The Society of Shoe Fitters are delighted to announce that Emma Butler of Belle Enfants, Ringwood, Hants.has won their prestigeous Student of the Year 2013 trophy.  "Emma put a tremendous amount of effort into her coursework, and when attending the practical Workshops showed outstanding enthusiasm and eagerness to learn" said Senior Tutor Maureen Unsworth F.S.S.F.  "Although only nineteen years old Emma showed a maturity and dedication well beyond her years and is capably managing her shop in Ringwood on behalf of owner and Society member Amanda Arkell" (who has successfully created several award winning children's emporiums over the past couple of years

ECCO’s CEO, Dieter Kasprzak, has announced that the company delivered its best ever results in 2013.

The Society of Shoe Fitters launched National Shoe Fitting week in 2013 and because of its success we are repeating this week commencing 12th April.  It is designed to increase the public’s awareness of how feet change over time, that no two manufacturer’s sizes are the same and to help improve footfall for the Independent Retailer and anyone with retail businesses prepared to give a fitting service.   Even within a manufacturer’s range shoes will fit differently despite being marked with the same size - so those buying online with a size in mind are still unlikely to get a well-fitting shoe. 

CHARITY SPONSORSHIP APPEAL : Philip Marsh 2014 - The Challenges

Dear All,

I am delighted to say I have completed my first Challenge the 12K Rock Solid Race.  The team of 13 supported me from start to finish and we completed the 12k course with over 35 obstacles in 2 hours 30 minutes. this was physically and mentally challenging but all your support gave me the extra bit I needed to complete it.

 I have been absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by all your generosity and am delighted to say I have raised over £25K which is more than I ever dreamt of.

My son Henry’s progress is slow, but I am pleased to say we have been granted funding for Henry to move to Tadworth Court Henry will be here for 6 months and will undergo intensive Neuro Rehabilitation in order for him to come home in October, one year on!!

 Moving onto my next challenge on the 21st June I will be taking part in a world record attempt parachute jump with 292 people aiming to jump out of a plane within 24 hours. I’d be really grateful if you could sponsor me at:

Once again thank you everyone for your generosity it really means a lot to me.

Kind Regards


Managing Director


The Superfit ‘Back to School’ range for the UK & Ireland features 8 styles for Girls and 7 styles for boys. The collection is produced in Both Black Nappa and Patent uppers in sizes 25 -42. Some styles are also combined with GORE-TEX® to provide a guaranteed waterproof and breathable product perfect for the rigours of a school day. There is also an indoor Plimsoll in Black available in sizes 23-38 and an outdoor white unisex sport shoe available in sizes 25-41. Delivery available from June A and also from instock all year round.

 Kids can only have fun in sturdy shoes that can keep up with all of their adventures. That’s why, as one of the most successful manufacturers of children’s shoes, Superfit pays so much attention to perfect workmanship and the highest quality materials. We take quality very seriously. Because after all, we take ‘Big responsibility for your feet’.

The pioneer in lightweight shoe technology is underscoring its position as a trendsetter for the new casual generation. High-quality inner linings combined with GORE-TEX® technology guarantee that your feet will stay dry and warm. Because LEGeRO wants to do more, we want our shoes to be like best friends – they never let you down and are up for anything. And that’s what makes them our feet’s favourite shoes.

Even during the cold time of year, easy going is IN! Amazingly easy urban casual sneakers and boots that make men look good in the city and in their leisure time are in higher demand than ever before! With soles that are light as a feather, non-skid thermoplastic polyurethane outsoles and the best GORE-TEX® in-shoe climate, they can beat out any weather in chilled-out style. Optical highlights include striking lines and stitched details that match the materials and colours, combined with fine suede in a used look as well as sporty smooth leather in grey-blue, brown and taupe. Men, what more could you ask for?

Tickets for the Footwear Industry Awards 2014 Event next Sunday 16th February are selling like hot cakes, so you'll need to book your tickets as soon as possible! Held at the National Motorcycle Museum close to NEC Birmingham, to coincide with the Moda Show, it promises to be an exciting evening! For more information please call Sam Baughan on the Awards Team at Datateam, on 01622 699162, or click above to buy your tickets and/or hotel accommodation online. I look forward to meeting you there! Kind regards, Cheryl Taylor, Editor, Footwear Today Magazine.

