The BRITISH BOOT COMPANY Ltd (formerly "Holts") is a boot and shoe shop in Camden Town in London, famous for being one of the first shops to sell Dr. Martens.
Over the last few decades most brands and competitors moved their production to the Far East to save money. Meanwhile we remained committed to our focus on English made quality footwear made by trusted factories and family businesses we have been working with since the start.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN..
The BRITISH BOOT COMPANY Ltd, formerly known as HOLTS, is a shoe shop in Camden Town in London, famous for being one of the first retailers to sell Dr. Martens footwear in 1958. You can actually trace the shop all the way back to 1851 when it supplied hobnail boots to the predominantly Irish workers who lived in Camden back then, making it one of the oldest shoe shops in the world.The foto opposite shows Holts which later became "The British Boot Company" back in 1990.
In the late 1970s the shop became a Mecca for skinheads and punk rockers who would travel far to get their Docs and Solovairs from this iconic shop. Sometimes the shop's charismatic owner, Alan Roumana, would allow customers he liked to write the name of their bands or crews on the wall in the shop. To this day you can still see these greetings from a bygone era along with some more recent contributions.
A FAMILY AFFAIR...
The British Boot Company is very much a family business, started in the 1960s by Alan Roumana, the grandfather of the present owner, Nicholas. Many of our older customers will remember fondly Alan's style and his rapport with young people. Back in the day "Holts", as the shop was then called, was very much part of the "swinging London" scene and a mecca for subcultures such as skinheads and punks. This was afer all the first (and for a time) the only shop in the world where you could buy Dr Marten's boots!! How cool was that!!
Steve Lamacq on the trail of the Doc Marten boot
Featured on BBC Radio 6, an interview with Nicolas Roumana, CEO of British Boot Company
Steve headed back to his old stomping ground in Camden on the trail of the perfect Doctor Marten boot to look at why the brand’s has had such an enduring appeal for British counter culture.