The Pinnacle Of Shoe Manufacturing
While a vast amount of clothing production has left our shores in recent years, traditional Britain footwear brands continue to thrive.
With a dedication to premium quality materials and time-tested production methods, this distinct industry has stayed true to its British heritage, keeping UK operations going strong despite economic struggles and garnering a loyal, dedicated fan base in the process.
Familiarise yourself with some of the best made in Britain footwear brands with our top ten rundown below.
With a history spanning back to 1866, this specialist leather label has kept its production on British shores for over 130 years.
Best known for its classic brogue designs, it continues to utilise the Goodyear-welted method to ensure shoes can be re-soled again and again, built to truly last you a lifetime.
Important Note: Some of Grenson’s new, lower cost lines are now constructed overseas, so always ensure you read the product information carefully before ordering.
We’re pretty sure everyone has encountered a pair of Church’s brogues in their lifetime, with the brand’s most famous silhouette still holding its popularity up to the present day.
The heritage label, founded in 1873, continues to turn out its much-loved design at its Northampton factory, distributing shoes directly from the UK to stockists worldwide.
Another brand with a rich history, this 1829-founded company also continues to produce high quality footwear at its Northampton-based factory, ranging from ready-to-wear shoes to bespoke pairs.
To this day it remains a family-run business, with five generations of the Barltrop family heading up its day-to-day operations.
Shop Tricker’s at its Jermyn Street, London, store and END Clothing.
4. George Cleverley
Pushing against the culture of low quality, mass-produced fashion, George Cleverley still makes most of its shoes by hand in its Mayfair store.
The British brand has earned itself a strong reputation across its relatively short fifty year life span, most recently being enlisted to create footwear for Mr Porter’s exclusive Kingsman collection.
Shop George Cleverley at its London store or online at Mr Porter.
Despite being founded in 1880, this British brand only opened its first standalone store in 2011, four years after receiving a Royal Warrant.
Turning out everything from brogues to boots to monk-straps, Loake specialises in gentlemanly footwear at reasonable prices – a pair of leather moccasins will set you back just over £100.
Also founded in 1880, Earls Barton-based label Barker still upholds its tradition of crafting the finest English shoes in a purpose-built village factory.
While the company’s practices have remained the same, its designs have moved on significantly, with the brand producing modern ‘creative’ collections that see classic footwear silhouettes given a contemporary twist.
Jeffery-West describes its footwear as “infamous”, and with just one look at its collections you’ll realise why.
Sharp, Gothic-inspired footwear is its signature, even naming its shoes after the rock elite – Jarvis Cocker, Bryan Ferry and Keith Richards, to name but a few – a tradition that still stands with the British brand to this day.
8. Alfred Sargent
Another brand hailing from Northampton’s popular shoemaking region, Alfred Sargent was founded in 1899 by its namesake and his two sons.
To this day the label remains in the hands of their grandchildren, continuing to produce timeless designs here in the UK on a made-to-measure basis.
With a heritage dating back to 1886, Cheaney (AKA Joseph Cheaney & Sons) has seen its success grow decade upon decade.
In 1966 the British footwear brand was awarded the Queen’s Award to Industry for its excellence in exporting, going on to open four stores in London since 2002 – its latest addition located in Spitalfields.
10. Crockett & Jones
This label is all about high-end footwear, with stores in London’s prestigious Burlington Arcade and on Brompton Road, counting the likes of Harrods amongst its neighbours.
Its production process is just as admirable, using a Goodyear welt to create bespoke footwear that truly lasts. However, despite its continued UK success, Crockett & Jones distributes around 70 percent of its products overseas.
Shop Crockett & Jones at its London stores and Liberty London.