As I am sure many of you know the past 4 months have been some of the hardest me and my family have ever hadto endure. Unfortunately on the 5th October Henry my 3 year old contacted Ecoli and disease called HUS which attacks our Kidneys, Stomach and Brain. Henry was admitted to Bristol Children’s Hospital on the 11th October and was in a coma for 6 weeks. Nearly 4 months later there has been little improvement and we await a move to a Neuro rehab centre where Henry can start some kind of rehabilitation to prepare him and us for his return home in 6-12 months. I have decided to raise some money for 2 charities, The Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal and The Ronald McDonald House Bristol, without these charities I don’t know how we could have got through this terrible ordeal.

T Groocock & Co Ltd is extremely proud to be celebrating 100 years of trading as a family business.   Thomas Groocock opened his footwear manufacturing business in 1914 in Rothwell, Northamptonshire, the heart of the British Footwear Industry. 

As the official distributor for Naturalizer, one of America’s biggest selling footwear brands, Lotus Ltd has implemented a number of sales team changes that further resonate the ongoing pledge to developing the Naturalizer brand in the UK and Eire.

To support continued business growth at Ravel, Jacobson Group is delighted to announce the appointment of Rachel McElhone as sales executive. Rachel joins Ravel with immediate effect and will cover the North of England & Scotland. Rachel boasts a wealth of experience in the fashion industry and will apply her unparalleled knowledge to further build Ravel’s presence and profile in the North
of England & Scotland.

Cocoon partners, Rob Sewell and Chris Dent enjoyed a successful end to 2013, winning the Sales agency of the Year award at the Art footwear International sales meeting in Alicante. The €10,000 award will certainly help as they have just opened a new showroom called 333 and teamed up with the Italian agent Fabrizio Corsini.    The 333 showroom will be presenting 4 international agencies, presenting more than a dozen international brands.  The showroom is located at 333 Latimer road, LONDON W10 6RA and specialises in international mens and womens brands covering footwear, apparel and accessories. 

Maria Leese, owner of independent shoe shop Doris & Daisy, won through to the finals of the Dorset Business Woman of the Year. The category was sponsored by Barclays Bank and won an unprecedented level of entries from leading business women based in Dorset.

Prestigious ladies footwear brand, Moda in Pelle, is continuing to build on its ambitious programme of expansion with the recent launch of 22 new concessions in leading UK department stores. Moda in Pelle is focusing on driving business growth through concessions in prime locations throughout the UK and Ireland and now has 56 stores nationwide

BOXPARK, the world’s first Pop up mall, plans to launch a revolutionary
digital concept in January 2014 and become a cashless mall. BOXPARK MARKET PLACE will allow consumers to buy or share items in store, online and on their mobile. The new platform will feature a scan to shop or share app, allowing customers to scan products instore, add them to a shopping basket or share. It will also feature a fully integrated iPad POS system, linked to a transactional e-commerce platform.

Fashion forward women’s footwear brand Ravel is taking a fresh approach to spring/summer with the introduction of subtle new branding colours across all instore retail concepts, ecommerce, product packaging and POS to present a renewed brand image for 2014.

As editor of Footwear Today Magazine, I thought you might like to know about a new footwear industry award. It is called the 'National Shop Front of the Year Award' (by which we mean your window display) and entry is open to all  independent footwear retailers throughout Britain, large or small. The winner will receive £1,500 of holiday vouchers.

Please email your your photos to every time you change your window display, right up until the deadline of 1st January 2014.

Retailers can also be nominated by someone else. The FIA team will contact the nominated retailer to ask them to supply evidence, to be in with a chance of winning this exciting award and the holiday vouchers that come with it!

I do hope that you will consider entering your shop(s) for this exciting new Award.

Cheryl Taylor,
Editor, Footwear Today Magazine.

To support ongoing business growth at Gola, the company is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Swannack as key accounts manager for footwear, apparel and bags.

Datateam Business Media is delighted to announce that Clarks has signed up as overall event sponsor. Founded in 1825, Clarks still remains the number one shoe brand in the UK, and the fourth largest footwear company in the world. Clarks has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Somerset, but has never lost sight of effortless British style.

