The Eat Dust Desert Boot

This week we are launching our Eat Dust Desert boot .Which was produced exclusively for us by NPS from Northamptonshire .The NPS company was established in 1881 by 5 men living in the village of Wollaston who formed a co-operative called the Northamptonshire Productive Society . Know as  ‘the Duffers’ their premises was a dove house in Thrift Street .

As industrialisation spread in England during the late nineteenth century, demand in England and abroad for high-quality boots steadily increased. As a result, NPS enjoyed rapid growth and by the turn of the century, NPS had grown to 80 employees. Consequently, NPS moved to a larger purpose-built factory on South Street in 1899, which although extended in 1907 and again in 1951, we occupy to this day!

Footwear has been made at NPS with various  construction methods including riveted and stitched, stuck-on, vulcanised and more recently Goodyear-welted, which is now used in all our footwear production. For 35 years NPS produced Solovair (Sole-of-Air) boots and shoes under licence, which were sold under the name ‘Dr Martens by Solovair

Times change and NPS no longer produces footwear under licence. Indeed, it is no secret that since the 1980s the UK’s manufacturing sector has drastically shrunk and shoemakers have been exposed to increased imports of finished footwear. At the turn of this century, NPS was on the verge of collapse and was propositioned by a property developer to demolish the factory site for land development.
Ivor Tilley, who lives in the village of Wollaston and has been involved with the footwear industry for over 45 years, wanted to try and save the factory. In 2006 he asked the co-operative if he could purchase NPS Shoes with the hope of both continuing its life as a shoe factory, whilst also preserving both the employment, skills and knowledge of the local villagers which had accumulated during the long history of the company. The workers voted in his favour!
The factory has subsequently gone from strength to strength! Our Solovair footwear brand is now distributed to all four corners of the world. Moreover, our classic footwear styles have been commissioned by some of the largest brands in the UK and internationally including Jack Wills, ASOS, John Lewis, Hudson (Purified), Joules, Vegetarian Shoes, M&S, Kurt Geiger and George Cox.

Our customers understand that British made footwear is amongst the best quality in the world. By combining over 130 years of traditional craftsmanship and tooling with the latest technology and materials, NPS will continue to produce the finest quality footwear. To maintain this undisputed quality, our products will always be handmade from start (‘clicking’) to ‘finishing’ in the UK!

Back to our boot :

We have chosen to produce a Chukka Desert Boot . 

We have opted for a high version chukka , the upper is made out of Italian full grain suede , with a leather midsole on a 100% natural crepe sole . A elegant functional yet super comfortable shoe . First run is in very limited numbers ! Only 26 are made.