18th February 2023

Cheaney for Timothy Everest

A history and guide

You can’t put a foot wrong in a pair of Cheaney’s. J. Cheaney & Sons have over 140 years of skill and expertise in handcrafting the finest footwear in Northamptonshire, the heart of shoemaking in England. Adored around the world for their timeless elegance, versatility and premium materials, Cheaney are an indelible name for quality footwear. At Timothy Everest, we stock the essential Cheaney styles that work in every season and with every design, iconic silhouettes with the quality and comfort that lasts. Akin with our own design and craft in bespoke tailoring, Cheaney is rooted in tradition but with a modern touch. To this day, all Cheaney shoes are still cut out and ‘closed’ in Desborough, Northamptonshire, just as they have been since 1886. They’re an institution we’re proud to have a relationship with, and hope the company’s longevity and quality products continue to endure.

Northamptonshire is known as the home of quality English shoemaking, in no small part thanks to the work of Joseph Cheaney Senior. At the time he established his own small premises, many individuals were involved in the trade in the area, but they would only specialise in one part of the process. This would typically be done in outhouses or garden sheds, known as shops. At each stage of the shoemaking process, the shoe would move to a different ‘shop’ until the final product would be ready for distribution.

The factory Cheaney established in 1896 housed every stage of the shoemaking process, from the cutting out of the leather (clicking) to the final polishing. To this day, all Cheaney shoes are still cut out and ‘closed’ in Desborough, Northamptonshire, just as they have been since 1886. During the First World War, the Cheaney factory was put through its paces, producing about 2500 pairs of stitched and screwed boots and shoes per week. The company continued to flourish, modernising production while retaining the same handcrafting methods and practices.

Joseph Humphrey Cheaney, the founder’s grandson, who joined the company in 1930, saw that expanding the company’s distribution overseas was vital. He also recognised that the Cheaney brand name needed to be reinstated, and in 1967 the Cheaney of England brand was launched. Overseas sales continued to grow until the economic depression of the 1970s and 80s, affecting Cheaney and many other British exporters, with many Northamptonshire shoe companies closing down. But Cheaney survived that bleak era and continues to be committed to producing high-quality shoes entirely made in Northamptonshire. Just don’t forget to keep them buffed and polished.


One of Cheaney’s most iconic and traditional designs and suited to all seasons and most outfits. Chukka boots are equally at home driving 1967 Ford Mustangs at breakneck speed (that’s a Steve McQueen reference, by the way) or for mooching around Soho on your Brompton. The three-eyelet Derby is stacked on a Goodyear welted Dainite rubber sole for practicality, fully handcrafted in Cheaney’s Northamptonshire factory.

Originally designed as a horse-riding boot and then adopted by the Mods and countercultural icons of the 1960s, the Chelsea boot’s sleek design is an ideal travel companion thanks to its elasticated gussets and pull tabs. In Mocha Calf Leather, Cheaney’s version features a Goodyear welted diamond rubber sole with a stacked leather heel for extra grip and durability. A full leather lining and insole, all handcrafted in the Cheaney factory.

Another versatile classic, the term ‘Oxford’, refers to any style of footwear with a ‘closed’ lacing system, where the facings are stitched flush with the rest of the shoe. Popularised at Oxford University in the 1800s, their timeless, streamlined appearance fits snugly and works perfectly for any formal occasion.

Deal II R | Derby in Mahogany Grain Leather

The Derby, also known as a Gibson, is considered a little more casual than an Oxford or Brogue. Extremely versatile, Derby’s can be paired with suits and more off-duty clothing. They are described as having an open lacing system and, as such, are suitable for a wide foot or a foot with a high in-step. Entirely finished in hand-burnished mahogany grain calf leather, this iconic Cheaney design boasts a double-weight Goodyear welted Dainite studded sole with a storm welt for practicality and additional water resistance, fully leather lined with a full leather insole.