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Northampton UK Shoe Factory Tours and Outlets: Need Advice For a July 2013 Trip

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone.  I am traveling to London in July to visit my son.  We share this fascination with good shoes and he covets anything by Edward Green.  As an American with big feet, I am an Alden fan, but we were thinking of taking a trip to Northampton with the hopes of taking a factory tour somewhere and also doing some outlet shoe shopping.  I have read the various threads her and in AskAndyForums but don't see much of recent vintage.

 

So, is there anyone with current knowledge of what is available to see in terms of factory tours and then what is the current state of factory outlet shopping at EG's, John Lobb, Tricker, Crocket or others?

 

Thanks so much for any help.

 

Signed,

 

An Alden 11.5e Dad with a step-son who can wear an English 8.5.

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Hello Everyone.  I am traveling to London in July to visit my son.  We share this fascination with good shoes and he covets anything by Edward Green.  As an American with big feet, I am an Alden fan, but we were thinking of taking a trip to Northampton with the hopes of taking a factory tour somewhere and also doing some outlet shoe shopping.  I have read the various threads her and in AskAndyForums but don't see much of recent vintage.

 

So, is there anyone with current knowledge of what is available to see in terms of factory tours and then what is the current state of factory outlet shopping at EG's, John Lobb, Tricker, Crocket or others?

 

Thanks so much for any help.

 

Signed,

 

An Alden 11.5e Dad with a step-son who can wear an English 8.5.

John Lobb:

Very limited in supply nowadays - most of their decent rejects start from £450 to £650.

They are still making same amount of mistake but not rejecting as many shoes as before.

 

EG

Appointments only mon-fri. Similar story with JL in stock.

 

C&J's

only open Friday afternoon and Saturday.

Range isn't great some of the rejects are pretty bad. Prices about £180 to £250

 

Chuch's

Don't waste your time.

 

Europe:

 

Try Budapest for Vass and Vienna for SCrispin.

post #3 of 10

I went over to Northampton about this time last year, and did the C&J, Lobb and Church's shops on a sunny Saturday morning.

 

The C&J shop had some great stuff in the larger sizes; sadly larger than the 9.5 that I normally wear. There were a lot of models that had been made for Barneys, specifically.

 

The Lobb shop was pretty average, and it was the Church's factory shop which had the greatest range of samples, seconds and what looked like 'normal' shoes - I've heard it mentioned that Church's will overproduce to clear certain leather stocks, and the additional shoes made go to be sold in their outlet shops at reduced prices.

post #4 of 10
Church's is the closest to the railway station.

Trickers is staffed by a very knowledgeable and helpful man.

I have been to all of the ones in the city - apart from Edward Green.

By the way, the free Northampton shoe museum is well worth a visit.
post #5 of 10

Anyone know if C&J will take orders from you over the phone and ship to US?

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcinitial View Post

Anyone know if C&J will take orders from you over the phone and ship to US?

I don't believe so - it's personal callers only and they still sell most of the stock rapidly despite that. What they have differs widely from week-to-week so it would be challenging to handle 'orders' in any structured sense. It's cheap because you take what they have in person and you impose fewer logistical challenges on them.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Hello Everyone.  I am traveling to London in July to visit my son.  We share this fascination with good shoes and he covets anything by Edward Green.  As an American with big feet, I am an Alden fan, but we were thinking of taking a trip to Northampton with the hopes of taking a factory tour somewhere and also doing some outlet shoe shopping.  I have read the various threads her and in AskAndyForums but don't see much of recent vintage.

So, is there anyone with current knowledge of what is available to see in terms of factory tours and then what is the current state of factory outlet shopping at EG's, John Lobb, Tricker, Crocket or others?

Thanks so much for any help.

Signed,

An Alden 11.5e Dad with a step-son who can wear an English 8.5.

I'll be in London in August. Would be very interested in this also and of course, an after trip report if you do go!
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonC View Post


I don't believe so - it's personal callers only and they still sell most of the stock rapidly despite that. What they have differs widely from week-to-week so it would be challenging to handle 'orders' in any structured sense. It's cheap because you take what they have in person and you impose fewer logistical challenges on them.

 

Yep I am planning to give them a ring on a Friday or Saturday to see if they have a pair of islay boots (fingers crossed). From what I've read around SF they will only ship to UK addresses. Maybe someone on here can confirm? 

 

Perhaps this pdf will help the OP with his trip..http://www.northamptonshireleather.com/pdf/factory-shoe-shop-directory.pdf

post #9 of 10

Has anybody taken a tour there?  Any other highlights in town?

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimney View Post

Has anybody taken a tour there?  Any other highlights in town?

I was up there today. Edward Green was sadly closed b/c they are still getting organized after the sale in London.

I did go to Lobb and C&J. For me, it was a useful trip. It's tough to find much on sale when you're an EE or F width. Lobb, for example, doesn't stock EE in stores other than black City and black Phillip. I actually found a pair of loafers that fit me, which was a very pleasant surprise.
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