Wednesday 27 January 2016

Tricker's: A True Companion

Pictured: The Henry Elastic Brogue in 1001 Burnished finish.
I have my eye on this one...
In some parts of the country it's already officially the wettest January on record. Although remarkably we've managed to stay warm and dry here at The Pier, we find that we're choosing our outerwear with a little more care– and a cautious eye towards the latest weather reports.

Dressing for damp weather while still looking good is something we British do very well. After all, we get a lot of practice. While there are plenty of modern styles out there, the sustainably-minded gentleman has always paid attention to the more traditional brands. Not just out of a sense of history, but because they offer investment pieces that are designed to last for a lifetime...and beyond.

Take Northampton-based footwear firm Tricker's. Founded in 1829, they have been providing sturdy and long-lasting boots and shoes to country folk for nearly two centuries. Tricker's quickly established a reputation for outstanding build quality, and became the brand of choice for farm and estate owners as well as the landed gentry.

In 1840 Walter James Barltrop, future son-in-law to founder Joseph Tricker, built a model shoe that would become the prototype for a new kind of country footwear: welted, and therefore waterproof. The thing is, Barltrop was only seven at the time. How's that for knowing your career path?

As the decades rolled on, Tricker's continued to innovate while holding onto traditional values. Moving into a new factory in Northampton in 1904 (still their base today) enabled the firm to build workshops that allowed their craftspeople to undertake specialised operations beyond the reach of other manufacturers. The elegant shape of the Tricker's boot became formalised into the design we still see today in 1926. New tanning processes developed in the late 1960s provided footwear that was softer and easier to break in, while still retaining the trademark durability and weatherproofing.

Today, Tricker's are still going strong. Their Nothhampton workshops regularly recieve and restore boots and shoes that are more than 20 years old, making them as good as new and ready for another double decade of wear and tear.

And that's the point of featuring the brand here. Apparel that is not just built to last but that can be repaired if needed is a cornerstone of sustainable fashion. Yes, the initial investment is steep, but you're buying a pair of shoes or boots that will be faithful lifelong companions. Maybe the style isn't to everyone's taste. But for this writer, a classic English profile tied up with impeccable sustainable credentials make Tricker's a brand worth celebrating.

Right, I'm off for a tramp in the woods. Puddles and mud hold no fear for me!

For more, hie thee to the website.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great blog. We have an excellent team of craftspeople in our Bespoke and Repairs department. They take great pride in repairing and nurturing people's cherished footwear back to life. As you noted, we regularly receive shoes and boots purchased over 20 years ago that are only beginning to show signs of needing a full repair. Robust and built to last, these are often handed down from father to son.