Utilitarian in construction and understated by design, Broughton Boots are inspired by the mining boots my great-great-grandfather Elijah Broughton made a century ago.
Our boots are handmade by master craftsmen in the heart of England – at a 120-year-old factory in Northampton, the capital of fine shoe-making.
Broughton Boots features:
- A design adapted from a 100-year-old last and pattern
- Goodyear storm-welted soles
- Calfskin-lined uppers
- An integrated pull strap
- Hand stitched from Europe's finest leather – Dark Brown, Chestnut or Black. Your choice
- Soles of either double leather or Dainite. Your choice
- Our trademark steel quarter-heel. Optional
- Made to order, especially for you
My great-great-grandfather Elijah Broughton founded Broughton Boots the first time in 1907.
That's him with the arrow. You can’t tell from the photo but Elijah walked with a limp. He earned it from years down the coal mines in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire, where he worked as a coal carter.
After a bad break in his foot the previous year – his fourth during his time as a carter – Elijah and his brother-in-law developed one of the world's first boots designed specifically to protect miners down the pits.
Broughton Boots were a huge success.
Over the following decades the boots would become ubiquitous throughout the collieries of Britain. At the time, mining was one of the most dangerous professions. The pits were stocked with inadequate and outdated equipment and attitudes to safety were lackadaisical at best. It was no different with footwear – miners used to wear ill-fitting wooden clogs to carry out their work. One of Elijah's legacies was to help make 20th-century mining a safer, more humane profession.
Four generations of Broughtons went on to produce English-made utilitarian boots for the miners of Britain. The ultimate accolade, a Royal Warrant, followed.
But in the 1970s, the mining industry in this country started its long fade. And Broughton Boots followed suit.
Now we, as fifth-generation Broughtons, are reviving our family's century-old tradition, creating a boot for the modern age.
Introducing the Broughton Boot, 2014. Utilitarian in construction, understated by design, and 100% handmade in the heart of England.
Our boots are designed, handmade and packaged here in England at a factory in Northampton that has been in continuous production since 1881, when Elijah was a boy.
Each boot will be made to order, especially for you. You can choose any size, based on a vintage last from the Northampton archives, from 2 to 16, including half sizes. You can choose the colour of leather, the finest Europe has to offer: Dark Brown, Chestnut or Black. You can choose the type of sole – English-made vulcanised Dainite, or double leather. And, finally, with the leather sole you can choose either our trademark steel quarter-heel or a plain rubber one. And the first 100 pairs will be hand numbered.
Broughton Boots will retail at £325 (€410, $500). But now you have an opportunity to own a pair of the very first re-engineered boots, made to order, for a fraction of the price.
All three colours are from the same tannery, made of finest full grain European leather, tanned in Portugal using raw materials from Portugal and Spain. Our chrome leather is aniline died (no pigmentation is used) and oiled and hot plated to give it sheen and lustre, before being wax finished. We experimented with many different type and many different tanneries and this is the best leather we found (we discovered after the fact that it is the same leather used by Northampton’s best fine shoe makers).
Each Broughton Boot features:
At Broughton Boots we take no shortcuts.
The uppers are hand-stitched following a time-tested pattern; they fit your foot like a glove.
The calfskin inner linings are attached using a special method of part-stitch and part-glue that allows them to adapt better to your feet.
The eyelets are blind eyelets, secretly supported from underneath keeping the look simple and the boot durable.
The soles are Goodyear storm-welted. There are three main benefits to this type of sole.
- The first is that the construction is hearty, nigh on indestructible.
- The second is that it is very simple to reconstruct the sole as you wear your boots down. Rebuild and reuse, never replace.
- And the third is pure comfort.
The Goodyear storm welt that we use leaves a cavity between the inner and outer sole which is then filled with cork and a special stiffener. Cork is the perfect material for your foot. It adds no weight to the boots, it provides another layer of insulation, it moulds to the shape of your instep over time, and, crucially, it breathes. Combined with the ludicrously soft leather lining and the time-tested last and pattern, it works to make Broughtons as comfortable as they are durable.
We have spent more than a year designing these boots and establishing a relationship with our manufacturing partners in Northampton, England. Your help will go directly to our first leather order and will help to tool up the factory.
There are two rewards that we haven't mentioned yet: our specially designed Broughton Boot Socks and our Broughton Shoe Horn.
Broughton Boot Sock We have worked with Britain's top stocking and sock maker – Pantherella – to create the perfect sock for the Broughton Boot. Long enough to fit the length of the boot, but not too long that it creases at the ankle. The perfect thickness means it is warm but doesn't change the way our boot fits. The socks are made at the Pantherella factory in Leicester, England, which has been in continuous production since 1937. Theirs is one of the only factories in the world that still closes the toe of their socks by hand. We've been there, and their skill is incredible. The socks are made from Merino Wool and are available in Gray, Navy and Brown (other colors to be added).
Broughton Shoe Horn We have sourced a small quantity of sustainable horn. Each shoe horn is a foot long, perfect for slipping on Broughtons – or any other shoe.
For all boot rewards, you can choose any size from 2 to 16 (including half sizes), the leather colour (Dark Brown, Chestnut or Black), the type of storm-welted sole (double leather or Dainite) and the type of quarter heel if you choose leather soles (trademark steel or black rubber).
Your choice of boots will be made to order, hand numbered, and produced in our Northampton factory in January and February, ready for delivery March. The earlier you order, the earlier you will receive your pair.
Broughtons fit true and fast. They follow normal sizing patterns and the last is of width F which is a medium width suitable for almost all feet. Use the table below to determine your size. If you are in London, you can come down to the Cubitts spectacles shop at 37 Marshall Street, W1F 7EZ and we can measure your foot for exact sizing.
Our manufacturing partners are located in the heart of the Midlands, Northampton. The factory is the country's oldest functioning workers' collective, founded in 1881. It worked with Dr Marten to make the first AirWair boots in the 1960s.
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk is delay in delivery, not in cancellation. Each boot is painstakingly made by hand, and is not something we want to rush.
Our factory is ready to begin production in January, and we need your help to purchase leather and tools.
Our production schedule allows for 150 boots to be made in January and February 2015 for delivery in March. But if your order is after the first 150, your boots may take slightly longer. Either way, we’ll keep you fully updated as your boots work their way through our factory, from skin to sole (including plenty of photos of the boots being made).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)