The History of Tricker's - British Shoe Company

The History of Tricker's


In Northampton, situated in the heart of England, a town renowned for its shoe industry - the history of which goes back for centuries. Sits the country’s oldest and one of the most influential manufacturers of British made shoes Tricker's.

In the coming posts we will delve into this great company and what makes Tricker's shoe's and Tricker's boots so sought after.

Each post will look into a different key area of the Tricker's company starting today with the history of Tricker's.


Throughout the 190 years of the company’s history Tricker’s has remained a family business and is today, five generations later, owned by the same family. Their uncompromising standards of craftsmanship and use of honest materials, are values that have been preserved and developed through these five generations and are observed as resolutely today as they were in 1829.

1829 - 8 years before the ascension of Queen Victoria, Joseph Tricker founded the company. 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.

1840 -  Demand of Northampton shoes became so strong that by the year 1840 there were 1,821 shoe makers in the town, Tricker's shoes were one of many.

1848 - Walter James Barltrop, son-in-law to Joseph Tricker, was only seven years old when he made his infamous boot. While simple in its execution, it pointed the way for the waterproof country shoes and boots that Tricker’s customers love today.

1904 - Tricker's (most recent) factory, located on St. Michael's Rd, Northampton, first opened its doors. 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, as you could now make a smart, well-made shoe with the help of a machine, and not only by hand which had long been the practice by Tricker's since 1829. The same factory is still the base for all manufacturing today, proudly 100% made in Northampton. While traditional manufacturing processes have changed over time, Tricker's commitment to making shoes and boots of outstanding quality has remained the same.

1925 - Tricker's opened their first London store at number 87 Jermyn street. Home to London’s finest shoe makers, men’s tailors & shirt makers.

1926 - 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 people 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 in 1926 introduced a range of beautifully crafted mens classic town shoes in Museum calf, and proved to be extremely popular for both country and city gentlemen alike.
1937 - After 12 short years Tricker's relocated their store on Jermyn Street, 160 meters down the road to number 67, and have been there ever since. The interior still boasts the original wooden shoe cabinets, made from oak from Northamptonshire, which still bear the marks caused by shattered glass when bombs fell on London during World War Two.
1989 - 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. 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 when he awarded Tricker's his Royal Warrant for shoe manufacturing.
Royal Warrant
2004 - The Tricker's factory is used to film a British film called Kinky Boots. Based on a true story. The movie tells of a struggling British shoe factory's owner who forms a partnership with a drag queen to save the business. They develop a plan to produce custom footwear for drag queens, rather than the men's dress shoes that his firm is known for.
2019 - A very special year for Tricker's as they celebrate their 190th anniversary as Britain's oldest shoemaker. They welcomed again HRH The Prince of Wales to their Northampton factory to unveil their new commemorative plaque. Founded in 1829, the brand's commitment to making shoes and boots of outstanding quality remains wholeheartedly consistent. Tricker's footwear is made entirely from start to finish at their 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. 
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