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The Greatest Hands Make The Greatest Shoes


Since it was founded in 1873, Church’s has had the finest craftsmanship at its core.


To celebrate our incredible artisans and the 250 steps it takes to complete a Church’s shoe, we asked poet James Massiah and filmmaker Aaron Christian to collaborate on a short film. The duo travelled to our historic factory on St James’ Street in Northampton to document the craftsmanship and the hands behind our shoes. 

Poet James Massiah and filmmaker Aaron Christian talk to Josh Sims about how they were inspired by the work of Church’s artisans when making their new film for the brand detailing the process of creating a pair of shoes. 

Skill, time and care

Making a Church’s shoe requires skilled hands, patience and passion. Every stage of production is time-honoured and highly specialised. 

Marking up the leather

A tanner checks the skins for quality and grade, feeling for any flaws. Only the absolute best leather is selected for manufacture. 


The shoe’s pieces are cut to a series of pattern templates, using traditional hand and press-cutting techniques. Cutting by hand allows for closer inspection of the surface textures of each individual section, ensuring the perfect pieces are cut every time. 


The holes of brogue shoes are punched individually.


An experienced stitcher assembles and closes the shoes by hand. This ensures that they are fitted together without any distortions.


The upper is pulled over the last with a hand-operated lasting machine. The shoes are moulded one at a time so that each one is properly fitted and the shoe shape is perfect.

Cork filling

The space between the shoe’s insole and mid-sole is filled with cork. This offers superior impact absorption for a supremely comfortable stride. 

Sole stitching

The sole is stitched on to seal the shoe. 


A high shine finish is created by hand-polishing in small circles, alternating between wax and water.  It takes a minimum of forty-five minutes to complete one pair. 


Each sole is stamped with the Church’s crest. 

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