Remonte, part of the Rieker group is sponsoring a brand new award, 'National Shop Front of the Year'. Managing Director Chris Gorrod explains why: "The window to a retailer is very important for driving footfall. Some retailers spend a lot of time on it and these shopkeepers should be rewarded. This is a great opportunity for Remonte and the industry to reward the hard work that retailers put into their windows."

British footwear brand Lotus has initiated an international development strategy that will see it venture into new territories over the next five years.  Lotus has initially inked distributor agreements that will see the contemporary, yet wearable, footwear collections for women and men, plus the exuberant range of handbags debut for spring/summer 2014 in Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and the USA. 

D3O, the British smart materials specialist, has developed a brand new range of cushioning materials specifically for footwear applications including athletic, industrial and military markets launching in July 2013.

Last Friday morning Laura West, Secretary of the Society of Shoefitters   had a call on her private phone line from 'Sarah' asking to speak to Compass Footwear regarding advertising and PR for the Footwear Awards.  She asked who was calling and the caller said 'The Society of Shoe Fitters'.  Naturally Laura could not believe her  ears!  She pretended someone had walked into the room and asked her for her landline number to call her back and she gave her the SSF landline  number ....even more flabberghasted.  The woman went on to try to sell her advertising - obviously hoping she would give financial information over the phone.
Laura has reported this to the Fraud Squad, but as their number was 'withheld' they are probably unlikely to trace the source. 
The following message has been put on the home page of the SSF website in the hope that someone may go to the site when the person calls and see that it is fraud, but obviously this is very worrying.
If you would please warn your stockists/members/agents that this is not a legitimate call.  As you know, the SSF does not solicit any form of advertising or take part in any telephone canvassing, so if they get a phone call from the SSF trying to sell advertising for the Awards that they should contact: Action Fraud 0300-123-2040 - Intelligence Report NFRC130700312404.

The sun is beating down, heat shimmers from the asphalt – but the new, cool LEGeRO GORE-TEX® SURROUND™ shoes keep you as cool as a cucumber. Exceptionally breathable and permanently waterproof – that adds up to cooling 360° climate comfort! The tangible added value of the LEGeRO innovation is provided by GORE-TEX® SURROUND™ Product Technology. As sporty sneakers, the GORE-TEX® SURROUND™ versions of TINO + ALBA are all set to sprint easily into a new high summer season.

Marshalls in footwear stems back over 100 years when brothers Arthur and Herbert split there interests between clothing and footwear. Both working for ‘Boss Mags’, Herbert chose to work in the clothing shop at one end of the Shambles in Worcester  and Arthur choosing to work in the shoe shop at the other end.  From there the following generations began opening shops through Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  In 2000 Andrew Marshall started Crosby Shoe Agencies representing Wolky, Country Jacks, and DRS. 

Cosyfeet, who specialise in footwear for people with swollen and extra-wide feet, are celebrating 30 years in business this year. The company puts its success down to its ability to the adapt its extra wide EEEEE+ footwear styles to meet the needs of an ever more fashion conscious customer base.

Chatham will launch its summer 2014 footwear collection at MODA. The collection includes a new G2 “barefoot” sole unit, leveraging the success of Chatham’s G2 footwear, which features a unique two year guarantee. The “barefoot” sole is anatomically shaped, which moulds and curves to your feet - it feels like you aren’t wearing shoes at all. Featuring natural shock absorbing properties and a sophisticated water drainage system, the barefoot sole unit is extremely lightweight and has a mesh upper.

A comprehensive short and intensive bespoke four day footwear design and making course, with the option to pick and mix your choice of learning. Over the four days the fundamental process of footwear design and making are examined through practical and technical workshops.

Expo Riva Schuh closes its 80th edition with 10,850 visitors, +1.5% compared to June 2012.  “Expo Riva Schuh is an ever-evolving workshop which celebrates its 80 years looking forward to the future – states Giovanni Laezza, Managing Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi. At every single edition, around 3 billion pairs of shoes are sold and concrete  business opportunities continue to multiply. As far as we are concerned, we can only continue to enable this enormous potential to grow, a force that has been built up over the years offering new spaces and new services: for example, this time round we have added 1,500 square metres of exhibition space, involving new countries such as Ethiopia, Greece and Singapore”.

