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Monthly Archives: July 2016
This week we’re talking top picks. The Back To School fun has begun, as parents and children fill the shop, ready and waiting to get their brand new pair of school shoes for the new academic term ahead. Boxes are flying off shelves, laces are being looped and smiling faces are walking back up Gabriels Hill with arms full of Golden Boot bags.
I spoke to Sally. Shoe fitting extraordinaire, and discovered her children’s wear top picks for this season. So as a bit of BTS preparation, or…homework…you can read on and get an idea of the kind of thing you might be looking for. That way, when you arrive at the shop you can proudly announce to your designated Golden Boot Shoe Fitter, that your son would like to try on ‘Geox Savage G, as he has a slightly broad foot and needs something durable’. * a round of applause *
Talking of Geox, Savage G is a good, solid style. It has a super grippy sole unit, a removable leather inner sole and fits high around the ankle, so is great for all round support.
Another great choice is William A. This is a slightly smarter style; a real favourite of Sally’s because the upper is really soft, making the wearing-in process a little easier for tiny feet. The ankle is padded and there is one ankle strap making them comfortable and easy to kick off at the end of a long school day.
For the girls in the house, Sally’s preference is Agata A. She’s a loafer fan, is Sally, as they’re a timelessly smart style. Agata A has a durable, yet flexible sole unit and is leather lined for comfort and breathability.
Next, we’re on to Clarks, a very popular brand with a lot of our customers. Children’s feet grow at an alarming rate, and turn up in all shapes and sizes. It’s for this reason that one of Sally’s go to shoes is Flare Lite Inf & Jnr for young lads.
It’s stocked in width fittings E-H i.e. really narrow, to really broad, meaning the perfect fit is inevitable. To make it extra secure for all that running around, there are three Velcro straps and a doubly durable toe section and sole.
Willis Lad BL is a great choice for a young man. Being part of the Bootleg range, they’re a little more adult, but still durable, comfortable and breathable. They’re a popular style, and like Flare Lite, they come in different width fittings and half sizes to accommodate all kinds of feet.
Selsey Fudge is a great choice for girls across the board, ranging in sizes 10-6.5 in width fittings F-G. This is another timeless style, with a sweet, en trend T-bar and a smart design.
As an alternative, Sally would recommend Tizz Honey BL. This little brogue style shoe is a real winner. It’s a lace up, is durable and has a little heel padding for protection.
Sole durability is covered, the collar is extra padded, a jelly cushion has been added for comfort and if that’s still not enough, there’s a glow in the dark spider on the side…please form an orderly line…
If your girls aren’t into glow in the dark spiders either, then rest assured Sally has picked them something they’re going to love. Not to be too gender specific, we have Princess Elza, which comes with interchangeable charms, a lightweight flexible sole unit and a removable leather insole.
However, our lasses still do plenty of running around, so this design features a rubber bumper and padded ankle to ensure they last.
We all know how much I love Doc Martens. I’d stomp around them all year if I weren’t told that they were inappropriate for a summer wedding. Pffft, inappropriate?
Stilettos on gravel are inappropriate. Anyway, Sally has my back on her choice of Impulsive; a super chunky DM-style school shoe with cute brogue detailing and ribbon laces. * Swoon *
They come in ordinary leather and patent and are part of Startrite’s senior brand Angry Angels. Oh, they also come with leopard print laces for the weekend…please form an orderly line…
1790 was when it all began. Way back when, yesteryear, the olden days. Seven generations on and it’s still in the loving hands of the very same family…Wow.
Number 36, Gabriels Hill was the original site, and in 1845 the shop moved to number 25. 35 years later the shop moved yet again to where the ladies department sits now, due to a fire in the Grocers. Poor Mr. Ralph…
Around this same time, workshops opened in Palace Yard, where 20 skilled craftsmen made half of the stock. Along came the famous 6ft golden Wellington boot mounted on the front, and the well known, well-loved brand we have today was established.
