Modern English shoes are a unique blend of contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship. They're handmade in Northampton, using quality materials, Goodyear welted for durability and come in UK sizes 3-13 - for Men & Women.
They are edgy and minimal yet comfortable enough to wear all day, every day. Yet, because we sell direct, we can get them to you at high street prices and still give 50% of that retail price back to the craftsmen who made them.
We thought long and hard about how to create 'better shoes'; not just shoes that look good but also wear well and can be manufactured efficiently, and cost-effectively, by hand.
Our uppers are a single piece of leather, wrapped at the heel and stitched. Soles are Goodyear ‘Storm’ Welted and made from natural crepe.
These shoes are minimal and functionally elegant but we believe great design lifts the spirits and, though our shoes are minimal and exacting, we like to think of them as 'joyfully naked' as opposed to acetic.
Designed For Men and Women
We have carefully graded our styles in order to retain the same character and proportion, no matter how large or small. They are available in UK sizes 3 to 13. Please refer to our size guide (below).
Available in 2 Styles
- Classic Trainer - with innovative 'kilted' tongue and colour-matched flat laces.
- Sandal - with an open-face and satchel-strap fastenings.
Each Style Comes in 6 Colours
'Stretch Goal' Style Added!
This style was added due to social media demand. it is a split-tongue slipper with a comfortably broad fit. This is just one piece of leather!. It comes in the standard 6 colours (as usual, Orange is limited and will be first come, first served).
This style costs £100 and is listed as: "1 PAIR OF SLIPPERS - STRETCH GOAL - NEW STYLE".
Screen Printed T-shirts
Behind Modern English
Until the '70s, there were hundreds of shoe factories in England – capable of turning out almost 180 million shoes per year and the majority of shoes bought in the UK were made locally. Today, only a handful of shoemakers remain and imports account for 98% of UK shoe sales.
Founder and Creative Director, Jamie Harris, believed England's craft footwear industry could only survive if its products were relevant to today's consumers and, in 2013, Modern English was set-up with the intention of EVOLVING, rather than PRESERVING this 600 year old Northampton-based industry. The name, Modern English, is our manifesto; everything we make will be made in England, and will be modern in its thinking. If there was any doubt, Modern English is NOT another 'Heritage Brand'.
Today, we employ traditionally skilled craftsmen and women to create contemporary, well-priced products, appealing to a more youthful consumer.
In the Making
Why These Shoes Are Special
- Designed with a more youthful outlook
- Available for Men and Women (UK sizes 3-13).
- Handmade with quality materials
- Same price as mass-produced shoes from the far-East
- Whole cut’ leather uppers, Goodyear ‘storm’ welted, with natural crepe soles
- We give back 50% of our retail price to local craftsmen and women
- We guarantee a comfortable fit or your money back
When Can You Have Your Shoes?
If you can't wait for our Kickstarter rewards to be produced (and you live in the London area), you may be interested to learn that, from mid-July, 2016 the Natural Shoe Store will be selling a special edition collaboration: "Natural Shoe Store x Modern English".
We have always admired The Natural Shoe Store, which is why they are our first (and ONLY) UK stockist.
Choosing The Right Size
Our shoes fit 'true to size' according to UK grading. They're designed to be a 'comfort fit' - meaning they are wide enough to let your foot spread. This means, if you have exceptionally narrow feet, or low arches, they may fit more loosely.
NOTE - If you have narrow feet AND low arches (as, for example, some of our Asian customers do) you may find it necessary to wear an insole in your shoes. Please bear this in mind when ordering your shoes.
We hope to add further ½ sizes to our range if we reach our stretch goal so please specify your preference as a whole and ½ size.
Our Size Conversion Chart
We have been working for over 3 years to create something meaningful - utilising English craftsmanship. These shoes aren't our first products but (with these) we feel we have achieved what we set out to do; leverage tradition to make something entirely new.
The wonderful thing about Kickstarter is that it not only helps small companies to fund their ambitions but to understand whether what they have been trying to do has meaning for others. We want to know if Modern English has a place in your world.
Of course, by selling direct (without a middle man), Kickstarter also allows us to reduce our prices to you, whilst increasing our own margins and giving more back to our makers.
We will use the funds raised to produce stock and to properly launch our brand and website.
More images & video as requested!
Risks and challenges
Our manufacturer has been consistently producing as a workers cooperative since 1800s. They are very capable and have been deeply involved in the development of these shoes. As a result, we are very confident that any orders received can be fulfilled in time and to our exacting standards.
We have a manufacturing agreement which covers us against production faults. We will not be accepted faulty products as part of our factory's deliverable. Hence, sub-standard products will not be passed onto our customers...
Size and Fit -
The size and fit of shoes varies widely across manufacturers. Added to this, there is no single size conversion chart that can be agreed across territories. As a result, there is some risk of shoes not fitting as well as they might.
To mitigate against this, we will make additional shoes - beyond those ordered - to account for necessary exchanges.
We would rather our supporters collect their shoes at our launch event, where fit can be confirmed and ill-fitting shoes can be exchanged for another size on the spot. However, we understand this may not be convenient for all of our supporters - we will be happy to exchange shoes by post - or refund the cost of purchase.
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