USA Launch of Grubs Discover and Adventure in San Diego

Discover (shoe) and Adventure (boot) centre of attention.

Discover (shoe) and Adventure (boot) centre of attention.

We are excited to share the news of the launch of our Fitness walking EXPLORE range in San Diego, California.  GRUBS and our partners VSI spent the first week of February in Sunny San Diego to launch the ADVENTURE, walking welly and DISCOVER walking shoe to VSI's Dealer network.

Grubs spotlight booth was a hit with retailers

Grubs spotlight booth was a hit with retailers

Our Innovative EXPLORE walking concept was so well recieved that we were amazed at the response and it just goes to prove once again that the West Coast of the USA is at the cutting edge of new ideas and is where its at to find new trends in all markets.

"Who let the ducks out!" Californian relaxed cheeky style.

"Who let the ducks out!" Californian relaxed cheeky style.

The relaxed atmosphere of the Town and Country resort in San Diego made for an easy Californian way to do business.  Discover shoes were the perfect footwear for spending the whole day on your feet.

'Flamingo Lawn' relaxed 1950's Californian style Town and country Resort with cheeky touches.

'Flamingo Lawn' relaxed 1950's Californian style Town and country Resort with cheeky touches.

Our New Discover shoe has just arrived in stock #DiscoverTheDifference

After twelve months of testing the new Discover shoe powered by Vibram has arrived. it is exclusively sold on www.grubswarehouse.com for the whole of February before being rolled out to selected partners in March. Here are some of the highlights of this technology packed walking shoe:

After twelve months of testing the new Discover shoe powered by Vibram has arrived. it is exclusively sold on www.grubswarehouse.com for the whole of February before being rolled out to selected partners in March.

Here are some of the highlights of this technology packed walking shoe:

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RollinGait(TM) is a new technology that uses a constantly varied sole that rolls as you walk, actually propelling you forward through your stride, giving a fluidity to your motion and reducing discomfort in lower limbs and spine.

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Vibram's(TM) new SPHIKE or SPEED HIKE sole has a ground adaptive split heel designed to reduce impact stress and adapt to the ground surface underfoot.  It features a radial lug pattern for traversing slopes and directional chevron cleats for propulsion. A wide heel and forefoot ensures a sure footed anti-roll action.

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Heel and arch sit deep in the midsole forming a Stability-Cradle(TM) around the foot.  Unlike most shoe where the wears foot sits on top of the midsole,  the Discover wearers heel is cradled within it, preventing the foot over pronating.  The foot is kept in a safe neutral position well protected.

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The upper features a tough Diamond shaped Rip-Stop nylon upper material to stop snags and tears.  Toe and eyestay are reinforced with fused TPU layers that form a strong wipe clean layer in areas of stress and high abrasion. The Vibram(TM) sole wraps up to form a toe bumper for added protection.  Derby style lacing allows for both wide and Narrow feet with a bellows tongue to stop micro-gravel entering the shoe and a soft padded topline that fits snugly under the ankle.

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Discover is waterproof thanks to the HYDRI-FUSE breathable bootie lining which is heat fused to the upper to form a single tough and waterproof shoe.

GLENCOE SNOW

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We took advantage of the recent bad weather to do some winter testing of our new DISCOVER shoe. The Glen looked magnificent in its first coating of snow though its was much more wet ice at the lower levels. We walked up the glen from Glencoe village to the Falls of Glencoe which were in full flow.

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The walk was pretty tough going thanks to the amount of wet ice, not even our Vibram sole could cope with some sections and we had to creep up the edge of the road very delicately.

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Our feet however remained dry and very comfortable through out. A good test day. 

FROSTLINE Autumn Winter colours Landing soon

Azure and Coral

Azure and Coral

Autumn is upon us and our new colours are landing this week. Three new colours are set to add some sparkle to your feet as the nights draw in.  Azure blue is a bright mid tone the is light on the eye and cool and calming.  Coral is a hot deep pinkish red that exudes the warmth the boots actually give.

Shale (delivered without red sole) left.

Shale (delivered without red sole) left.

Shale is a deep grey with a purple tint that works well with neutral everyday colours such as denim and black.

Frostlines in Coral and Shale work perfectly with muted colours

Frostlines in Coral and Shale work perfectly with muted colours

Available from mid September, our new colours  bring a light glow into the long dark nights of winter.

Interview with David Foster CEO of Grubs boots on the Background to the new Sport Equestri™ range.

Ciletto, Equi-trainer.

Q: We have seen a lot of the GRUBS® brand around the equine market, but are you new to making equestrian boots?

Not at all, we were the first to develop the neoprene boot in the riding market back in 2002 when we put a riding toe and sole on our popular stable boot.  Ten years later after many copies we updated the boot with our Rideline™ and Outline™ series of boots.  We put the much trimmer Outline sole on the boot which featured mid-foot support and a prominent heel for traditional riding and stable work, they are very popular.

