Top 15 Best & Famous British Shoe Brands For Men – Really Made In Britain
Using the finest materials and exacting traditional methods such as the Goodyear welt, British manufacturers have proudly led the way to establish their place at the pinnacle of the shoemaking industry.For hundreds of years, British shoemakers have been hand-cutting, lasting, and finishing exceptional quality footwear, and its master craftspeople have perfected classic models such as oxfords, derbies, and Chelsea boots – all of which originated on these shores.
British shoemakers are thriving today, thanks to their unrivaled heritage and the fact that they continue to produce in historic factories. The renewed interest in craft and the high demand for the best leather shoes ensures that these specialized businesses will always have a place.
There are those who have had to outsource production to other countries, such as shoemakers. Grenson and Loake continue to manufacture their high-end models in the UK, but the vast majority of their range is manufactured in Asia. This may irritate some people, but it’s a cold hard fact that manufacturing in the UK is prohibitively expensive, so they need to find cheaper labor. It also means that you can get a pair of British-designed shoes at a lower cost.
Britain, and particularly Northamptonshire, is regarded as the birthplace of shoemaking.
For centuries, specialized craftspeople managed their shoe production from their homes, but with the introduction of heavy machinery in the 19th century, such as Singer machines and the Blake Sewer, factories became a necessity.
However, shoemaking, like the wider clothing industry, suffered after the war due to the rise of cheap labor costs abroad and the increased use of synthetic materials.
Although many of the finest English shoes are still made in and around Northampton, the city also has a reputation for producing truly exceptional footwear. Some may argue that having British Made on all of the packaging is deceptive, but to their credit, it’s thoroughly annotated on their website and is intended to make high-quality footwear more affordable for the masses.
Headquarters: London, UK
Revenue: $791.5M (2022)
Globally renowned fashion house Ted Baker produces collections that are on-trend with luxurious materials and striking patterns.
The quality and trend-driven design of the Ted Baker main line serve as inspiration for this shoe company. In 1987, Ray Kelvin had the idea for Ted Baker while out fishing. He wanted to create affordable clothing for fashionable men and women. Kelvin knew it was only a matter of time before he entered the fashion retail industry after working in his family’s north London store since he was nine years old and spending time at his father’s blouse factory in Tottenham. He opened his first store a year later in Glasgow, followed soon after by those in Manchester and Nottingham, before moving back to the British capital.
Since the beginning, Ted has maintained a very distinct, unwavering focus on quality, attention to detail, and a quirky sense of humor. In fact, the first stores used to offer a laundry service for every shirt purchased, earning the rapidly expanding brand the moniker “No Ordinary Designer Label.” Every piece of art that Ted Baker produces bears the imprint of his personality. Offering reasonably priced, high-quality shoe designs that range from comfortable and casual to polished and elegant, this distinctively British company has grown into a global brand.
Headquarters: Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK
Revenue: $5M (2022)
Grenson is still one of the best and most well-known shoe manufacturers in the world today, despite the confusion over which lines are made in India and which in England that was previously mentioned.
If you’re looking for rubber-soled leather boots, there aren’t many brands that produce as many styles as it does for such an affordable price.
The history of Grenson is extensive and illustrious. This renowned shoemaker takes pride in offering high-quality traditional models. Their shoes have been worn by famous people in the past and present, and they are best known for their classic brogue patterns. Grenson sets itself apart from the competition through excellence, a love of the little things, and meticulous craftsmanship. The brand has stood for impeccable craftsmanship, heritage, and luxury for more than a century.
In 1866, Grenson shoes first appear on the scene. The story starts in Rushden, Northamptonshire, where their founder, William Green, started making shoes in his attic above the Corn Merchants. Back then, every shoe was made by hand.
Each boot was meticulously crafted to ensure the highest quality. The age-old idea that handstands are the best way to build shoes still holds true today. Because they believe that exceptional quality cannot be replicated in any other way, Grenson still makes shoes by hand. Grenson boots are handcrafted because something as important as your shoe shouldn’t be left in the hands of a machine.