 The latest sdea Retail Display Directory is out now and brimming with new ideas, creative concepts and innovative retail display solutions.  Over 100 leading retail display manufacturers and distributors of specialist shopfittings and display equipment are showcased within this comprehensive publication. 

Endurance athlete Dr Andrew Murray, who is an official brand ambassador for Merrell, the outdoor footwear and apparel specialist, is set to embark Dr Murray will be joined by former Marine Commando Donnie Campbell to run more than an ultra-marathon (50km) every day in an epic 18-day run across East Africa. The journey will include running up and down Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro, through wildlife-filled game reserves and tropical rainforests, including several mountain ascents. The pair will resident Dr Murray, who grew up in Kenya, shot to fame in 2011 when he ran 4290km from John O’Groats to the Sahara desert, and broke a world record in 2012 by completing seven ultra-marathons on seven continents in seven days as well as winning the North Pole Marathon and the Murray’s objective for this year’s challenge is to discover the secrets to the prolific success of East African athletes – home to the best endurance athletes in the world.

From quintessentially vintage brogues through to bright, bold sixties-style wedges, heritage fashion has never shone more brightly, all around the world. And when it comes to British heritage footwear, one name says it all: Clarks. Gone are the days of the brand just being associated with school shoes and loafers, Clarks has shattered misconceptions and sprinted proudly from strength to strength. With everyone from Florence Welch to Robert Pattison sporting their shoes and collaborations with the likes of Eley Kishimoto, the 200-year old shoe brand has never been cooler.

What was once a little village shoemakers is now the UK’s leading footwear brand; an international success story with 50 million pairs sold each year, nine-figure profits soaring and a turnover of £1.5 billion. They’re flying the flag on every continent with 50% of profits coming from global markets. In an economic climate where many British brands are struggling to stand up in the UK alone, Clarks’ achievements are no mean feat.

The world’s largest graduate fashion show, Graduate Fashion Week, this year welcomes the University of Northampton which is sending its strongest line up of student designers, encompassing the leather heritage that has made Northampton world famous.    On Tuesday 4 June at Earl’s Court 2, the University of Northampton students who have been working all year to complete collections will underline the importance the rich history of Northampton’s leather industry has played in the minds of many of the student’s new concepts in shoe design and leather designs.

A DATE AT RIVA DEL GARDA WITH THE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 COLLECTIONS  From June 15th to 18th the appointment with Expo Riva Schuh once again returns, celebrating its first 80 editions based on a strong international calling and the desire to continue on the crest of the wave of the last edition, which closed with great satisfaction for the results achieved, both in terms of quantity and also for the quality of business which was developed.

The Skechers Performance Division is proud to announce its partnership with the 2013 Blenheim Triathlon. Following the success of the London Triathlon partnership the Skechers Performance Division are delighted to be the official footwear sponsor for another major triathlon event, The Blenheim Triathlon.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Skechers GOwalk™ window In Harrods. This year’s theme of enchanted garden allowed us to design one of the best creative Harrods windows we have ever produced!  The window will be installed for the next four weeks on Hans Crescent. Skechers GOwalk™ our global number-one, best-selling lightweight leisure shoe, ideal for everyday use. Skechers GOwalk™ shoes are light and flexible, helping you to walk naturally and keeping your feet cool and comfortable. They are also machine washable. Sketches GOwalk™ are available in a variety of colours from classic black to on-trend coral perfect for any type of walking! They are priced £50.

The Society of Shoe Fitters recently held its 53rd AGM in London. The Society would like to thank Jan Parry of Parry Shoes, Haverfordwest, S. Wales, for completing her two year term in office as President so successfully.  Jan helped to drive forward the SSF Infant Fitting Gauges and the recent National Shoe Fitting Week - Keep Feet Fit as well as a great supporter of the Footwear Awards, which aimed to recognise the smaller people within the footwear industry. all notable landmark's in the colourful SSF history

The British Footwear Association (BFA) has announced the appointment of John Saunders in the new role of Sales and Marketing Director. John, 55, has over 30 years experience in the footwear industry, having worked internationally and in export with SSL/ Scholl at director level and in senior roles with US company Brown Shoe Corporation, Florida Group and Start-rite.

