We are Carréducker Ltd…bespoke shoemakers, designers and founders of ready to wear shoe company, Carréducker London.
We are helping to reignite British shoe manufacturing; combining our design experience with the specialist expertise of small artisanal manufacturers across England. Together we are producing stylish, comfortable and fit-for-purpose shoes and boots, sustainably.
We have decades of experience and industry knowledge...
...our work is in the permanent exhibition at the Design Museum, here in London.
This time around, we set out to build an all-terrain, all-weather boot.
The Tor Boot is designed to see you through the toughest conditions, whether you are an urban adventurer or backwoods explorer; made on a generous fitting last, with a deep toe box, bellows tongue and fully lined in 100% wool upholstery felt.
It is available in a choice of six leathers.
And two sole options.
The Carréducker Tor Boot will be available to buy online for £450 at carreducker.com in Spring 2018.
They come in UK sizes 4 to 13 (full sizes only, see Size Chart below)
British weather is legendary (no wonder we Brits talk about it all the time) and so it is no surprise that Britain has a great boot manufacturing heritage. Boots have helped shape our history - they've been worn by everyone from kings...
And they are still a strong part of the British landscape, both rural and urban.
Our new boot will be made by a traditional work boot manufacturer and family business in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park…William Lennon & Co.
The business was founded in 1899, making proper safety boots for working men, and operates from the most bucolic location…a centuries-old, converted corn mill with a bubbling stream tumbling into the mill pool where the waterwheel once turned.
The Peak District itself is an area renowned for its towering tors, verdant valleys, and ancient, dry stone walls… an area that demands performance boots for all weathers and terrains. That is why the Tor Boot is named after the Peak District’s rocky summits.
The boot's origins began on a research trip to Derbyshire some 18 months ago, when we were given access to the firm’s archive – foundry, tug-of-war, shepherd and WWII boots.
We came back excited to explore how we could bring our design skills to bear whilst preserving the iconic qualities of a William Lennon boot.
There were aspects of the boots that we both immediately loved:
- First off was the distinctive, brass screw rivet construction
- The toe spring and sturdy sole
- The double and triple parallel stitch lines
- The toe shapes and generous fit
To really get a feel for them, we each road tested different styles to see what was practical for both country hikes AND urban streets.
And identified areas we wanted to change; refining the stitch length and the number of stitch rows; reinforcing the boot tug; focusing on the iconic brass rivet construction; adding rubber sticker soles and heels for extra grip; and softening the feel inside the boots.
- We decided a semi-sprung toe was ideal
- We selected some of our favourite Tempesti and Horween leathers for the boot exteriors, which we know will age beautifully
- We sourced 100% wool upholstery felt to create a really soft and comfortable interior, in complete contrast to the solid, performance exterior. Like leather, wool is one of the earliest materials used by man, with a proven track record. It has provided warmth to early explorers, protection for foundry workers and is breathable, soft and warm - so we knew it would be a great choice.
- We decided to make a feature of the zigzag back seaming and used a contrast stitch on the felt linings
- We love the contrast of metal on leather, so added antiqued rivets instead of stay stitches and pared back the stitching.
Press knives were used to cut out the leather pieces...
The felt was carefully cut with a clicking knife and shears
Then the uppers were stitched together
Stiffeners and toe puffs were fitted and the uppers were heated, pulled over the last using a special machine and glued and nailed in place.
Then the sole was attached using the only machine of its kind in the country.
This ancient industrial machine drives brass screw rivets through all thicknesses of leather to create impenetrable soles over 20mm thick.
The result is a boot which is ruggedly handsome on the outside and soft and cosy on the inside.
We have some enticing rewards including laces, socks, shoehorns, camel dubbin, and, of course, the Tor Boots themselves at great Kickstarter prices. We are offering free worldwide shipping on all rewards, so get tapping and pledge for yours today.
If you want multiple rewards, pledge the total amount and send us a message telling us the ones you want.
Our funding goal for this campaign is £18,000 and your money will help us achieve two things - to manufacture our first order of the Tor Boots and to support the best of British heritage bootmaking.
Tor Boots are unisex and come in full sizes from a UK4 to a UK13.
- So, if you are between sizes, say a UK 5.5 we suggest that you go for the size up, a UK6, and expect to wear thicker socks.
- Tors have a generously rounded toe shape and deep toe box, so there's lots of room for your tootsies.
- They can be worn laced loosely and slightly open at the front; snugly closed with the felt overlapping; laced part way; or worn unlaced...whatever takes your fancy.
Photo credit: James Ducker & Deborah Carre by Alun Callender
Risks and challenges
We've worked in this industry for over 20 years, so we are confident that we know what the pitfalls are and how to overcome them.
Our main challenge is working with a small factory. We have been working with this factory for over a year to explore their capabilities, to ensure the best quality and to understand their team better, so that we can work together to get the boots delivered on time. We've booked ourselves into the production schedule and left a little wriggle room for our delivery deadline.
Delivery can also be a potential obstacle, but we are working with a tried and tested fulfilment company which ships shoes worldwide on a daily basis, so you will be in safe hands.
Fit is also a challenge with boots. We have worked hard to develop a last (the blocks the boots are made on) that gives the optimum fit and makes for comfy boots. But just in case your first choice doesn't work out, we will order enough boots in a variety of sizes to allow for returns so that you have a great pair of well fitting, stylish boots to wear.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)