Q: That’s interesting, so why have you developed this range of boots? We support a full team of event riders including; Ingrid Klimke, Ben Hobday, Lissa Green and James Sommerville.  They were very happy with our general boots such as Frostline™, for field and stable work, but found our riding boots too hard for performance jumping.   We looked at the range of activities and the likes and dislikes of our riders to put together the outline of a range and then a specific requirements and performance features our professional riders need:   A soft and subtle ankle to allow them to sit with a correct foot position when jumping, heel down heel in with forefoot support and cushioning with a good amount of lower leg feel all without compromising on warmth.  To do this we needed to remove the layers of rubber that protect our other boot uppers.  We searched around and eventually came up with a fantastic material called Keprotec® from Schoeller® textiles: it combines materials such as Kevlar® and ballistic aramid fibres in a stretch matrix that give amazing snag and abrasion resistance while allowing stretch and twist.  Keprotec® has been used for a few years in motorcycle clothing on high wear areas so it is well tested and liked.  In fact it is so tough we had to put a layer of rubber on the inside of the Ramilo™ tall boot to protect the saddle.   We have retained rubber on the toe and heel, the toe rubber is cut ergonomically across the toe so it flexes with the foot at the ball.   A double layer of resin and rubber at the heel on Ramilo™ and moulded spur keeper give a snug heel cup that sits deep in the sidewall of the outsole for maximum heel stability in the jumping cycle.

Q: That’s interesting, so why have you developed this range of boots?

We support a full team of event riders including; Ingrid Klimke, Ben Hobday, Lissa Green and James Sommerville.  They were very happy with our general boots such as Frostline™, for field and stable work, but found our riding boots too hard for performance jumping.

 

We looked at the range of activities and the likes and dislikes of our riders to put together the outline of a range and then a specific requirements and performance features our professional riders need:

 

A soft and subtle ankle to allow them to sit with a correct foot position when jumping, heel down heel in with forefoot support and cushioning with a good amount of lower leg feel all without compromising on warmth.  To do this we needed to remove the layers of rubber that protect our other boot uppers.  We searched around and eventually came up with a fantastic material called Keprotec® from Schoeller® textiles: it combines materials such as Kevlar® and ballistic aramid fibres in a stretch matrix that give amazing snag and abrasion resistance while allowing stretch and twist.  Keprotec® has been used for a few years in motorcycle clothing on high wear areas so it is well tested and liked.  In fact it is so tough we had to put a layer of rubber on the inside of the Ramilo™ tall boot to protect the saddle.

 

We have retained rubber on the toe and heel, the toe rubber is cut ergonomically across the toe so it flexes with the foot at the ball.   A double layer of resin and rubber at the heel on Ramilo™ and moulded spur keeper give a snug heel cup that sits deep in the sidewall of the outsole for maximum heel stability in the jumping cycle.

Vibram sport-Equestri sole.

Q: You mentioned the sole, that’s very dramatic visually, tell us more about it?

Our Riders wanted a much lighter, more cushioned, more athletic feel with more grip.  Grubs® is all about ‘grip’ so we teamed up with our partners at Vibram®.  I have been working with Vibram® for over 30 years and understand their technical performance driven design philosophy very well.  We sat down with their designers and came up with an outsole that is light-years ahead of our competition:

 

We use their amazing XS TREK™ compound that has fantastic grip on all surfaces. The periphery of the whole sole is rounded so it doesn’t catch on the stirrup while the tread pattern is designed to work with high performance competition stirrups that traditional rubber-soled boots struggle to grip to, adding a high arch and prominent heel for a belt and braces approach.

 

The S-line™ cut through the sole allows it to flex with the foot in motion while a high side wall to the outsole is flex-notched to stabilise and support without impairing forefoot flex. 

 

The DURALITE™ midsole wraps up around the ball of the foot for heel support, ball support and protection from the stirrup. DURALITE™ also reduces weight and increases shock absorption for that magic carpet GRUBS® comfort.

Ramilo boot

Q: Sport EQUESTRI? Ramilo, Ciletto?  They are pretty unusual names, where did they come from?

When we approached Vibram® with the idea of an Equine Sport sole they named the project ‘SPORT EQUESTRI™’, its Italian for Equestrian Sport, we liked the sound and that’s why all the styles carry the ‘SE’ suffix.

 

Regarding the product names; Ramilo is our 4* horse and Ciletto is our 3* ridden again by Ben Hobday.  The graphic on the side of the boot is Ben on Ramilo!

Ben Hobday

Q: Wow! I didn’t know that GRUBS® was so involved with the sport?

