Founded in 1879, this family owned firm – still run by the Jones family– are craftsmen of some of the finest classic English shoes available today. Highly regarded for the exquisite level of detail and craftsmanship they apply to all of their footwear, a Crockett & Jones shoe looks fantastic on the foot and their elegant last shapes have an authentic bespoke appearance about them. They are an essential for every man’s wardrobe.
Church’s, established in 1873, are renowned as innovators of the left and right shoe – towards the end of the 1800’s many companies sold pairs as identical ‘straights’ – most people who appreciate quality timeless footwear will know of this company. We love them for their classic approach to shoemaking; their shoes have a great stylish presence and balance on the foot. Though their range has now broadened to include some more contemporary shapes and styles, the classics are what we believe Church’s do best. Brogues, toecaps, oxfords, derby’s, monks and loafers… styles such as these, as the company famously proclaim, are “beyond fashion”.
We’re big fans of this great shoemaking company, though they are virtually undiscovered in the global market. Cheaney & Sons, founded in 1886, are one of the most diverse manufacturers of English footwear today. Capable of producing shoes of virtually any style, colour, material or pattern with no compromise on quality. We have worked closely with Cheaney for many years, collaborating with them on our own brand of original footwear. Now in the capable hands of William & Jonathan Church, they are definitely ones to watch.
Another major name in the history of English footwear, Trickers were established in 1829 (around the time of the first steam trains). This company, famous for its meticulous handcrafted shoes, uses only the finest quality materials and workmanship and produces just 1400 pairs a week from their Northampton factory on St. Michael’s Road. We particularly enjoy their range of country brogues and boots. With a distinctive heavy look and presence on the foot, Trickers shoes are truly unique.
Having won the UK Fashion and Textile Industry’s gold award for export excellence, the future looks set to be promising for this Earls Barton shoemaker. Barker have been manufacturing in the U.K. since 1880, proudly producing high quality footwear in an array of styles with a real eye for detail. The diversity of their range means that they have shoes to suit all occasions and age groups. We have collaborated with Barker to produce a stylish and individual collection of contemporary looks. This company is globally renowned and much sought after by discerning customers. We admire the independent looks Barker creates with their distinctive approach to shoemaking.
A heritage to be proud of…
Loake’s tradition started in 1880. Still under the same family ownership, this company is renowned for producing classic, contemporary and casual styles of excellent quality and value. Loake offer a fantastically varied range of shoes and boots to suit any occasion. They are passionate about their products and so are we. If you want to slip your feet into a well-made pair of Goodyear welted shoes you won’t go wrong with a pair of Loakes.
Founded in 1873 by brothers William & Thomas Sanders in Rushden, Northamptonshire. Sanders is still under the same family ownership, now in it’s 4th generation. With a proud heritage producing shoes for military forces worldwide, to date they make classic and contemporary shoes. They’re world renowned for their iconic Chukka boot, which was adopted and worn by sartorial icon Steve Mcqueen.
Stride out in something a bit different…
Stemar have epitomized exceptional Italian style and craftsmanship since 1969. Boasting a range of sleek individually styled shoes, Stemar combine some of the most innovative techniques and traditional artisan skills to create footwear with extraordinary flexibility. From design to finish, over 250 different operations are required to produce a wonderfully exquisite pair of Stemars, all of which are crafted in their own factory in Vigevano using some of the finest leathers and raw materials available. We have collaborated with this great Italian shoemaker to create some interesting styles that complement our classic English collection with an edge of continental flair. A pair of Read’s Stemars will sharpen up any outfit.
Sebago are an American New England casual lifestyle brand with a nautical heritage. Since 1946, Sebago have carved a name for themselves producing a wealth of hardwearing shoes and boots that are both stylish and functional. This company is famous for its Docksides, handcrafted deck shoes that are casual, easy to wear and, for those interested in boating, essential. Sebago’s shoes are fit for all walks of life.
