When Fok and I discussed the possibility of me visiting shoe factories in Northampton, the first email we sent out was to Richard at Shoe Healer. In a few short years, Richard has gone from a shoe novice to something of a Styleforvm legend. Perhaps it's fitting that I should be shuttled around Northamptonshire by a man who in an earlier life drove lorries (for Americans, lorries are trucks). Seven years ago, Richard suffered an on-the-job injury which led to him taking a few months off from driving cargo around the United Kingdom. Never one to be content sitting still, he got to talking business with his friend Anthony. Anthony's business was shoes. He inherited his family's shoe repair business in Doncaster, with the clinical name of Shoe Healer. Richard started helping out here and there, learning the trade, before eventually joining Anthony as a business partner. Shoe Healer was never to be the same. What was a small repair shop on the outskirts of town has now grown into a large and brightly decorated downtown location offering retail and repair, caring for a shoe from cradle to grave, carrying shoes from English makers such as Loake, Church's, Alfred Sargent, and Crockett and Jones. They are the largest independent Tricker's retailer in the entire United Kingdom. And the repair jobs continue to come in from all over the globe, from the United States to Australia to Japan. Sometimes you really do have to go halfway around the world to find a cobbler you trust. Richard is a bustling and impatient man. He has a lot of energy; he directs it towards getting what his clients want. “If somebody wants something, and they're willing to pay for it, then I hate telling them they can't have it,” he told me. And I'm willing to drive halfway across the country to get it for them if need be.” The familiar greetings Richard got when we visited the Tricker's factory confirmed that he is a frequent visitor, often coming by to check on Made-To-Order projects that clients have ordered through him. Encouraged by the success of client MTOs, Richard now does his own entire runs of MTOs every month. Richard is also an honest man. Like anyone who makes a business of repairing shoes that are decades old, he has a reverence for English craftsmanship. But he doesn't let that prevent him from standing up for his customers when the factories make mistakes. If he hadn't gotten into the shoe trade, I'd be happy to have Richard as my lawyer. For my visit to Northamptonshire, I couldn't have had a better tour guide. The storefront. Wall of Tricker's. Shoe Healer slippers - coming soon in a few different designs. The photo room. Country brogues. More Tricker's. Wall of Loake. Richard and one of the repair men looking over a shoe heel. More shoes on display. Richard talking with a customer. Richard and the ladies of Shoe Healer, Antony's wife Ann (on Richard's right) and Richard's wife Michelle (on his left).