‘Clicking’ or cutting is the first stage of making a pair of shoes. A ‘clicker’ cuts the individual parts that when assembled make up the shoe ‘upper’. Cutting can be undertaken by hand using a knife, or with a hydraulic press using steel cutting stencils. The art of clicking is to minimise leather waste and avoiding leather flaws
The next stage occurs in the ‘closing room’ where the cut leather pieces are initially marked to show where the pieces join together and all pieces of leather are ‘skived’ to reduce leather thickness for sewing ease. The upper is now stitched together, eyelets inserted, raw edges strained and excess material trimmed away.
Lasts are wooden or plastic forms in the finished shoe shape and size. An insole or mid-sole is attached to the bottom of a last, and an upper is pulled over it to form the final shoe shape. The upper is then glued and stapled to the insole. The lasted upper is ready for a welt strip to be chain-stitched to using a 'Goodyear Welting' machine.
The Goodyear Welt was invented in 1872 by Charles Goodyear. A welt is stitched around the lasted shoe leather and once in place filled with cork. The sole is then secured in place. Making goodyear welted shoes incredibly easy to resole and therefore the most ethical construction of footwear.
Sole and heel edges are trimmed perfectly smooth in the 'finishing' stage using a machine with a blade that revolves at 2,000 cycles per minute. Completed footwear is taken to the last slipping station where the lasts are removed and restored for the next shoe batch production.
In the shoe room the final product is cleaned and polished, inspected for quality and finishing touches like heel socks are applied. A final quality inspection is then made before the shoes are laced, wrapped in tissue paper and placed into a box ready for dispatch to Percy Stride customers.
MADE IN BRITAIN
It's all about collaboration. Percy Stride works with craftsman all over the United Kingdom, sourcing the best patternmakers, leather merchants, re-solers to name a few. But what's most important is that everything we provide down from our footwear to our business cards are designed in the UK and made in the UK.
We use local suppliers. That's all there is to it. We strive to create products from British manufacturers and merchants with a 100% success rate.
Our footwear is made in Northampton. Our belts are made in Wiltshire. Our wallets are made in Birmingham.
THE FOOTWEAR CAPITAL
Established in 1881, our Northampton factory boasts a team of highly specialized and skilled craftsman.
Shoes in Northampton are noted for their exquisite quality and their shoe making dates back to the 13th century. Retaining tradition and family values throughout the years and it's vitally important to us to highlight our English footwear heritage, promoting the ongoing and increasing talent of our British products and those who are talented enough to create them.
Our team of highly skilled men and women create the best men's smart shoes in Northampton with the traditional Goodyear welted construction technique to the highest specification.
Our small quantities to allow for perfect precision and excellence throughout every range.