With a heritage of over 225 years, John Smedley is one of the worlds oldest manufacturing companies, producing exquisite knitwear in Derbyshire since 1784. Established in Lea Mills just 13 years after the first water powered spinning mill was developed, their garments are still made in the heart of Britain to this day. As innovators of pioneering technology – they were one of the earliest to introduce the first ‘Cotton’s Patent’ fully fashioned knitting machines and developed a range using ‘whole garment’ seamless stitching techniques – Smedley have worked with some of the biggest names in fashion and have a global reputation for creating timeless knitwear. Their quality range of clothing, produced using some of the finest Sea Island cotton and extra fine New Zealand merino wool by dedicated craftspeople, gives the wearer a genuine feel of everyday luxury.
With over 125 years of sock-making experience, Pantherella combine some of the finest materials and innovative manufacturing techniques such as seamless stitching to produce luxurious socks in a kaleidoscope of individual colours and patterns. These quality socks are a real treat on and allow even the most understated of men a dash of dandyish expression. They are the perfect companions to a pair of well-made shoes.
The Tusting family has been tanning, grading and trading some of the world’s finest leathers for five generations. With an unparalleled knowledge of leather and highly skilled craftsmen at their disposal, Tusting can create a variety of quality, luxurious and practical goods that are virtually unsurpassed by others in their field. Their bags have a fantastic feel of practicality about them, epitomising style and sophistication. To quote Tusting themselves: “bags are meant to travel, they are durable and faithful companions that will follow you all around the world and look ever better for it”.
Keeping you dry since 1868. Traditionally made from whalebone, Samuel Fox created a unique and stronger umbrella by pioneering the use of a steel frame, paving the way for the modern umbrella. Fox uses the finest materials and attention to detail is one of the company’s hallmarks. The manufacturing process has remained relatively unchanged throughout the company’s history, relying on the skill of hand-workers as opposed to machinery… No compromise is made to keep the rain out.
If, like us, you cherish your shoes then these really are the products to take care of them with. La Cordonnerie Anglaise have been crafting wood and leather products with expertise since 1885 and offer an extensive range of shoe creams, polishes and accessories made to the highest standard. Their hand crafted Valet Boxes are a work of art in themselves and are the perfect item to compliment any shoe obsession. Unlike chemical-based solutions, the quality of the natural waxes and creams found in La Cordonnerie Anglaise’s products give the very best nourishment and protection for your leather helping to replenish oils, prevent cracking and keep it looking its best. If you take some time, a spit of water and a little elbow grease you can create a deep luster and wonderful patina with these polishes that will set your shoes apart from the crowd.
Based in Walsall, the heart of the UK’s leather goods industry, Daines and Hathaway have honed their leather craftsmanship since 1922 and produce a range of heritage-inspired accessories that are classically British but which fit perfectly with the demands of contemporary living. Somerset leather specialist Pittards supply many of the beautiful leathers used to create Danies and Hathaway’s products.
New for 2012 and exclusive to Reads Footwear, we have worked closely alongside two of our favourite companies, Cheaney and Barker, to bring the girls a little something special; the ‘Molly Read’ line. Crafted to the same exacting standards as our men’s shoes only with sleeker lasts, supple leather uppers and serrated soles for extra flexibility, this made-to-order heritage range of loafers and brogues are on-trend and quintessentially British. Perfect for those looking to inject a bit of an edge to their outfits or who are simply after some dependable, well made flats that can be worn anywhere and (almost) everywhere.
Over the years we’ve been lucky enough to have had many long-standing collaborations with some of the finest shoe companies in production. We’ve always had an appreciation for those who think and dress a little differently. Therefore, the emphasis for our own-label shoes is to focus on classic elegance with a subtle, contemporary edge. Reads MTO models offer an alternative to everyday styles by introducing unexpected details to a shoe – be it a coloured pebble grain leather, a patterned lining or contrasting textures. Made in limited runs to our exacting specifications, these shoes feature materials and design elements selected personally by us. These exclusive designs give our customers the opportunity to own something that has the familiar mark of quality and durability associated with traditional craftsmanship, yet at the same time is special, unexpected and unique.