The History Of Grenson Shoes

The History Of Grenson Shoes

Grenson Shoes was started by just one man, William Green. He was born in 1835 but his father unfortunately passed away in 1839 when William was only 4 years old. He moved away from his place of birth with his mother soon after and they ended up in Rushden, in Northamptonshire (a county at the heart of the UK shoe manufacturing industry).
In fact it was Williams mother who taught him his trade as he helped her to produce mens boots at home. It was only a cottage-based business but at that time, most shoemaking was still a cottage industry. He continued to help his mother until 1860 when he moved out of home and continued this in his own home until 1866.

In 1866, William stopped producing shoes and boots in his house and instead became a factor. This essentially meant he went out to get the orders, find the materials and employ craftsmen to fulfill the orders. The obvious next step for him was to formalize this arrangement and set up a company, which became known as William Green & Son.

Back and forth to London as part of his new role, William made more and more sales to wholesalers and it was not long before his mens shoes and boots became famous for their quality, craftsmanship and durability. The company attracted some of the finest shoe craftsmen in the business and William organised for the first factory to be opened in 1874. The Greens Yard factory was the first factory in the world to use the Goodyear welt construction method for manufacturing gentlemens shoes. Green & Son soon became Grenson, a powerful brand which still dominates the shoe industry today.

Twenty years on, in 1895, Grenson moved to a larger premises to accommodate for the surge in demand which they experienced throughout the nineteenth century. The factory is still there now on Queen Street and is the heart of this thriving shoe business.

William died at the start of the twentieth century (1901) but he had left behind him such a solid foundation that the company continued to go from strength to strength during the twentieth century. The Queen Street factory was further enlarged and the Grenson brand was registered in 1913 (in fact, it is true that Grenson was the first brand name ever to be registered in the UK so it is clear how advanced the thinking behind this shoe company was and continues to be). Thereafter, Grenson shoes were sold directly to retailers across the globe which further spread the message that Grenson shoes were a force to be reckoned with in the global shoe industry.

Please take a few minutes to visit ShoeNet and our online shoe store at where we have a range of Grenson shoes on offer. Grenson separate their mens shoes into three unique categories: Feathermaster, Rose Collection and Rushden Collection. If there are any types of Grenson shoe that are not listed, please contact us and we will contact the manufacturers directly and ensure we can get them delivered to you in the quickest time possible.

To go straight through to the Grenson shoes section, please click on the following link: