The great English brands


Church’s are the best-known of the quality English shoe brands. They epitomise English shoemaking to the world, with their classic, handsome, hard-wearing shoes. They are the reliable choice of English businessmen. In recent years they have become one of the most widely-known iconic brands in the world, with a big presence in America, Germany and the Arab world. They were recently bought by Prada and are now truly multi-national, and Prada’s influence is beginning to be seen in Church’s shoe designs.

Church’s shoes are a rite-of-passage for English businessmen; you know you have arrived when you can afford your first pair of Church’s. In England Church’s have a fiercely loyal professional clientele and many refuse to wear any other shoe.

At their factory in Northamptonshire Church make classics, Oxfords, Derbys, Monkstraps and Slippers (both loafers and moccasins) and town boots, using traditional techniques. They have two primary ranges, “Last 73″ this being their entry level shoe and their Custom Grade collection, which uses finer hides and more hand-finishing. Church’s make a well-structured shoe, not as heavy as some, suitable for just about everyone. By not as heavy I mean that the shoes are relatively slim, the shoe leather is of a medium thickness and the styling is classic but not old-fashioned. They excel at brogues and some of their brogue Derbys are simply beautiful.

Church’s provide superb service in their shops. They excel at introducing the English shoe experience to newcomers and are passionate about making sure their customers get the right shoe.

The careful structuring of their shoes (both the sewing of the uppers and the joining to the soles) means that they take a little bit of wearing-in but they mould to the foot quite quickly and become comfortable after a few wears. The uppers seem to glow with a warmth and sparkle that few other brands can match.

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