6 British Independent Shoe Shops You Must Check Out
If you fancy a flutter on some quality footwear, take a look at these British shoe stores stocking some of the best British-made shoe brands around.
Here at Percy Stride, we like to celebrate and support British products – in particular, British-made shoe brands.
While there’s nothing wrong with going to your local high-street retailer to find a pair of shoes, you’ll know the difference when you choose a pair made by British-made shoe brands.
From boots to brogues, if you’re looking to invest in a premium product, check out our list of independent British shoe stores supplying and manufacturing some of the best footwear our country has to offer.
Since 1920, Blaylock's’ family-run business has been providing the men and women of Swindon, Wiltshire with top-rate footwear.
Some of the British-made shoe brands they stock include Barker, Cotswold, Loake and Cheaney.
Based in Southampton, W.J. French & Son is one of the oldest and largest independent shoe shops in Hampshire.
As well as stocking formal shoes from Cheaney, Berwick and Barker, they’re ideal if you need half-sizes or a repair service while you’re visiting.
Expect an incredible fitting service every time you walk through the door.
This family-run business in Salisbury, Wiltshire have been involved in English shoemaking and repairing for generations, with over 100 years of combined experience to call on.
You’ll find various top quality Oxfords, boots, brogues, monks and slip-on shoes made by Barker Shoes, Berwick 1707 and Joseph Cheaney when you visit this British shoe store.
Established in 1924, Charles Clinkard is establishing itself as a household name for supplying affordable quality leather boots and shoes for men, women, boys and girls.
One of the most compelling reasons to visit one of their British shoe stores is their customer service. Founded by a husband and wife in Middlesbrough, the business has maintained its top service for customers.
If you want boots, there’s only one place to go – The British Boot Company.
Based in Camden Town, this rustic and cosy shop stocks fantastic British-made shoe brands like Dr Martens, Gladiator, George Cox, Solovair and Grinders.
No list of British shoe stores would be complete without mentioning the NPS shop. As well as being the home of manufacturing of our Percy Stride collection, you can also get your hands on some other Goodyear welted shoes.
NPS is an essential part of Northampton’s rich shoemaking history and it’s exactly why so many different British-made shoe brands choose to sell their collections on this site.
Why buy British-made shoes?
As well as our stiff upper lip, love of tea and relentless need to moan about the weather, we Brits are pretty darn good at making shoes.
Shoemaking goes back a long way, with independent shoe shops like the Guild of Cordwainers dating back to 1272. One of the big differences between British-made shoe brands and others around the world is having access to premium leathers.
You can spot first-class leather when you see the natural grain of the animal’s skin appearing as little dots. Cheap shoes are usually extra shiny and have a plastic covering to disguise the bad leather.
All of these British shoe stores supply footwear from brands who source their leather from some of the best tanneries in the world, dating back for generations. These tanneries use a special process to preserve the leather and ensure the quality remains for years to come.
Oak-bark tanning is an example of this which was used in Roman times to produce the best soles. The oak bark infuses the hide with oils and minerals to make it long-lasting and supple resistance to decay.
The manufacturers that these British-made shoe brands use to make their shoes will also have several processes in place to guarantee a quality finish – including using a last to give them the perfect shape.
If you’re interested in learning more about British-made shoe products and whether they’re worth the purchase, take a look at our previous blog: ‘Are British Made Shoes Really Worth It?’