Shoemaker Philip Taylor has been making shoes since the age of 11. Now, fifty years later he heads up one of the countries most respected orthopaedic shoemaking workshops in the UK. His small team have helped hundreds of clients receive footwear that both aids their mobility and gives them the confidence that comes with wearing good looking shoes and boots.
Philip established his business THE CORDWAINER in 1996 after becoming disillusioned with the quality and fit of the footwear provided through the NHS, having had polio himself he knew that he could help other disabled people with their footwear problems.
Philip says: “we’re only here because of our customers. Every day of the week we receive phone calls from people who are frustrated and disappointed with the footwear and service they have been supplied with. It’s not just about how their shoes fit, but how they look and feel, that’s where we can help you most”’.
His energetic team comprise of his wife Charlotte who joined him as office manager in 2014, Sarah Walker who has recently returned to the shoe trade and is bringing new ideas and designs to the footwear made, and our latest recruit Steff Sweetman whose talent matches her recent qualifications in shoe design ad manufacture. .
The Cordwainer’s service is available to NHS users if the NHS provider agrees. They are happy to work with health professionals, hospitals and clinics to supply footwear to their patients, a service which can often save the NHS thousands of pounds. They are registered with the Medical Devices Agency and supply footwear ‘out of contract’ to around twenty hospitals and trusts.The Cordwainer’s customers provide Philip and his team with a shoemaking challenge every day; it is clear they are proud of the shoes and boots they make, and they go the extra mile to look for materials and leathers to make your boots and shoes stand out from the rest. In most cases the orthotics required are hidden inside the footwear, and specifically designed to meet the clients’ needs.
Private customers should expect to pay just over a thousand pounds for their first pair of shoes, this includes they costs of having a pair of lasts made to the shape of their feet, with the first pair taking around three months to complete. Thereafter the costs and delivery times go down and invariably the satisfaction levels rise as they get to know the customers needs and wishes.
You’ll find more about The Cordwainer’s work on their website thecordwainer.co.uk. You’ll find more information about his and you’ll be able to see what many of his clients’ think of the service they have received. You might be pleasantly surprised.