In 1881 five men living in Wollaston, Northampton, UK, formed a co-operative called the Northamptonshire Productive Society (NPS).
As industrialisation spread in England during the late nineteenth Century, demand in England and abroad for high-quality boots steadily increased. Accordingly, NPS enjoyed rapid growth and by the turn of the previous century NPS had grown to 80 employees. Consequently, NPS moved to a larger purpose-built factory on South Street, which although modified and expanded, they occupy to this day.
Footwear has been made at NPS with various different construction methods, including riveted and stitched, stuck-on, vulcanised and more recently Goodyear welted which is now used in all our shoe production. In the 1950’s Austrian Dr. Maerten (subsequently anglicised to Dr. Marten) and his associate Mr Funck developed a now famous air cushion sole. R. Griggs Group Ltd., who owned the rights to manufacture footwear with this technology, sought out the best local factories to manufacture footwear using this sole. NPS was an obvious choice and in 1959 the first English pair of sample boots with air-cushioned soles was welted in the NPS factory. For 35 years NPS produced Solovair (Sole-of-Air) boots and shoes under license, which were sold under the name “Dr Martens by Solovair”.
Times change and NPS no longer produces boots and shoes under license, but we have maintained our independence and high-quality standards. NPS patented the name Solovair in 1995 and our latest range of footwear not only maintains our original manufacturing quality, but their shoes and boots have been enhanced with a new ‘Soft Suspension’ sole that improves the comfort and durability.
NPS continue to remain true to their ideals, combining over 130 years of tradition, the latest technology and materials, in order to produce the best quality shoes and boots. To maintain this undisputed quality, our products will always be hand-made from start (‘clicking’) to ‘finishing’ in the UK.
Scorpio Shoes are proud to stock Solovair by N.P.S. products as part of our BEST OF BRITISH range.