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Over 160 years of heritage and industry experience are reflected in our people. Our technical ability and the diversity of our brands and their product ranges.

Bolton Footwear is a dynamic role-player in the footwear manufacture and wholesale trade. One of South Africa’s leading footwear companies with an unparalleled aptitude in the manufacture of footwear. Locally manufacturing a wide range of shoe styles under each of our owned brands which are household names in their respective categories.

Our portfolio of owned Brands

Original designs for style, comfort and quality reflects in the brands of the Bolton Footwear collection. Each of our brands has its own unique personality. From sophisticated flair to comfortably casual – we have a brand to suit your needs.

Our Heritage

Our journey started as early as 1859 when Charles Searle, an immigrant from England, settled as a toll keeper at Great Brak River. Like many South Africans living in remote areas, he began making his own rugged leather “veldschoen” stitch-down boots which he supplied to the operators of the ox-wagon trains transporting goods between Cape Town in the West and Port Elizabeth in the East.

In the decades that followed, the company diversified its interests, incorporating a tannery, sawmill, a timber home construction division, retail shops, as well as automotive sales and services.

The Company first listed on The Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1949 as Searles Holdings under the Clothing, Footwear and Textiles Sector. 

In 1980 the company was bought by Desmond Bolton and following the rationalisation and reconstruction of the Group, was renamed Bolton Footwear in 1987. During the 1990’s it dis-invested from all activities which were not related to footwear to concentrate and expand this part of the business.

The company steadily grew over the years and became a household name as a well-respected manufacturer of quality shoes. The Company was delisted from The Johannesburg Stock Exchange at the end of 2000 and presently trades as Bolton Footwear (Pty) Ltd.

Barker Footwear joined the stable in 2013 followed by Jordan & Co in 2015 – two major market players in their own right.


Our Mission

Bolton Footwear’s mission is to remain a sustainable business which fairly rewards all stakeholders, commensurate with their respective interests and contributions. This is to be achieved through meeting the needs of the markets with quality, value-for-money footwear and superior service.

Present day

Today, Bolton Footwear is one of South Africa’s foremost footwear companies. All footwear offered by the Group in each of its key nationally recognized brands is targeted at defined market niches, competitively priced and manufactured from the highest quality leather and raw materials available.

The Group’s three footwear manufacturing plants in Great Brak River, Oudtshoorn and Cape Town have the capacity to produce in excess of 8 000 pairs of high-quality leather footwear per day and employ over 1100 employees across all sites.

The company’s growth over the years is a testimony to hard work, principled values and the determination of the founding members together with the desire to succeed and organisational culture of all who are employed.

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