In Kettering, Northamptonshire, at its Wood Street factory, Loake Shoemakers has been making some of the finest shoes in the world since 1880. The company continues to produce Goodyear-welted shoes in the old-fashioned way.
HM the Queen has granted a Royal Warrant to the family-run Loake company, which is known for its timeless designs like loafers, Chelsea boots, brogues, oxfords, and derbies. Additionally, it now produces a popular brand of sneakers that are both well-made and more casually styled for customers.
While Loake still produces a sizable portion of its designs in England, Grenson still outsources production to foreign countries, which helps keep costs down.
They have been family-owned since the beginning and take great pride in our tradition of making shoes. Explore the information below to find out how it all began, read about significant moments in our journey, and discover some of the occasions we have celebrated or overcame.
In 1873, Thomas Church and his three sons established Church’s. The brand was taken over by Prada in the 1990s after the fashion house paid $170 million for an 83% stake in the business. Later, Prada sold a 45% stake to private equity company Equinox.
Church’s is a huge company with locations in 16 different countries. It has also worked on a number of high profile projects, most recently with the streetwear brand Off-White, which puts it in the middle of the high fashion and traditional craftsmanship worlds.
The company still manufactures its products in the UK and does the classics exceptionally well, but its frequent sneaker releases and chunkier, trendier designs have increased its appeal to both hypebeasts and traditionalists.
The company’s factory, which is still located in Northampton’s St. James neighborhood, can produce 5,000 pairs of shoes per week, on average. All shoes are entirely made in Northampton, and the quality standards set in 1873 are still in place today.
From their Northampton factory, Crockett & Jones, which was established in 1879, has created some of the finest footwear ever made.
Along with a flurry of independent shoemakers looking to leave their mark on the footwear industry, Crockett & Jones entered the market. It has accomplished this nearly 150 years later, becoming a significant player and the guardian of British shoemaking tradition.
Although C&J hasn’t strayed too far from its roots, it has subtly and deftly updated its roster to meet the needs of modern consumers. Its selection of timeless styles is hard to match, but the brand also excels in more modern silhouettes like chunky, lug-soled Derbies and unstructured loafers.
Amazingly, the founding family still owns and runs the company today, adhering to its quality and timeless style above all else ethos. 100% of the shoes are produced in Northampton. They are possibly Ape’s favorite pair of shoes.
Headquarters: Northamptonshire, UK
Revenue: $563M (2022)
On the list of the top British shoe brands by revenue, Dr. Martens comes in at number three. Dr. Martens first produced straightforward workwear boots in the small town of Wallston in Northampton at the turn of the 20th century. The brand is now well-known all over the world due to its enduring quality and timeless shapes. People who have a distinct personal style but a common purpose—real people who stand up for something—are drawn to Dr. Martens. individuals with a strong sense of self-expression. individuals who are unique.
One of the brand’s distinctive features—originally created with a hard leather sole—is due to a German soldier named Dr. Klaus Maertens, who created the brand’s ground-breaking air-cushioned sole to aid his injured foot. In contrast, Dr. Martens has always been associated with Britain, and the company’s Made in England line pays homage to this heritage. Each pair of shoes in this collection is individually made in Northamptonshire using a Goodyear welt.
Headquarters: Street, Somerset, UK
Revenue: $310M (2022)
On the list of the top British shoe brands by revenue, Clarks comes in at number four. From its humble beginnings in a small tannery in the early 1800s, this shoe brand has grown into an ephemeral British label worn by celebrities like George Harrison, Bob Dylan, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Ghostface Killah.
James and Cyrus Clark, two brothers, founded the business in Somerset, England, in 1825. At first, they produced carpets from sheepskins. James started making the first Clarks shoes in 1828 out of rug remnants. James’ son William mechanized the shoemaking process in 1873, catapulting the business to the forefront of technological advancement after years of creating profitable and prize-winning designs.
