As a by-product of being the home of luxury English shoemaking, Northampton is also a great place for finding quality vintage shoes. The first set of vintage shoes were found at the brilliant Vintage Retreat; half a dozen pairs of ‘Church’s famous English shoes’ from the 1960s.
Crockett & Jones shoes certainly embody quality and a timeless aesthetic and the shoe factory shop offers a good, broad range with prices from £130, considerably less than half the usual retail price. All beautifully handcrafted shoes and all 'exquisitely English' and why, I believe, Crockett & Jones shoes are so incredibly popular with an international audience.
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.
In terms of discounts, the shoes I tried on had anything from 40% off outlet prices (let alone retail prices) to a whopping 70% off for quality Church's shoes. So, for the sake of St George’s, for England and for a bastion of fine shoemaking in the very heart of our green and pleasant land I openly and eagerly recommend a visit to Church’s shoe factory shop.
John Lobb. Makers of fine English shoes since 1886, connoisseurs of classic styling and quality craftmanship and owners of probably the best shoe factory shop in Northampton is packed full of a superb range of John Lobb gentleman's shoes at up to 40% less than their retail price.
Opposite the factory is an unassuming building where you can find a great range of Cheaney shoes at less than half their retail value. As well as finding out that the company still sources materials for and manufacturers "at least 95%" of their shoes in England, we learned of some of the collaborations that the Cheaney brand is currently working on.