My Family has been making shoes since 1776, eight generations!  My daughter works in the business, so that will make it nine. We have always been associated with sport, Samuel Foster, made the first studded cricket boot, my great-grandfather track spikes for the Olympic stars such as Abrams and Liddell.  My father and Uncle founded Reebok where I worked for ten years.  My grandfather made riding boots as well and my daughters ride semi-professionally.  So I guess it’s in our blood.

Ciletto Equi-Trainer and Ramilo Trainer boot are available from mid September 2017.

Far Arnside to Jenny Brown's point, Lancashire beach walk

We parked the car at Slverdale and walked through the fields towards Far Arnside before descending to the beach from Cove road and walking along the beach to Jenny Browns point. always check on the tides before undertaking any walk around Morecambe bay. We had a good couple of hours before the tide turned but stuck to the coast as there are a few small rivers that drain into the bay where the sand is very soft. It made for some good mixed terrain for out Vibram shod Discover shoes; grass, road, limestone, sand and a bit of seaweed all in an hours walking. a short stretch of road back to the car park rounded off a great afternoon.

Morecambe Bay looking back to Far Arnside.

Morecambe Bay looking back to Far Arnside.

The Catbells direct

The weather has been much kinder to us today, so we decided to tackle catbells direct. Don't be fooled by the name this is a sharp ascent with some scrambling and I haven't done that for 15 years. We set out from Keswick via Portinscale and then through the beautiful woodland of Fawe Park to arrive at the base of the Skelgill ridge. A steep climb to 338 metres with a little scramble gets you on to the ridge. Jan had spaniel assistance and left me with the rucksack for dead. We cruised the busy ridge with ease until we hit the steep scree and short scramble up to 451 metres an Catbells proper! Our Discover shoe were fantastic on loose scree and scrambling up rocks firm footed and full of grip thanks to their Vibram soles. Quite a few hikers asked us what they were. As we moved past them in their clumpy boots. After the summit we descended rapidly like mountain goats to the Derwentwater side surefooted thanks to the cupped sole and midfoot rolingait system 14km of tough Lakeland fell covered in just over five hours. I think Daisy our Spaniel wishes she had some Discover shoes as she's absolutely shattered.

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The Walla Crag reverse in our Discover shoes

The weather was typically terrible this morning so we decided to tackle Walla Crag the opposite direction walking along the banks of Derwentwater from Keswick to Ashness Gate landing in the pouring rain. We started the climb up to Falcon Crag via Ashness Bridge just as the clouds began to lift and reached Walla Crag in brilliant sunshine. The view was spectacular and well worth the climb. Our Discover shoes were superb, so light and stable even on the roughest ground thanks to the way your foot is cupped by the sole.  Vibram rollingait system gave our tired legs a lot more spring than normal shoes or boots. A short slog back down the hill to town was straight forward. The 9km on the map turned out to be more like 12 thanks to some path closures but it was a fun day out, even Daisy the Spaniel, had a good time.

Welcome to the new GRUBS website!

As you may have noticed, we've made a few changes to our website – we hope you like the new look!

Do have a click around and let us know what you think. The site is now fully mobile-responsive, so you can read all about GRUBS while on your phone or tablet.

Why not start by brushing up on some GRUBS history, which takes in several Olympic Games and stretches all the way back to 1825.

Back in the present day, we're looking forward to the new season, which sees Rainline™ available in two new fashion colours; HEATHER and ROSEWOOD.

A slim profile leg, gives it a sleek appearance. 

Meanwhile, SKYLINE™ is available in Mahogany with Rosewood trim and Black with Heather.

SKYLINE™ offers andeasy and relaxed fit with bags of country style.

A quilted leg and colourful YARD™ sole. Our classic MIDLINE™ boot is available in Violet.

Delving into the GRUBS Olympic past

When Samuel Foster took over the family business from his father in 1829 he had little or no idea of what a significant part in history he would play.

The Foster family had been cordwainers in the small village of Sandiacre, Nottinghamshire for generations, making shoes for the local gentry and middle classes since 1776.

In 1862 a man walked through Samuels door who was going to change that forever! Samuel Biddulph was the brightest star of Nottinghamshire cricket and he was looking for an edge over his competitors the hobnails on his white shoes simply didn’t bite into the hard ground when he was using the new over armfast bowling technique he had developed.

The Two Samuels hit upon the idea to make the nails longer and pointed (Spikes). Sam Foster approached the local blacksmith Thomas Towel with idea and he agreed to make some short flat-headed nails for Sam to use in Biddulph's shoes.

Biddulph and Foster were the main topic of conversation throughout the 1863 season and cricketers from far and wide travelled to Sandiacre to buy Sam Fosters Cricket shoes.