By the early 1910s, Clarks had established itself as a must-have brand among London’s fashion-conscious population thanks to the production of fresh, high-end, and cutting-edge designs for discerning customers.
The company still strives to be innovative today, developing collections that draw from its extensive archives, timeless classics, and fresh, contemporary styles. It also frequently works with renowned British designers like Orla Kiely and Christopher Raeburn.
From remaking its iconic Desert boots or Wallabees to developing modern classics like the Clarks Trigenic, Clarks is a brand that embodies the imaginative British approach to footwear design and superior craftsmanship.
Headquarters: Desborough, UK
Revenue: $178M (2022)
Cheaney was founded in 1886 by Joseph Cheaney, who also moved the business with his brother Arthur to its current location in 1896. Initially, Cheaney created white-label shoes for some of the most renowned retailers around the globe, each one customized to their particular needs. Joseph Humphrey Cheaney, the founder’s grandson, was the one who realized the need for the business to create its own shoe line.
When Church’s English Shoes acquired Cheaney in 1964, the brand could now be sold to retailers all over the world, with the Desborough plant providing a thorough in-stock service. In 2009, Jonathan and William Church, cousins of a family that has been making premium footwear for five generations, bought the business. They are absolutely committed to making the best English-made footwear possible, and that is what matters most.
Glossy leather is created by coating the leather with layers of acrylic or resin to give it a permanent high gloss. When wearing smooth leather shoes, move slowly to prevent scratches and damage. With that in mind, Oxford whole cut is a great substitute for smooth leather if you’re looking for calfskin. This suggests that you’ll be able to wear shoes more frequently, like when you’re at work.
One of the priciest brands on this list, but Edward Green shoes are worth the price because they are hand-cut from the finest leathers available.
One of the greatest shoemakers Britain has produced, according to Edward Green. Its founder, who bears the company’s name, became fixated on shoes in 1890 and set out to create them in a way that was completely unmatched.
Each pair of shoes is made with unwavering attention to detail and embodies the classic English style favored by people like Ernest Hemingway and the Duke of Windsor.
Headquarters: Nottingham, UK
Revenue: $245M (2022)
Another distinctive and distinctly British company is PS Paul Smith. When Paul Smith, the name of the brand, established a small boutique in Nottingham, the doors to PS by Paul Smith first opened. In 1976, Sir Paul completed an evening course in tailoring before making his debut in Paris with his first menswear line. In 2017, PS by Paul Smith is a well-known, diverse, and highly relevant British footwear brand. It combines traditional and conventional styles with humor and mischief.
The works of Sir Paul Smith are representative of traditional British design with a vibrant edge. They are exquisitely made, cozy to wear, and flawlessly combine traditional British design with modern trends. The most recent PS by Paul Smith shoe collection for men and women epitomizes the brand’s distinctive craftsmanship and minimalism, while still maintaining flare. This is often enhanced with a splash of color or his signature multi-colored stripes. Men’s Derby shoes, Oxford shoes, Chelsea boots, sneakers, sandals, loafers, and other footwear are also offered in formal and informal looks.
Headquarters: 56-60 St. Michael’s Rd, Northampton, Northamptonshire, UK
Revenue: $15M (2022)
Tricker was born in the same county as Grenson, 40 years earlier. Given that it was established in 1829, Tricker’s is the country’s most seasoned shoemaker. The original owners are still in charge, and they remain steadfast in their commitment to making shoes and boots of the highest caliber. Although production methods have changed over time, Tricker’s craftspeople continue to use old-fashioned methods of production. Tricker’s footwear is only made in Northampton.
