Northampton Shoe Shopping

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by PhiloVance, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. Kingstonian

    Kingstonian Senior member

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    As previously mentioned be prepared for disappointment , the factory shops do not carry all the lines and in certain sizes there will be next to nothing. There are also the ebay warriors to content with too that snaffle the pickings to list. Its very much a case of luck on the day and i wish you well but be prepared to come away with either nothing or a boatful.... ive come away with nothing more times though.

    Correct.

    I would ring ahead to ask what is available in your size. I have been to Lobb when they had nothing in my size. C&J is usually crowded and not great IMO.

    You will not get into Edward Green unless you have made a prior appointment.
     
  2. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    Oh, we're going regardless of what's there in my size . . . but I will temper my expectations accordingly. Thanks for the insight.

    Perhaps we will call ahead and tell them to hold everything in brown, size 9 or 9.5E.
     
  3. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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  4. stylemaven

    stylemaven Senior member

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    I was up a week and a half ago for my 3rd visit - had great success at Lobb, C&J and Church's. Trickers seemed a bit less exciting, but is probably worth the visit.

    Enjoy - I'm glad we aren't competing on size!
     
  5. bobbers

    bobbers Senior member

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  6. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    Trust me to pick the only time of the year that Trickers and Lobb go on holiday for a year! Popped into C&J but virtually nothing in 8 and very small selection of handgrades at £250. You may do OK in larger sizes.
     
  7. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    Oh, we're going regardless of what's there in my size . . . but I will temper my expectations accordingly. Thanks for the insight. Perhaps we will call ahead and tell them to hold everything in brown, size 9 or 9.5E.
    They will not hold anything for you. I have even asked them in person to hold one pair that I was quite sure on and they refused unless I had paid for them. As already mentioned, it is quite underwhelming. You do go with dreams of there being every shoe you have liked just waiting in your size at an excellent price. This is just simply not often the case. Be prepared to improvise, go with a particular style that you would like, ie a derby wing tip, than a model name in mind. John Lobb isn't really worth it in my opinion, be prepared to sort through many boxes only to reveal truly awful skin coloured Mr. Smoothie shoes in a size 10EEEEEEEE or some bizarre size on almost every occasion. Tricker's is well worth a visit, as is C&J, they are all walkable form the station. Never been to Church's myself, but I don't care for their shoes. EG, as some have already mentioned, do not have a shop, and in order to look at their seconds you must book an appointment, don't expect very good discount though (ca. 10-20% off). You will have fun, it is good to put faces and buildings to names, but honestly do not expect to come away with a pair of shoes.
     
  8. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    I'd also add that Northampton is an absolute hole.
     
  9. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    You may have a chance sighting of a certain Alan Moore though.
     
  10. Pengranger

    Pengranger Senior member

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    I've always found a reasonable selection in 9.5. If you're in a car, don't forget about Barker (at Earls Barton) who normally have some Barker Black's for sale. Grenson is also a possibility, but I would call in advance to check what stock they have available.

    C&J are open Friday PM and Saturday AM. The best day to visit, I would say, is Friday.
     
  11. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    I've enjoyed both my visits to Northampton. The first time I drove with some friends from London, and I took the train the second time. By train, it's pretty easy to leave early in the morning and be back my lunch, which was helpful in not ditching my fiance for too long.

    I've only visited C&J and Lobb. As others have said, you can't go looking for a particular style. You have to just take what's available, which can be kind of fun. Lobb is 90% weird models that I'd never consider. The other 10% can be intriguing, but it's rare to find a classic style. C&J usually has a few solid options.
     
  12. Drogue

    Drogue Active Member

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    So, finally, after years of waiting in vain and reading about various forumites' pilgramage to shoe mecca, I myself will be heading to Northampton next week. My wife and I will be visiting her brother in Oxford (the stated "real" purpose of our trip), and I have persuaded them to set aside Friday of next week for a quick (at least that is how I described it) shopping trip. My main interest is in seeing the lobb and c&j shops, so Friday seems to be the best day.

    I've read the previous threads on day trips, but if anyone has any useful tidbits to share, any information would be welcome. For instance, it sounds like there isnt much to see or buy at Edward Green. Has anyone been to some of the other makers' shops (Tricker's, Church's, etc.)? I'm hoping that there's a decent supply of shoes at the various shops at this time of year, but we'll see.

    My brother-in-law's wife is an excellent photographer, I will see if I can have her take photos of the shops and towns to post when we return.

    This is a trip I've done quite a few times as I grew up in Northampton and my parents still live there. My general impression of the stores:

    Church's is a small shop but usually has a pretty good range of random models. As well as their own stuff they often have seconds in the stuff they make for other firms (there was a section of Jil Sander last time I was there). It's not a huge shop by any measure but I've found it often has what I'm looking for.

    C&J is a great shop, but with less of a mark-down for seconds than it used to be. They even have some of their handgrades, though even as slight seconds they're pretty pricey. I've never walked away empty handed from either of these.

    I've never found much at Trickers and have never bothered going to the EG or Lobb ones because they're still above my price range (little under £300, reportedly).

    Another one that might be worth trying but is a bit out of the way is Barkers at Earls Barton. A bit of a weird shop but a huge range and has lots for £50-100. Obviously not the quality of the ones mentioned above, but very good value IMHO.

    Finally, I'd strongly recommend using a car, as there's plenty of parking around and it's much easier - these shops are a bit out of the way and not in pretty areas.
     
  13. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    You will not get into Edward Green unless you have made a prior appointment.
    There's nothing to see there. When I went it turns out they didn't have a single pair of seconds... in any size. It was a waste of time, unless you want to buy a pair of RTW's for full-price straight from the factory. Don't bother visiting their factory.
     
  14. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    Just wanted to post an update - I'm still in England and managed to make it out to Northampton. Made stops at Trickers, Lobb, and C&J, as well as the shoe museum which was fantastic. I [​IMG] took quite a few pics and will post when I get back next week.

    Many of the previous posts were pretty accurate. Northampton could use some sprucing up, and the factory stores are pretty hit or miss, depending primarily on what they happen to have in stock and your shoe size.

    At C&J, there were alot of shoes in smaller sizes, not so much in my 9.5-10 range. I still managed to find a nice pair of dark brown loafers made for shipton and heneage at GBP 120.

    Lobb was the same but got lucky in my size: I managed to snag two pairs of prestige lobbs: these JL 2008s in 9.5e went for about US 380.00 excluding VAT. They retail on the site for 1725.00, and I'll be damned if I can see any imperfection. My pair came in noissette, which I believe is french for hazelnut. Its basically a british tan shoe. The store was out of shoe trees in my size though.

    http://us.estore.johnlobb.com/derby/john-lobb-2008.html

    I also picked up these prestige chelsea boots, named the tudor, in parisian brown museum calf. Size 9 EE that also went for about 380.00 excluding VAT. Those retail for about 1500.00 and both pairs are fairly new, they are the first shoes that come up on Lobb's site when you click on derbys and boots. Again, I'm not en expert but i dont see any noticeable/obvious imperfections. The woman at the desk, I think her name was Jean, couldnt really find anything either.

    http://us.estore.johnlobb.com/boots/tudor.html

    All in all, two great pairs of shoes at ridiculous prices. Well worth the trip to Northampton, in my opinion. I'll post pics when I get back to the States.

    Thanks again to everyone for their advice, opinions, insights, and information. It was all very helpful and much appreciated.
    Philo
     
  15. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    I like the look of those Chelsea boots. Sounds like you got a great deal! I've got another trip pencilled in for the next few weeks to visit Lobb.
     

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