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    Best foot forward

    Gracing the feet of ambassadors and politicians since 1945, Church’s Consul shoe is one of its most elegant and timeless designs

    Northampton has been known for its thriving leather and footwear industry since Cromwellian times, and the Church family can be traced back to the English town as early as 1617, when Anthony Church – the company founder’s great-grandfather – was born there.

    Nearly two centuries later, his great-grandson Thomas established the family’s world-renowned eponymous brand with skills passed down from generation to generation, and many of these traditional shoemaking techniques are still used by the company today.

    The iconic Consul shoe, for example, features a natural finish achieved using waxes, applied by hand, to gradually build up shading and enhance the innate beauty of the calf leather, while double stitching on the toe cap and quarter lining add defining details to the style.

    Celebrating the shoe’s 75th anniversary this year, this sophisticated Church’s design has been gracing the feet of the English gentry since 1945, historically named after the ambassadors and politicians who wore it.

    A classic cap toe Oxford shoe, the Consul has become Church’s most popular style to date. Its sleek and elegant design has an uncomplicated yet formal appeal, which makes it a time-honoured business shoe

    All Church’s shoes, including the Consul, are made to last, as they are constructed using the durable Goodyear Welt method. However, most shoes need a little TLC if they are worn regularly. The Goodyear Welt not only improves the shoe’s water resistance and longevity, enabling it to be resoled again and again, but it also allows the sole to be kept intact during any repairs.

    Should your Church’s shoes need any special attention, you can take them to the Church’s boutique at The Royal Exchange, where one of the team will arrange for them to be sent directly to the experts at the Northampton factory, before being returned to you as good as new.

    Consul Oxford in black calf leather, from £495, Church’s at The Royal Exchange

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