Government data on Flying Saucers explains the national obsession of looking for lost socks. Recent reports made public from the National Archive have shown an increasing number of UFO sightings over the United Kingdom since the Second World War; which high-level defence, weather and technology experts have gone to great lengths to explain.  However, the rise of 'flying saucer' sightings has a direct correlation to the steady increase of lost socks over the last decades, which Ministry of Defence officials have been quite unable - or unwilling - to explain, Britain's hardest-working sock subscription service has found out.

To support continued business growth at Gola, the company is pleased to announce the appointment of two new sales agents from Lime Green Agencies who will cover sales across Eire and Northern Ireland. Brian O’Sullivan, based in Cork, will cover the south part of Eire, whilst Jamie Lewis, based in County Mayo, will cover the north part of Eire, along with Northern Ireland. Together the two will work on the sales and distribution of Gola footwear, apparel and bags and any opportunities also arising for Lonsdale.

Founders of online designer shoes company are amongst graduate entrepreneurs highlighted at a Westminster event 'Start-up: a story' next week.Montfort University Fashion Retail Buying graduates Lizze Leary and Beth Widdowson will meet MPs at the Houses of Parliament on 16 April. The event by University Alliance will highlight and celebrate the impact graduate entrepreneurs have on the UK economy by telling their start-up stories. Hosted by Paul Blomfield MP and keynote speaker Rt Hon Vince Cable MP will join the successful graduate entrepreneurs, those involved running university incubation centres and enterprise support as well as Parliamentarians.

The innovative multi-channel retailer embarked on its expansion programme after developing a winning formula of product, service and shopping environment which underlined its mantra that "customers are for life". Retail expansion continues, with Hotter ( ) planning a 20 more openings by the end of the year, adding a further 200 jobs to the 200 it created in 2012.

Chatham Marine is delighted to announce it has signed up to join Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week’s family of event sponsors as Official Footwear Sponsor to the regatta. Award-winning Chatham Marine combines very British styling and traditional craftsmanship with innovative design to create deck shoes that appeal to today’s sailors, and is ideally matched with this iconic British sailing event

Shooze With Sole, a children's and adults footwear company from Ayrshire, has won 35k as one of 20 finalists in the Government’s Scottish Edge Fund. The award was opened in November last year to companies who had the potential to expand, increase sales and employ staff. Shooze With Sole began in March 2012 and currently has stores in Ayr, Kilmarnock and Troon. The company now employs 13 staff, 2 of them who were previously unemployed through the local council modern apprentice scheme.

Perennial best seller Angulus, known throughout the world for its commitment to quality and design, is introducing its first school ‘set’ collection available in stock from May 2013. Angulus is introducing new styles as well keeping existing bestsellers in red, black, blue, brown, patent and nubuk. The exclusive collection is broader than before as it offers fifteen different options for young girls, six for teenagers and thirteen for boys.

Date: 1 March 2013, Place: UK. The Italian shoe & fashion brand Geox and W.L. Gore & Associates havereached an agreement and declared an end to their current disputes regardingcertain GEOX patents in respect of GORE-TEX® Footwear with Gore’s SURROUND™ Product Technology. The agreement reached also resolves all legal disputes between Geox and Gore brand partners and retailers. The disputes had been triggered by the launch of Gore's SURROUND™ Product Technology, which was followed by legal measures in several European countries to secure the intellectual property.

The three ages of an agent (with apologies to Titian)
Why taking back exclusive rights from a distributor may not be such a smart move

Redundant stock can make a huge difference to the lives of those living below the poverty line in communities in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. WJR’s Gifts in Kind provides humanitarian aid directly from the UK to communities in need, normally within weeks. The goods are arranged, sorted and re-packed in our warehouse. We then ship containers to communities in desperate need. At the other end, they are distributed under the strict supervision of professional, locally based community workers. The items are not sold but go straight to those who need them.

Footwear Focus

Student from Moda Footwear partner DMU to design shoe for Duchess

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