The word ”icon” and ”classic” is thrown around quite liberally these days, but one shoe model that it most certainly is applicable on is the split-toe derby Dover from Edward Green. Unique not only in its appearance, the interesting manufacturing also plays part in its singularity in the shoe world – factors that make this very model a must-have for many shoe enthusiasts and a benchmark for others to be judged by.
Edward Green has since the establishment in 1890 strived for ”excellence without compromise” which is still the theme around the Northampton premises, where the brand's sixty shoemakers manufacture some of the worlds very finest footwear at a carefully low rate of around 300 pairs a week – no wonder that the beautiful green shoeboxes for a long time were adorned with ”English master shoemakers to the few”. Chosen not only for its high quality and comfort, many have also appreciated the discrete and sophisticated design (in comparison with many other high-end shoemakers from England, Italy and France) that has applied to celebrities ranging from the Duke of Windsor to Ernest Hemingway.
Originally created in the 30s as a sturdier country style derby, many of the traits that make the Dover such an appreciated shoe are the same during the same decade made them one of the largest manufacturers of officers' boots for the British army (which later lead to the Galway boot). Offering durability, comfort and style in a package that moves between the casual and elegant, the Dover is a true allrounder that many wearers find suitable for a wide range of situations.
Like the other models from Edward Green, the Dover is made from three carefully selected layers of the finest French calfskin and soles tanned in oak bark for nine months for an unrivalled resistance to wear and the elements, giving a pair of shoes that truly are, no pun intented, made to last. What sets the Dover apart and is its claim to fame is the very special and unique way that the uppers are made;
What sets the Dover apart and is its claim to fame is the very special and unique way that the uppers are made; due to the complexity in the tight angles and exposed stitching that makes the utilitarian beauty of the Dover, a regular needle is too thick and inflexible. Instead, what is used is a boar's bristle that is sharpened in one end and in the other split, twisted with yarn and joined by rubbing in beeswax. This gives the perfect tool for the job, but not in anyone's hands - using this very special needle on this very special shoe is the task of no-one but the very best of the Edward Green closers, of which there now is only one; Andy Peach. Andy visited us last year to show an amazed crowd in our store his skills, where our friends at The World of Shoes shot this lovely clip of him with great humility telling about his craft;
We carry the Dover in the characteristic Dark Oak finish on the softly chiselled 606 last in our standard assortment (with its black siebling readily available in the Edward Green stock service), but love to help out with made-to-order requests for those with a special taste, requirement or idea. As a side note Edward Green just released the model in two new suedes; Snuff and Mushroom...
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