Run by father and son team extraordinaire, Lawrence (Chairman) and Ed (MD), this shop has transformed beyond recognition over the many years it’s been fitting and serving shoes to its customers. The Golden Boot now boasts an extensive family shoe shop and dedicated online store, selling men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes from companies in the UK and across the globe. Despite these changes, there is one thing that hasn’t altered since the day the shop first opened; the absolute undeniable love, passion and commitment to providing the shoppers of Maidstone with care, a pair of top quality shoes and a happy, memorable experience. We’ve been doing this for over 225 years now, and have become a leading, independent shoe shop. * puffs out chest*
Now, forgive me if I’ve mentioned this before (I’ve definitely mentioned this before) but the Golden Boot team knows their stuff. Fitting properly is number one, and handpicking brands that work with the same ethos comes in at a close second. This father and son team scours global trade shows and researches trend markets. They visit factories regularly and place the emphasis of their never-ending work on quality, innovation and progression. So you lovely lot can come in, have a coffee, a casual browse and then go home with a wonderful new pair of shoes, after being treated like a King/Queen/Prince/Princess/Maharaja
As part of our Back To School proceedings, we’re going to be introducing you to a few members of our shoe fitting team. Who better to start off with, than Sue? Lovely Sue. This diamond lass has been working for Golden Boot for 45 years. 45 YEARS.
Can we get a round of applause? In fact, and I’m not sure whether Sue knows this, but she fitted my school shoes…amazing isn’t even close.
It was 1971, and this groovy chick with long dark hair heard of a job offer at the shoe shop in town through a friend. After nailing the interview, she went on to work in the children’s department, and here she is now, showing the newbies what’s what, and being a perfectly beautiful example of the family ethos at Golden Boot.
Sue’s favourite part of the job is fitting young children’s shoes, between the ages of four and ten (the cuties- they’re old enough to not fidget so much, and young enough to still believe the mini train in the shop runs on fairy dust). She also loves it when families have come back in for new shoes with their children, and grandchildren. My heart is melting!
Sue’s seen many a transformation and tells me she particularly remembers the change from having one cash desk, to having electric tills in every department. The transition to online shopping was a significant move too. Her most memorable moment however, was receiving a beautiful bracelet for 25 years of service to Golden Boot; a special gift for a special lady.
To prepare you for this summer holiday period, I’ve asked Sue for a couple of top tips. She maintains calm at all times, and never rushes, as this causes mistakes to happen. Sue also recommends always buying well fitting, sturdy and hardwearing shoes for a new year.
Check back in with us next week to find out about more of our team members, and
get more top tips for Back To School…
In 1932, Mr. Reginald Murray Williams handcrafted his first pair of leather shoes.
The design concept came from a desire to create a boot that could endure long, exhausting days in the unforgiving Australian outback. These are built to last and are always made by hand with the finest leathers and goodyear welting.
Despite not being in the Australian outback, they’ve become one of those iconic brands at the Golden Boot. Although having a broader, more varied customer than Jeffery West, they have a certain feel about them, and a surprising versatility.
I’d imagine them on the feet of a check shirt and battered jeans wearing man. As the heat rises and the dust settles, the deep-set creases in his brow tell tales of long days and endless nights. His hands as tough as his old RM Williams boots…but apparently, city dudes love these too. The stories are more train station, court-room or building site based, but they’re loved all the same.
Our collection includes the Comfort Craftsman, and Stockyard boots. They come in various leathers and suede, and look great with basically everything. In the 40s and 50s, RM Williams introduced a range of clothing, some of which we stock in the shop too. Choose from classic shirts, plaited belts, wallets, wash bags, socks and leather after-care products. Pay us a visit and take home your own piece of Australia!
Our very own Ed, who holds the fort at Golden Boot and loves any DIY project he can get his hands on, swears by his Stockyard boots.
They really have been through the wars, and made it through the huge project, that was building a new women’s department, and they’re only now starting to get a little tired. Fear not though Ed! RM Williams offer a repair service. They’ll be sent back for them to be re-soled, re-stitched and re-buffed, ready for them to ‘be sent back into the world by the hands that made them’. How ideal! Check out the videos to find out more, although I challenge you not to read the rest of this blog in an Australian accent if you do…
This is the Comfort Craftsman in mid-brown suede.
It has a rubber sole and two pull tugs, making them easy to slip on and off. The cushioned microfiber inner sole make them ultra comfortable and breathable, and this pair comes with a free suede brush, so you can keep them in tip-top shape.
This other style is the Craftsman ‘Yearling’ boot.
Crafted in the same shape, but made with a classic leather sole, these guys are timeless, sleek and super smart.
They also come with a tin of Stockman’s polish, as that leather needs some love. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll mention it again. And as an added bonus, there’s FREE UK delivery on all RM Williams boots ! The team in the men’s department at GB really know their stuff, and if you’re concerned about fitting, then pop in, have a coffee and a chat and try a few pairs on.
Until next time…mate.