“Let’s just change it up a bit” is how Tim Little describes his approach to shoe design for Grenson. It might as well be Tim’s ongoing mantra.
After years in advertising—including handling the Adidas footwear account—Tim decided it was time to change it up a bit and make some welted footwear. Tim Little Shoes was born, with Tim working with various Northampton factories to create different types of quirky-but-classic styles that found a small but obsessive core audience.
That work led Tim to change it up a bit again and take on the role of creative director for Grenson in 2005, before taking the whole damn thing over in 2010. Under Tim’s watch, founded-in-1866 Grenson has been reignited in a way that, well, changes it up a bit from your typical historic Northampton shoemaker—combining classic English shoemaking techniques with a more fashion-forward approach that isn’t afraid to break rules while knowing what the core of a great shoe always needs to be.
In our chat for the first episode of season 10 of the Shoecast (10!?!), Tim gets into how the iconic Grenson triple welt arose, how and why Grenson splits is manufacturing between its Northampton factory and India-based production (and the importance of maintaining the former), why so many GYW brands feel the need to make sneakers these days, how Grenson has brought a younger customer into Goodyear welted shoes, and plenty more.
Oh also I attempt to spell veldtschoen, live on air.
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This episode was sponsored by Grant Stone — they’ve got you covered on just about every size and width you could ever want in dozens of styles