Joseph Cheaney & Sons is one of those English gems that has maintained the design integrity that it had when it started over 120 years ago in Station Road, Desborough, Northamptonshire.
Deep in the English countryside the Cheaney shoe factory is still busy manufacturing fine English shoes for a global audience. Just 30 minutes drive from the heart of the shoemaking industry in Northampton, the Cheaney shoe factory is well worth the drive, with discounts of over 50% available in the shoe factory shop.
My trip out from Northampton took me through beautiful English countryside, through a number of typical 'spires and squires' Northamptonshire villages and on to Desborough where Cheaney are still based.
The Joseph Cheaney factory shop
Opposite the factory is an unassuming building where you can find a great range of Cheaney shoes at less than half their retail value. The two gentleman were incredibly helpful and more than happy to talk about both the shoes and the wider Cheaney business.
As well as finding out that the company still sources materials for and manufacturers "at least 95%" of their shoes in England, we learned of some of the collaborations that the Cheaney brand is currently working on. From Clarks to Mulberry, Cheaney design and produce fine English shoes for partners as well as selling its own ranges through various retail stores.
Premium English shoes made in Northamptonshire
As for me, I'd go for the Maidstone Oxford brogue in hand burnished chestnut calf. Like any quality shoes made in Northamptonshire, you get a feel for the premium product straight away; beautifully crafted with a Goodyear welted leather sole and distinctly English, they look and feel fantastic.
With a retail price of £315 and a factory shop price of £140, you're looking at a discount of well over 50% for Cheaney shoes with over 100 years of shoemaking heritage soaked into every stitch and buff.
After a successful visit we headed back to Market Harborough although the Rushton Triangular Lodge is only 5 minutes away and well worth a visit. For any Temples fans, you'll recognise it from their debut album cover, for any English Heritage members you'll recognise it from your monthly newsletters. And that's a pretty good comparison to Cheaney shoes; great for the aspiring young dude as well as for the dapper older gentleman.