Due to Tricker’s boots’ exceptional craftsmanship, the brand gained popularity among people from all socioeconomic classes in Britain, with queues forming for everyone from farmers and factory workers to upper-class people. Real Northampton shoes are made at Tricker’s, a factory in the city’s historic shoemaking neighborhood, by workers who are immersed in the business. Tricker’s is still the gold standard of British footwear today and offers a pair of shoes that will last a lifetime with each shoe going through over 260 different processes.
Headquarters: 20 Hoxton Square, Hackney, London, UK
Revenue: $7M (2022)
Born and raised in London, Hudson Shoes has spent the last 25 years providing both men and women with high-quality shoes that are also reasonably priced. Expect more styles, as well as the women’s footwear line, in the near future! We at Country Attire are excited to introduce the first phase of the H by Hudson Shoes collection for men to the website.
Since its debut in 2004, H by Hudson Shoes have only gotten better. H by Hudson specializes in giving traditional shoe designs a quirky twist for truly unique, trend-driven styles that continue to be a favorite among fashionistas and footwear connoisseurs.
H by Hudson is constantly pushing the boundaries and surprising customers with new treatments and materials. It is at the forefront of innovative footwear design. Each shoe has a unique inspiration, whether it comes from a piece of art, music, film, or a faraway location. Each shoe also has a unique story to tell, with a variety of hand-finished details and finishing methods to bring the shoes to life.
A number of H by Hudson shoes also have leathers that have been washed or dip-dyed for a vintage appearance, creating modern classics in shoe design. The shoes by H by Hudson combine beauty and durability to create the ideal investment piece. They are not only expertly made, but they will last for many seasons.
Headquarters: Basingstoke, UK
Revenue: $4.2M (2022)
Since 1866, John Lobb has produced shoes and boots for men in London and Paris. The company still makes bespoke shoes in the French capital today and uses the same bespoke manufacturing techniques to create its ever-growing ready-to-wear line of shoes and leather goods.
The Hermès Group’s acquisition of John Lobb in 1976 caused the biggest upheaval. The family still controls the London bespoke workshop, John Lobb Ltd, though, and it continues to run independently from its location at 9 St. James’s Street. All of the John Lobb boutiques, the By Request service, the ready-to-wear line, and the Paris bespoke atelier are a part of the business owned by Hermès.
The John Lobb Northampton workshop, where the ready-to-wear line is now handcrafted, was established in 1994. All of its footwear upholds the enduring John Lobb traditions of exceptional quality, exquisite craftsmanship, comfort, durability, and elegance.
Headquarters: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Revenue: $725M (2022)
A British footwear manufacturer known for its rubber Wellington boots is Hunter Boot Ltd. The North British Rubber Company was established in 1856, and the company’s headquarters are in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a 160-year history of producing top-quality rubber shoes with exceptional robustness—essential for festivals—Hunter is perhaps best known for their festival staple wellies worn by British legends like Lady Diana and Kate Moss. Since its founding in 1856, Hunter has provided tough, waterproof Original Wellington boots to a wide range of customers, including royalty and casual Sunday walkers as well as British soldiers fighting in two World Wars.
Celebrities and bloggers have recently developed a cult following for Hunter. The original green boot, which had a distinctly British flair, has since become a famous silhouette in many different colors, making it an iconic part of British footwear history. Hunter has maintained its meticulous dedication to designing products that combine classic design with durable construction despite having a significantly wider range of styles and products.
George Cleverley, who began working as an apprentice at the age of 15, was born on August 10, 1898, in London to a family of shoemakers. After serving in the Army during World War I, he joined Tuczec, a prestigious London shoemaker on Clifford Street in Mayfair. He worked there for 38 years before leaving in 1958 to start his own company, G.J.Cleverley of Cork Street, Mayfair, London.
He was in charge of developing the brand’s signature “Cleverley shape,” which was a graceful, chiseled-toed shoe. Despite the fact that Cleverley shoes are handcrafted in London, the closing is outsourced. Furthermore, a few of the shoe companies mentioned above (we won’t name them) manufacture ready-to-wear shoes in Northampton.
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