Letter: On the other foot

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Sir: I would have thought that Doc Martens had a defence to the claim that its boots are not made in Britain, because some parts are assembled in Thailand ("US rival puts the boot into British footwear legend", 30 October).

I suspect that most trades use some words that appear in everyday language but use them with a narrower connotation. During the period of my close association with the boot and shoe manufacturing trade the verb "to make" could be used as being synonymous with "to last", "lasting" being the process in which the already-assembled upper is moulded over the last and attached to the underside of the insole. So a boot or shoe could legitimately be described as "hand made" or "bench made" if it had been lasted by hand.

As to uppers, it has long been a tradition in the trade, including the bespoke trade, for these sometimes to be assembled ("closed") by cheap labour elsewhere.


London SW20