Edward Green established his shoemaking workshop in Northampton in 1890 with a commitment to ‘making the finest shoes, without compromise’.
Determined to maintain the very highest standards, he put together a team of the town’s most respected shoemakers and sourced the best materials for them to work with. By the 1930s, Edward’s sons were running the company and it had become the biggest maker of high-grade military boots in the country. Post-war, the company shifted its focus to shoes, winning a legion of fans that included Ernest Hemingway and Cole Porter.
Respect for the tradition of shoemaking has always been paramount, as evidenced by the Dover – Edward Green’s most iconic shoe.
It is handmade with boars’ bristles, which are carefully split and entwined into a thread before the shoe’s distinctive U-shaped apron is sewn. It takes a skilled artisan over two hours to hand sew the aprons – as well as years in training. Today the Dover, and other shoes such as the Galway boot and Chelsea cap-toed Oxford, are exported globally, prized for their supreme quality and distinctly English character. Edward Green shoes are made to age gracefully, gaining personality like handsome mahogany furniture. Production is relatively small-scale – only 350 pairs a week are made – so that the workshop can focus on quality above all else. This starts with the antiqued calfskins, which are of exceptionally high quality.
The colour of the leather is only finished after the shoe is made, with much hand burnishing and polishing to produce a deep patina. This approach demands more attentive clicking (the industry’s word for cutting). Edward Green’s soles are tanned for nine months in a solution of oak, spruce and mimosa barks for unequalled comfort and durability. After being sewn to the shoe, the channel is closed and the sole is bevelled to create a refined finish. Original lasts are returned to be re-crafted again and again – and sometimes last decades. No detail is missed. And it’s that combination of excellence and quintessentially English style that has served the company well internationally.
Edward Green is stocked by the world’s leading department stores from Isetan in Tokyo to Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York, with its own stores in Paris, Tokyo and on London’s Jermyn Street, where
the flagship is just across from Beau Brummell’s statue – an arbiter of style in Regency London.
The shop keeps an extensive range of sizes, widths and lasts, ensuring that customers can find their perfect fitting and, having established this, many customers will go on to have shoes made to order, specifying leather, last, fit and sole to create something truly bespoke. This year, the range also includes women’s styles. If you are far from St James’s, Edward Green’s full range of shoes is now available online, with free global returns. Today, the workshop continues to make shoes according to the same simple philosophy Edward Green laid out – never compromise on the integrity of the craftsmen.
EDWARD GREEN 75 JERMYN STREET, LONDON SW1Y 6NP +44 (0)20 7839 0202