Church's History

In 1617, Anthony Church began a small production of handcrafted shoes in the English town of Northampton, known for its thriving shoe industry. Little did he know that, two centuries later, his great-grandson Thomas would turn it into a global icon.

With wife Eliza and sons Alfred and William, in 1873 Thomas opened the first Church's Shoes factory at 30 Maple Street in Northampton. Amidst industrialisation and increasing orders, production was moved to a larger premise in Duke Street in 1880.

Sharing the brand's innovative spirit, William Church first introduced the concept of right and left shoes in the "Adaptable" model, available in different widths, materials and unheard-of half sizes. In the meantime, the trademarked "Adapted" boot won the Gold Medal at the 1881 Great Exhibition.

New heirs led the change, turning HQ into a six-storey modern factory, expanding to casual footwear, and opening up to worldwide retailers. In 1919, the brand acted as a founding member of the British Shoe and Allied Trades Research Association (SATRA).

With the Roaring Twenties came the first London boutique, women's shoe, and overseas store in New York City, alongside the iconic Shanghai style. Having fortified its domestic presence post-war, in 1957 Church's opened its current headquarters in St. James Road.

While branching out globally, Church's received the Queen's Award to Industry from Elizabeth II. The acquisition by Prada Group in 1999, supported by the family, marked a new era defined by advanced strategies, contemporary styles and international store openings.