George James Cox, a brewer by trade, established the company in 1906 in Northamptonshire, England, home of the finest shoemakers in the world. He converted Dulley’s Baths, the swimming pool formerly belonging to the brewery, into a shoe factory after the First World War.
The company has always combined the quality of the Goodyear Welted construction found in that region with a flair for originality, defining for itself a unique market position.
His son, George Hamilton Cox, joined the company on leaving school. It was under his stewardship that the company pioneered its signature product, the “brothel creeper”, in 1949, a style for which it is famous throughout the world.
Over the years the company has built an increasing reputation for innovation, working closely with some of the most famous designers of each age [For family tree click here].
Norman “Norrie” Waterfield joined his father-
While the products' success was built on the authenticity only possible by the use of the original lasts and patterns, the styles spawned a completely new look when harnessed with Dr. Martens soles, for which Cox became licensed manufacturers in 1973. The rockabilly styles, which became synonymous with the London store Robot during the 1980's, remain an all time classic, now with Cox's own heat seal sole, and still forming part of the range to this day.
The close and longstanding relationships formed with designers and innovative independent retailers, combined with an unrivalled variety of lasts and patterns, an inbuilt positive attitude towards continual product development, and home-
The company gained recognition for its export success at the end of the 20th Century, winning the BKCEC (now UKFT) Accessories Award in 1999, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and the Business Link Exporter of the Year (Midlands) Award in 2000
The company’s design strengths combine with handcrafted production techniques and a flexible approach, to create ranges that are quite different from the mass produced uniformity of the High Street.