An Introduction to Quality English Footwear – part 2
High End: Edward Green
Personally, I have found that good English made shoes are usually worth the money you pay for them. So when it comes to Edward Green, who is without doubt one of the priciest RTW shoe manufacturers to come out of Northampton, they really are one step ahead of the rest.
Edward Green is another one of those illustrious brands established in Northampton in 1890. Edward Green was a man with a singular passion for shoes who began working in the shoe industry at the tender age of 12 years old. ‘Excellence without compromise’ was his promise and very quickly his name became synonymous with the finest English Goodyear welted footwear in England.
Fortunately for many of us, not a lot has changed in over 120 years. What distinguishes Edward Green from Loake and Crockett and Jones, in my opinion, is the quality of its components, in particular the calf leather and hand-finish burnishing applied to the skin. It is also the quality of its construction and attention to detail, like the closed channel stitching on the sole and slightly bevelled waist.
The brand is arguably most famed for its Galway boot and Dover shoes, the latter being a Norwegian aproned derby shoe with a hand-sewn upper using a boar’s bristle needle – considered to be one of shoe making’s most intricate crafts.
It is this level of hand-work which adds to the labour and therefore price – with Galway starting at £1,090 inclusive of VAT and Dovers £1,075 inclusive of VAT, they are more than double the price of Crockett and Jones bench grade shoes. Are they worth it? – in my opinion, for their iconic models, they are worth every penny. But for their other models, I’m not so sure. Yes, they produce some of the most exceptional footwear coming out of Northampton, but for a similar price, you can get some very impressive hand-welted shoes from Italy, Hungary or Romania, something you simply won’t find on any of the English shoemakers.
Your New Year’s Resolution
I hope that I have inspired you to explore and maybe purchase a pair (or two) of good quality shoes to replace those not so great glued pair. Not only will you get immense enjoyment from wearing them and receive complements from both men and women but you will also be doing the environment a favour too. The reality is, your cheaper shoes may only last you 12 months. Comparatively, a quality pair of English made shoes should last you, with proper care, for many (many) years – as they say, quality endures the test of time. This shouldn’t just be a way to justify buying or spending better quality shoes, but your bank account (in the long run) will appreciate it too. And that’s without taking into account how much better they will look on you!
So please, for my sake, if you limit yourself to only one style resolution this year, make it to invest in a quality pair of Goodyear welted footwear because they should be a staple in every man’s wardrobe.