As the longest established shoemaker in England, the year was 1829 when Joseph Tricker founded the company. To set the scene from an historical perspective, that same year saw Robert Peel establish London's first uniformed police force, whilst in America, Abraham Lincoln gave his first political speech. Louis Braille invented his system of finger- reading for the blind and Queen Victoria's ascent to the throne was still eight years away. Tricker saw the birth of a modern world, a time for great enlightenment, learning and social reforms. This was the world in which the first retail orders for Tricker's shoes were secured.
Northampton, situated in the heart of England, is a town renowned for its shoe industry - the history of which goes back hundreds of years. Demand of Northampton shoes became so strong that by the year 1840 there were 1,821 shoe makers in the town. Walter James Barltrop, son-in-law to Joseph Tricker, made this model boot when he was only seven years old in 1848. While simple in its execution, it pointed the way for the waterproof country shoes and boots that Tricker’s customers prize so highly today. 1840 also saw other innovations, Cunard’s RMS Britannia was the first ship to cross the Atlantic under steam power, Nelson's Column was constructed, and the first stones of the new Palace of Westminster were laid in 1840 too. (Aptly enough, given how many statesmen have made their boldest steps shod in Tricker’s country boots).
The Tricker's (most recent) factory, located at 56-60 St. Michael's Rd, Northampton, first opened its doors in 1904. The Goodyear Welted machine was introduced into Tricker’s at the turn of the 20th Century after Walter James Barltrop had returned from a buying trip to New York. He soon realised that it was different from all the others on the market. This machine made it possible to sew the shoes upper with the insole, without having to attach the undersole with the same stitching. In other words, you could make a smart, well-made shoe with the help of a machine, and not only by hand which had long been practiced by Tricker's since 1829. Charles Goodyear Jr. is widely credited with writing a new chapter in the history of men's shoes. Due to electrification during Queen Victoria’s reign, Goodyear's machine became the number one, both when it came to results and efficiency. Other manufacturers from Northampton followed across the Atlantic to learn the new method, and the welted construction is to this day still being practiced at Tricker's. The same factory is still the base for all manufacturing today, proudly 100% made in Northampton. While traditional manufacturing processes have changed over time, our commitment to making shoes and boots of outstanding quality has remained the same and Tricker's men and women can perform specialist operations which many other welted manufacturers cannot.
While the original Tricker’s country boot underwent rapid development in the early years, it quickly arrived at the classic form we are so familiar with today, it is little wonder that farmers all over England, then the whole of Britain, swore by the comfort, durability and practicality of Tricker’s waterproof country boots.The company is renowned for their heavy brogue shoes and boots, and these have been adapted for both country walking and town use, and have been extensively used for shooting. In addition the Museum calf town collection, a range of beautifully crafted mens classic shoes was introduced in the 1920's and has proved to be extremely popular for both country and city gentlemen alike. In 1926, Britains first Motor Grand Prix is held at Brooklands, John Logie Baird gave his first demonstration of television and Queen Elizabeth 2nd was born.
Built to the same exacting standards that established Tricker’s reputation, the Tricker’s country boot today is a direct descendant of the boot Walter James Barltrop created at the tender age of seven. Today Tricker's boots and shoes are known for their exacting quality, incomparable comfort, individuality and irreproachable character. New tanning processes resulted in stronger and more durable leathers while advances in manufacturing processes improved reliability, fit and comfort. The result is a unique shoe or boot that fits the contours of your feet perfectly. While Tricker's country shoes and boots and their distinctive look are often imitated, they remain unrivalled in quality, personality and character. His Royal Highness,The Prince of Wales, confirmed this position in 1989 when he awarded Tricker's his Royal Warrant for shoe manufacturing.
2019 is a very special year for Tricker's as we celebrate our 190th anniversary as Britains oldest shoemaker. We were extremely proud to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to our Northampton factory on Monday 28th January to unveil our commemorative plaque. Founded in 1829, the brand's committment to making shoes and boots of outstanding quality remains wholeheartedly consistent. Tricker's footwear is made entirely from start to finish at our Northampton factory and, whilst manufacturing processes have changed over time, our craftsmen and women continue to follow traditional techniques. After 190 years,Tricker's boots and shoes are still known for their exacting quality, incomparable comfort, individuality and irreproachable character.