside the EU and they said 17%, I asked them what the duty was on soles and uppers and they said 3%, you can check this yourself.”
          HM only told you a partial truth as they stated it is 17% but that is not on the full order being imported in it only applies to the first 100,00 pairs any thing over this amount incurs a 2p per pair charge. Which in affect makes the imported shoes even cheaper this is why it all went wrong. Yours Aaron Procter Owner of Pro Footwear.

        • Steven says:

          I’d like to add to this comment that another of the “British manufacturers” does similar.
          Hotter have their uppers, Footbeds etc. sourced in India, Europe and the Far East and squirt their PU sole on in England. Then inspect and pack it. Not to my mind British made! I feel that a company that buys the raw materials in a flat state and then shapes it into a shoe is making footwear in Britain. One that buys uppers that already resemble a shoe and put a sole on is not Making in Britain in spirit.
          Steven

  57. Nadine says:

    Hi all, great thread!

    I’m looking for a Uk factory to close and last uppers…. Any ideas?

  58. Andy says:

    Aaron
    thanks for your contribution, when you say it takes 45 minutes to make a shoe from start to finish do you mean a pair of shoes and does this time include making the sole’s and cutting the inserts, if so, can you tell me how long it takes to make the sole and cut the inserts.
    Thanks for the tip about the first 100,000 pairs, i contacted HM customs today and asked if the 16.9% duty only applied to the first 100,000 pairs of shoes or the first 100,000 pairs of shoes for each style they hadn’t heard anything about the first 100,000 pairs. They have promised to reply within 48 hours, I am sure you will be right. I will keep you informed of their reply.
    Andy

    • Aaron Procter says:

      Hi Andy the 45 minutes i was referring to is for 1 pair of shoes ( high heel shoes )
      in my statement the 45 mins included the soles already made the process that we use was from cutting the pattern from material to the finished product. ( including waiting for the glue & cement to be fully dry ).
      The inserts are mass cut just like the pattern’s for the shoes. With the main production of footwear been over seas it is very difficult to get the soles at a reasonable price as there is only two company’s that sell soles in the UK but I’m not completely sure if they make them themselves or buy them in.
      As far as i am aware what i said about the HM is still correct but i could be wrong as they are changing things on a monthly basis. What i was referring to was a mass order of any type of shoes and styles it was worked out on how many pairs of product you were importing. ( excluding children’s shoes and trainers )
      Just a quick note on the 45 min time scale really it all depended on how many shoe last the company had in it procession it could be quicker depending on if machines weren’t waiting to use a last. I am looking forward to your reply about the HM answer i am interested to know what they have to say. Aaron

  59. Andy says:

    Hi Aaron
    I got a reply from HM Custom’s, they said that commodity code 6404110000
    “64 Footwear, gaiters and the like; parts of such articles
    04 Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile materials
    Footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics
    Sports footwear; tennis shoes, basketball shoes, gym shoes, training shoes and the like 64 04 110000 ”
    had an import tariff of 16.9% and this applied to any number of shoes brought into the UK, including quantities over 100,000, he stressed that all shoes were subject to this tariff.
    He also confirmed that commodity codes
    “64 Footwear, gaiters and the like; parts of such articles
    06 Parts of footwear (including uppers whether or not attached to soles other than outer soles); removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles; gaiters, leggings and similar articles, and parts thereof
    Uppers and parts thereof, other than stiffeners
    Of leather
    10 10 10 to 90 90 90″ were all subject to a tariff of 3%.

    So you are really up against it, if a company can have all the work done in China and import the shoe parts at a tariff of only 3%, SAVING 13.9% IN DUTY, whilst only paying 50 people to assemble a million pairs of shoes (about 6 minutes per pair) what chance does a British firm have of competing, especially when the labour cost in china is only 10% of UK labour costs.
    I wonder if they can say “MADE IN UK” for shoes assembled in this way.
    Andy

    • Aaron Procter says:

      Hi Andy cheers for that. It is a sorry a fair when things are like that. The only bonus for UK Manufacturing is the chines wages are going up & up. I have a friend that makes footwear in china and as just closed one of hes factory’s and moved production to Tywan because of the lower pay rates.
      On the subject of been able to label there shoes as Made In The UK i think they would be ale to. As i have said in a previous post 20 years bk the materials came from abroad ie Italy and Tywan. The only way forward is to start to manufacture some part of a product in the UK.
      Which will create some jobs then when this increase the company’s that can produce the materials, soles, heels will move to were they are closer to there customer base which will be here in the UK.

  60. Simon says:

    Barker shoes are not made in the UK. They might have finishing touches done in the UK but they are made in India and imported weekly by air freight. Such a shame they are misleading their customers. I work in the shipping industry and see these shipments come in every week.

  61. Mike Gittoes says:

    I go out of my way to try and buy British – used to buy Hotters but sizes varied too much, Moved to DB shoes as I believe that they are made in the UK ? – not the most fashionable but they are very comfortable !

    Are they really made in the UK

    Mike

  62. My husband and I make leather sandals, shoes and boots in East Bilney, Norfolk. We only make to order now and only take on about 3 pairs per week but we are still here. We are able to make small alterations to patterns for bunions, sore toes, etc. You will find us on Google Earth and on various directories.

  63. Matt Hill says:

    Hi,
    I stumbled on this when looking for more British lines in our outdoor shop. I didn’t see Altberg in the list a boot manufacturer in Richmond North Yorkshire were nearly all there products are made in Richmond though I do believe they make a few out of a factory in Italy when demand is higher than supply
    Matt

  64. James Draper says:

    Disappointed not to see Draper of Glastonbury mentioned!! http://www.draper-of-glastonbury.com Handmade English Sheepskin footwear

  65. David Donnelly says:

    Pretty Polly, Aristoc & Elbeo tights and stockings made in the UK at Courtaulds Legwear factory in Belper in Derbyshire.
    We also make house brand for many UK high street customers.
    We have a staff of 470 people and strive to compete in this price driven market by placing emphasis on quality, service & speed. Please contact me for any enquiries.

    David Donnelly
    Managing Director

  66. Footwearer says:

    Great Post. Certainly nice to see that not every company has outsourced to save money.

  67. Paul Pennington says:

    I have a superb but extremely heavy pair of brogue ankle boots (Last M4831/5) labelled Henry & Austin, H7 Made in England. I can find no information on this maker. The sole is stamped Dainite Sole Made in England.

    • John says:

      A mystery! Never heard of “Henry and Austin” shoes. If they’re heavy, might be a pair of Trickers made for a clothes shop of that name?

  68. sarah says:

    Retroshu handmake all winklepickers and brogues here in the uk so another uk manufactuer on home turf!! :))

    http://www.retroshu.com

  69. gigi marzorati says:

    Almost all production of Grenson are made in India…

  70. Peter Salkeld says:

    I run a closing room. We do the uppers for several firms in Northampton. Also uppers for surgical shoes and boots

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