The EWW fashion team are always on the lookout for stylish and hardwearing footwear. In the summer months we are all itching to ditch boots and course walk in something a little lighter. The designers at nautical centric brand Chatham have the perfect solution for those needing hardwearing comfort and style.
About the brand
For the past 25 years, Chatham www.chatham.co.uk has traded on a nautical traditional of quality, and is now growing into one of Britain’s key lifestyle footwear brands. Quality, durability, marine aesthetics and performance all form an integral part of the Chatham product. They are committed to creating a range of classic sailing kit, country footwear, all served up with Chatham’s very British style. Combining traditional craftsmanship with innovation, durable materials with attention to detail.
All Chatham’s footwear is designed to be comfortable, functional and able to withstand all that nature can throw at it, so ideal for eventers and eventing fans. With William Fox Pitt involved as a brand ambassador this Great British Company is very centred within the eventing world. Selling both men’s, women’s and children’s footwear we set out to find out more about the brand.
Our reporter Louise Beech caught up with Chatham at one of their many trade vents.
Your shoes are so popular amongst us equestrians. I see Chatham at all the events I attend either at a trade stand or on people’s feet! What do you think has been the secret to your success?
Chatham are part of the Stuart Marsh Shoe Group which has a fantastic team with great knowledge of shoe making which has ensured we combine great style with comfort. People love our product as it does what it says.
Within your range there are a small selection of boots, is a new innovation for Chatham?
We developed the Country collection as part of a strategy to transform Chatham from being perceived as a ‘deck’ shoe brand into a complete footwear brand. This has also involved developing a lifestyle category and introducing Goodyear welt construction into the collection.
Chatham has a massive trade stand schedule and attends a lot of events, does equestrian as sport and eventing in particular run in the blood?
Not directly but Managing Director Philip Marsh is a country sports enthusiast and this has helped in the range development.
Some of the styles you stock are made of leather unlike other brands. This makes them very waterproof. Where did this innovation evolve from?
We use the best leathers and construction we possibly can and this enables the shoe to retain its shape and natural characteristics. The quality of the leather is reflected in the high performance levels.
Tell us more about your bespoke service developments?
As part of our growth plan we will be manufacturing from our base in Exeter for Spring Summer 2016 – so watch this space for exciting news!
Is there anything in particular our readers should look out for when they come and visit your store or trade stands?
We have recently signed William Fox-Pitt as a brand ambassador and he will be signing autographs at various events through the summer. Our new Spring Summer collection will be available which has a mix of fantastic colours and upper materials as well as a number of show offers.
The EWW Chatham Review
THE DECK LADY II G2 BOAT SHOE
These deck shoes are great, I have used them constantly and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The first day I wore them was all day at Badminton, a hard task for any footwear. They were extremely comfortable, didn’t rub the back of my heel when we had a little rain they kept my feet dry. Even the stitch lines didn’t leak.
This style is extremely durable and I have since worn them very regularly including around the yard and can honestly say they have never pinched, rubbed or squished my feet, I’ve not suffered with damp feet and they have cleaned easily after mucking out!
This style does come in various colours and they are great value for money at £95.00 per pair. II would highly recommend them as a classic boat shoe, suitable for eventers. The Chatham Deck Lady II G2 boat shoes are really high quality and stylish product that I would thoroughly recommend.
These loafers were a little tough to wear in on the first day, I wore them in and around the office for a day and they pinched the back of my heel ever so slightly, although I have to admit I have worn high heels that have been far worse in the office!
THE ATLANTIS TASSEL LOAFER
For a smarter look then check out the Atlantis Tassell Loafer. This style had a great fit and looked very stylish (I teamed with a pair of chinos and a shirt). They are cut lower down on the foot than the deck shoes which I really like, and as well as being worn in the office they have been on various dog walks with me and are proving to be extremely durable. This style comes in various colours, and with an affordable price of £49.00 they are great value for money. Another shoe I would certainly recommend and will continue to wear regularly.