Swift & Co shoes claim to offer British made heritage footwear, with revolutionary design and modern materials to make to ultimate in comfortable shoes. So confident in fact, they gave me a pair to review during their most important Kickstarter campaign. Did they blow me away? That’s what this review aims to find out.
It’s very difficult for shoe manufacturers to be truly innovative in an industry that doesn’t really move very quickly. Swift & Co are an independent maker of handmade men’s shoes, based in Burnley, East Lancashire. On hearing that Swift and Co were awarded the BFA FN Platform award and the Innovation award for 2015, it makes sense to take note.
As a fan of British made, and a sucker for a good Kickstarter, and being a very open shoe fanatic, this was one of the easiest campaigns I have ever supported. After a brief conversation, did you really think I would need much persuading? A pair of their ‘Lancaster’ lace-up suede boots from the Heritage Twist range were on their way to me.
The styling is a surprise to say the least. On opening the box, I was greeted to a pair of the softest brown suede brogue boots I have ever held. The uppers are as classic and conventional as you would hope for from a heritage brand. If you browse the entire range you will see that all the shoes start with the traditional styling, but the twist is the patent pending interlocking sole. However on first inspection, the sole appears over sized and even exaggerated.
The Lancaster is a Derby style boot which is just as well for me. I’m not a frequent boot wearer and so coming to terms with the fact you need more patience to put them on was unexpected. You need to really loosen the laces so you can get your feet in. I’m sure this will get easier as they stretch and this is a boot issue and nothing to do with Swift & Co. The only other concern I have is that I use shoe trees in all my shoes to make sure they are cared for correctly and last as long as they can. Other than take the laces out every time I finish with them, I haven’t mastered using shoe trees but again I’m sure this will be a non-issue when they stretch a bit.
If it was an effort to put the boots on, all of that is quickly forgotten within ten seconds. The comfort is astounding. There is no need to break them in, they are super soft. And the cushioning underfoot.. I don’t really have the words to describe it other than these are the Bentley Continental of shoe comfort. Clearly there is some science to this incredible magic carpet ride, so I’ll let Swift & Co explain it in their own words in this short video.
Once on, there is a compression effect on the sole, which is probably where all that comfort comes from. It means that my initial concerns about an oversized sole vanish when actually walking around. Nobody noticed there was anything unusual about the design, which is a compliment in itself. The rich brown colour makes them very versatile and the elegant brogue holes give enough detail to be interesting, but not too much to be fussy.
These versatile boots will be just as at home with smart denim or more casual with turn ups, preferably blue. They are very flexible on the shade and paired well with light faded denim just as well as with dark midnight denim and every colour of blue in between. At least the denim in my wardrobe.
The all day comfort mean I find myself reaching for these first if I know I am going to be on my feet for much of the day, then work backwards choosing my outfit to match. As someone with probably 30 pairs of shoes, this is unheard of for me, the Swift & Co Lancaster really are that comfortable.
The Kickstarter campaign is running until Friday the 1st of January, and I have been assured anyone who backs them will have their reward honoured. This is just as well as I now know one pair of these shoes just isn’t enough, I need a few so I can wear them frequently! I have a rule to never wear the same pair of shoes twice in a row and to rotate them. This means I will need at least one extra pair so I will be backing them. You can back the Kickstarter project here: www.kickstarter.com/swiftcoshoes/