Our story


Individuality is one the most endearing human traits, many of us strive to stand out from the crowd and stamp our own uniqueness on the world around us. Yet despite that when it comes to fashion we often find ourselves restricted by the availability of styles and colours offered by brands, high street and on line retailers.

My mother and then my wife always insisted that you could tell a lot about a man by the shoes they wear. This same sentiment is also played out daily in the business environment and among peer groups. Thus increasing the importance of us guys choosing not only the right footwear for any given occasion but also that best reflects us as an individual.

After many years developing and supplying footwear to high street retailers and other brands and gathering a wealth of knowledge working in and visiting shoe factories around the world. I realised that all retailers and brands are guilty of doing the same thing. They are all offering shoes in a pre-determined style and a small selection of colours, therefore removing the opportunity of the consumer to purchase something special, unique and personal to them.

It is now my pleasure to break this mold and offer you a selection of the best most popular gents shoe styles made to a premium quality and make them available to you in a colour of your own choice and combination.

Each pair will be hand painted to match your chosen colour through a process called tamponation , by myself or one of my equally skilled colleagues here at Northern Sole. This process creates a stunning detailed finish and every pair even when dyed from the same base colour varies slightly and is unique from the next. You are unique why shouldn’t your shoes be.

All of our shoes are made from premium quality calf leather upper, lining and sock. We have built in comfort with a soft combination of support to make all day wear a pleasure.  The sole is Leather waist and stack with durable anti slip TPR forepart and heel piece. A classic construction makes a fantastically durable and comfortable shoe.


The art of the hand dyed shoe:

  • The colouring process (tamponation) starts by placing the upper on a wooden or plastic last to keep the shape of the shoe solid during the colouring process.
  • Next the sole is covered by masking tape to avoid being dyed during the process.
  • Then the upper of the buff calf skin shoe is cleaned to ensure there are no surface imperfections which would be highlighted when colour is added.
  • Then the chosen colour dye is mixed and then carefully applied by special sponge and brush covering the surface of the shoe paying special attention to all stitch or brogue channels.
  • During a crucial time period of the dye being applied and drying the shoe is ironed by a special small iron that spreads the dye stuff more evenly and penetrating the leather skin.
  • We repeat the process of applying the dye and again ironing to evenly spread and ensure penetration of the dye.
  • Then each shoe is buffed using a special cream and a cotton wheel to ensure the dye is worked into the upper and excess removed.
  • Finally the shoe is buffed with a finishing wax and wool brush to add a gloss finish which not only looks smart but gives a durable top coat. 
  • Your shoes are then inspected and packed ready to receive your satisfaction.
  • Lovingly pouring our heart and soul into your shoes is a time consuming process, accordingly please allow up to 5 days for delivery of your unique shoes.

(special colour combinations or finishes can be discussed and organised by emailing help@northernsolefootwear.com)