Google 'Tricker's shoes' and you'll mostly likely land on their mid-1990s website and leave (fairly soon after) thinking that the Tricker's brand has nothing much to offer the modern, shoe-loving individual.
However, if you take a visit to the Tricker's shoe factory shop, you'll begin to understand how this small shoe factory nestled in the heart of Northampton town centre has proudly managed to remain 'English shoemakers since 1829' with a royal seal of approval to boot.
The Tricker's shoe factory shop
The shop is positioned behind the main factory, just around the corner from the Jaguar garage with plenty of parking. Having visited a couple of times before I was ready for the eccentric English gentleman who manages the shop; David is undoubtedly knowledgeable and I've also always found him incredibly helpful and, for me, he is one of the main reasons that a visit to Tricker's shoe factory shop is a must.
The range on display in the small shop is great if limited; Tricker's have always made quality heavy brogue shoes and boots and if that's your thing then you won't be disappointed. However, if you can't find exactly what you're after (and even if you can) then I'd definitely recommend getting David on the case.
From trying on a couple of pairs of brogues and admiring the Tricker's X Wolsey golf shoes, David could see I was looking for something a bit different.
As if by magic... the shopkeeper appeared with a pair of limited edition Tricker's
Before I knew it, he had disappeared out of the back of the shop and came back with a couple of boxes for me with new styles to discover.
For those old enough to remember, this was a real Mr Benn moment for me. Admittedly it was the shoes that made the transformation and not Mr Benn but I'm sticking with the comparison; Mr Benn was and still is a true English gentleman in my eyes.
Anyway, in the first box was a great pair of Bourton champagne grey waxed brogues. Very nice but the wrong fit. In the second box, something very, very special - a pair of high shine Oxfords which were truly unique. These factory experiments (working title: 'Tony's Oxfords') were one of only 3 pairs ever made and was something I was definitely not expecting from Tricker's.
Where else can you go and purchase a highly limited edition pair of fine English shoes for under £200? If they had been made with the right lasts (I'm a 4444 fitting not a 4537) then I would have walked out with them and had a little Mr Benn adventure of my own in my pair of Tony's Oxfords.
Shoe factory shop discounts guaranteed
As with all of the shoe factory shops in Northampton, the discounts are all around 50% and the quality is second to none. Prices start from £175 for men's shoes and there's also an extensive range of Tricker's ladies shoes and boots at massively discounted prices.
If your first experience of the Tricker's brand is through the website don't be put off by appearances.
Yes, Tricker's is a very traditional family business making premium handmade shoes (you can see the shoe factory at work through the giant windows in the shop) and is steeped in rich heritage. However, as Tony's Oxfords show, they're still very much moving forward and looking to create fine shoes for the modern lady and gentleman. Please keep experimenting Tony, I'll definitely be back again soon.