Sanders is one of the very historical British shoemakers from Northamptonshire. Sanders produced a lot of quality shoes and still does. Sanders was founded by William and Thomas Sanders, who are brothers in 1873. The actual name of the company is Sanders and Sanders, and the factory is still located in the same town called Rushden in the UK. Sanders also provided boots for the United Kingdom army during World War II. In 1924 they had a tragic fire causing around ￡45,000 damage. This is around $850,000 in today’s value.
Despite the fire and a huge loss, Sanders has rebuilt the factory and still producing premium footwear to this day. Their shoes are very simple and sturdy. Sadly they are not very aggressive with their marketing, so not many people know about the brand. However, they do have an enormous fanbase in the Japanese market.
These Sanders brogues are relatively new compare to my other shoes. These have been worn for around six months and not worn very often, as I am terrified to ruin the suede. I know on my Instagram I have a lot of photos of this pair, but just like taking pictures because the suede still looks fresh. They are not worn on the rainy days, or if I know, I will be going to a muddy place.
Also, I will say that I am not very good at suede care. I do spray it with water repellent or suede protectors, but that has its limits. When it comes to leather care and polishing, I think I am getting better, but something tells me it’s not easy to care for suede and be good at it without any proper knowledge, or maybe that’s just me. I didn’t do an excellent job with a stain on my Clarks suede desert boots, so that’s my suede shoes for dirty places.
The shoes are a lace-up type Derby or Gibson with four eyelets. The colour of the shoes is sand or beige. On Sander’s official website, they mention the name of the colour as a dirty buck. There is a broguing pattern all over the shoes. The holes are quite big but not as big as other shoes. The pattern goes around the body of the shoes and the forefoot area creating a beautiful wing-like shape. Sanders also offers many other colours for the Olly model and non-brogued derbies, so I would recommend anyone to try them out if possible.
These are on the casual style production line for Sanders, where it seems like most of the shoes have crepe soles. The last used is 4831; it was not easy to find the information about the last. The height of the heels on the shoes is around 1.1 inches (approximately 3cm), which gives me a confidence boost making me 6 feet 4.
The entire upper is made of beige suede. Suede on these shoes is very soft and supple. I do like suede shoes, but unfortunately, suede as a material is tough to take care of. Suede is a type of leather that is napped. Suede is basically made from the underside of the skin. After the leather gets processed, it is generally thinner and softer compared with other types of leather, therefore used differently. Traditionally suede leather is from lamb, but it can also be from calf, pig, goat, and deer. Suede is often confused with Nubuck, which is not the inside of the skin, but the top-grain leather sanded or buffed down.
Sanders Olly Sizing
The size of Sanders Olly is UK 10.5 F+ or US 11.5 D, as written on my shoes. The letter after the size number represents the width of the shoes. Usually, F is the standard width that most people wear in the UK, and D is the standard width for shoes from the USA. Sanders Olly has a bit generous fit on their toes even if it’s an F width; you can tell from the photos that it offers a generous width fit, compared to others.
I usually wear UK 11 / US 12 (size 300 in Korean) for sneakers such as Nike or Yeezy. I picked a half size down for these, and they fit perfectly. I would recommend regular individuals to go half a size down from their usual sneaker size for the shoes. I feel like most British made shoes follow a very similar fit. Most of my made in the UK shoes are UK 10.5 and boots UK 11. So if you know your British shoe size and have standard width feet, I would recommend to follow it.
The soles on these shoes are natural crepe soles. Natural crepe soles are made of rubber or latex sheets layered together. The rubber is harvest from the rubber tree and gets processed and used to make crepe soles. Compared to other plastic soles, natural crepe soles are more environmentally friendly and sustainable as well.
Personally, I love crepe soles. Crepe soles are really comfortable and give a quite secure grip when you are walking. It is also very durable; it lasts very long. However, compared to leather soles or Dainite soles, it is less formal and more casual. So would not recommend it for black-tie events.
Unfortunately, crepe soles look very dirty when worn for a while. The soles get sticky when the weather is a bit hot, grab and collect all the dust from outside, and the colour turns black quickly. It is very durable, but the soles can crack if worn on a hard surface for a very long time.
The soles are Goodyear Storm welted. Storm welt a bit more advanced version of Good year welt that protects the shoes even better from the weather, hence the name storm welt.
Brogue Pattern On Sanders Olly
I own a few pairs of brogues; it’s very interesting to see that different brands and sometimes different models in the same brand have their own unique broguing patterns.
Sanders Olly has six Big holes, three at the front gathered together and three at the back a bit far apart, and other small holes are creating a pattern that kind of a fancy X shape with a lens-shaped pattern the tip and a diamond near the forefoot. (I swear I will get better at explaining the pattern) I would say the pattern is very dense compared to other brogues, but it’s a bit hard to see on the suede. Sanders has other brogues in different leather, so check it out.
The rest of the broguing pattern on the body is a standard, big hole and two small holes pattern like O : O : O : O : O.
Sanders Olly is priced at £260, I have seen the leather version of similar brogues priced at £270. Compared with other country styled brogues from brands such as Crockett and Jones, Tricker’s, or Cheaney, the shoes are cheaper.
All in all, I think it offers excellent value for what it is. So far, these have been solid and reliable. The shoes are Goodyear Storm Welted, so they can be re-soled, and the shoes show it’s history behind it. Sadly not many people know about the brand, and often, when people talk about the British made shoes, it’s not talked about.