I am a big fan of Bodileys of Northampton (www.bodileys.com, which for multiple generations has been selling to, and advising customers on, the finest of English footwear. I became of customer of the current generation owner (Sarah Dudley) in 2010, when I started to buy Crockett & Jones Handgrade shoes from her. Throughout the years, as my style preferences have changed, I have found Sarah to be consistently diligent and thoughtful and remarkably honest in her advice for me on a variety of matters from fit, quality, colours and other stylistic aspects. I've recently bought multiple pairs of Gaziano & Girling's shoes from her (arguably England's finest manufacturer of RTW shoes). Sarah has great connections in the Northampton shoe industry and the superiority of her knowledge over others selling fine English shoes is immediately noticeable. Additionally, her customer service is second to none and if you are worried about difficulties associated with returning shoes you may not like for an reason, I can assure you this is not something you will have to worry about whilst doing business with Sarah.
I would highly recommend Sarah to anyone from amateur to expert who is interested in exploring fine British shoe options. Recently, in collaboration with an ex-Edward Green master shoemaker, she has launcher her own line of "London" shoes. I am pasting below a brief write up I requested her to send me so I could post here.
If you have any questions, please feel free to write to me.
Bodileys was established in 1919, originally the leading retail shop in Northampton supplying shoes from local manufacturer’s such as Crockett and Jones, Alfred Sargent and Cheaney shoes. Sarah Dudley, fourth generation of the family business led the move into export and online sales and recently the launch of their own brand named the ‘London and Country Collections’.
Industry luminary John Garner joined Bodileys in 2012. Formerly of Edward Green (retirement didn’t totally suit him!) his passion, expertise and extensive knowledge in the design and construction of shoes was the perfect fit with Sarah’s dream to launch a collection of shoes that are classic with smooth clean lines and superb quality at affordable prices of around £345.
Sarah was passionate that the ‘London Collection’ should be made in England to carry on the heritage, reputation and prestige of Goodyear Welted shoes. The shoes have been made by Cheaney under the very keen eye of both John and Sarah. Cheaney has been under the ownership of two of the Church family members for the past 5 years, having purchased it back from Prada, who had bought both Church and Cheaney in the 1990’s. It was of greatest importance to source the very best calf leather and other materials, the last shapes were chosen with careful consideration and extensive research to give utmost comfort, they come up true to the UK sizing system meaning that each customer would require their same UK size for all the styles.
Sarah has great ambitions for Bodileys and although they will continue to supply other makes of shoes such as Crockett and Jones and Alfred Sargent, she is passionate in creating the Bodileys brand to offer great English made shoes of beautiful design at competitive prices. Having grown up surrounded by shoes, there is not much she does not know about men’s shoes and John Garner has become an invaluable member of the development team.
“The interactive development of the range has been an exciting time for us all at Bodileys, we are now proud to launch our ‘London Collection and Country Collections’ and we look forward to adding more styles in the coming months to give our customers an even greater range of choice”, Sarah adds that she “particularly enjoys interacting with customer’s queries and is always available to discuss and advise on individual requirements”