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Brogues were originally developed in Scotland, with their characteristic perforations allowing water to drain out of the shoes after walking on wet Highland bogs. These days the style is favoured more for aesthetics than practicality, although brogues are still ideal for wearing in the countryside because of their durability

The craftsmanship

Each pair of shoes are handmade in a process that can take up to eight weeks, and entails more than 250 manual operations. The brogues are fully leather lined, and have leather soles with rubber heels. The laces pass through eyelets that are reinforced with metal rings, while the leather is hand-polished

The expertise

Church's has been manufacturing in Northampton since 1873, with traditional methods still employed by the craftsmen, many of whom work at the factory for life. Church's was acquired by the Prada Group in 1999, ensuring that the brand's heritage and high standards of production have been retained

The Goodyear welting

In common with all fine English shoes, the Goodyear welting method of connecting the top of the shoe to the inseam and leather sole has been used. The sole and the upper are stitched on to a 'welt', a strip of hand-cut leather, which is then in turn stitched on to the bottom of the shoes in the early stages of manufacture

The after care

Regardless of where they were purchased, a pair of Church's shoes can be returned to the manufacturer for repairs or for a 'refurbishment', in which the same diligence and high-quality materials employed in the original manufacturing process are used. With proper care, a pair of Church's shoes can last a lifetime

Photography by Mr Michael Bodiam | Words by Mr Peter Henderson
"Church's is a British brand synonymous with quality, excellence, tradition and innovation in the world of men's luxury shoes."
Mr Agostino Ropolo, worldwide commercial director, Church's

Church's was founded in 1873 by Mr Thomas Church, although the family had already been hand-making men's shoes since 1675. Quality, craftsmanship and innovation have always been cornerstones of Church's business, and in 1881 the company was the first manufacturer to introduce differently shaped 'left' and 'right' shoes (previously both tended to be cut from the same last). Still based in Northampton, a region of the UK that has been the centre of the footwear industry since the Middle Ages, Church's uses only the finest leathers and still hand produces its shoes, ensuring that the timelessly stylish end products are steeped in heritage and craftsmanship.


This poster refers to the London International Exhibition, held in Crystal Palace in 1884, at which Church's won an award for its innovative differently shaped left and right shoes, which has since become the industry standard
Church's shoes are handmade in a process that can take up to eight weeks and has changed little since the brand was established more than 130 years ago
Church's bi-colour correspondent shoes (also known as "spectator shoes") are updated with a sleek red sole. The style was popularised by Mr Fred Astaire in the 1930s
The Gorillaz collaborator and gallerist Mr Remi Kabaka wears the Church's "Burwood" brogues in classic dark brown
The Church's "Bampton" monk-strap shoes have a raffish elegance about them. The style is thought to have been worn by Italian monks in the 15th century, hence the name