Left to right: James (Rachael’ s great-grandfather), John, Mariah and Joseph circa 1910. 

Left to right: James (Rachael’ s great-grandfather), John, Mariah and Joseph circa 1910. 

For the next twenty years Sam continued to make his cricket shoes and made early shoe for Golf and new sports such as football, Sam's three nailed studs were legendary in Nottingham and the surrounding towns.

Events took a twist in early 1890 when his young grandson Joseph came to visit. Both young Joe and his older brother were keen runners and they immediately saw that a pair of their grandfathers shoes, would give them an advantage on the track:

A young Joe seated third from the right with his fellow Bolton Harriers in 1900.

A young Joe seated third from the right with his fellow Bolton Harriers in 1900.

Joe was not content though and set to work in his bedroom above his fathers confectionary shop at 90 Deane road Bolton removing the heels and stripping weight from his shoes.

Joe stayed with his grandfather the following year to learn how to make shoes and continued to evolve his design.

Sam died the following March and young Joe returned to Bolton with his grandfather’ s tools and knowledge. 

At last in 1898 he had perfected his Running Pump. It was ultra light used the softest and strongest leathers; most importantly it had six one inch long SPIKES in the front for ultimate grip.

An early ad depicting the revolutionary shoe, it is easy to see why they were in such high demand. 

An early ad depicting the revolutionary shoe, it is easy to see why they were in such high demand. 

His fellow club runners marvelled at his ‘RUNNING PUMPS’  and he found himself with a fist full of orders at every race he attended.

He set to work in his father’ s back yard, making shoes for local athletes, results on the racetrack and word of mouth spread the news.

In 1904 the legendary Alf Shrub, blistered down the track at Ibrox Park, Glasgow smashing three world records in one race wearing Joe Foster’ s Pumps. Within four years Joe’ s Pumps were renowned as and worn by the best!

Alf Shrubb, who in 1904 broke the six-mile (29.59.4), ten mile (50.40.6) and the hour (11miles, 1,137yards) records in one race wearing  ‘ Joe Foster’ s Famous Shoes’

Alf Shrubb, who in 1904 broke the six-mile (29.59.4), ten mile (50.40.6) and the hour (11miles, 1,137yards) records in one race wearing  ‘ Joe Foster’ s Famous Shoes’

Athletes came to his little shop at 57 Deane Road from all corners of the Empire to be personally fitted by Joe.

By 1910 demand had grown such that he had to expand, next door and create the worlds first athletic shoe factory:

The Olympic works circa 1966

The Olympic works circa 1966

In ‘ The Olympic Works’ , girls toiled on new fangled sewing machines, while highly skilled artisans fitted spikes and hand-sewn welts to create the shoes that graced the feet of the worlds fastest. 

Inside the Olympic Works, Joe is on the far right, Billy has his back to the camera on the left, Foster’ s Originals and De-Luxe in production.

Inside the Olympic Works, Joe is on the far right, Billy has his back to the camera on the left, Foster’ s Originals and De-Luxe in production.

No detail was too small for Joe Foster, athletes still tell of shoes that were not only made for individuals but individual races! Straps for cross country, heel spikes for hurdlers, even the number of bends was considered for every shoe.

At the 1936 Olympics, C.B. Holmes wore shoes so light they were designed to last just one race!

In 1914 the wearers of Foster’s Shoes wore medals for valour as the Olympic Works turned to making and repairing Army boots.

My twelve year old great-grandfather had the grim job of washing Flanders mud from returned boots in an immense tub in the back yard “I remember when the water wasn’t grey but red!” he used to tell my father.

The grim reality, local solders, during the third battle of Ypres.

The grim reality, local solders, during the third battle of Ypres.

Peace returned and at the1924 Olympics two British stars, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, immortalised in the film ‘ Chariots of Fire’ duelled on the track in Foster’ s Running Pumps.

My great-grandfather, James and great uncle Billy shared the love and enthusiasm for sport that had driven their father.

They were both keen members of Bolton Harriers, Billy being Club Champion for three years running, following his father as Secretary.

My great-grandfather James (left) pictured with a fellow harrier.

My great-grandfather James (left) pictured with a fellow harrier.

He earned notoriety as the ‘ Captain’  when writing the athletics column in the Bolton Evening News. He never passed up the chance to promote the family business!

“The Harriers are favoured in that they have Joe Foster to attend to their shoes, for he will be able not only to advise as to the type of gear that is likely to be most suitable for the Castle-Irwell and Crewe courses, and to provide such, and I would advise the lads to get the shoes they require now, and not leave such provision to the last possible minute”.
(Bolton Evening News-1924)

In 1933 Joe died suddenly and left the business to Billy and my great-grandfather, who expanded into the wider sporting world. By the early ‘50’ s Foster’ s Rugby and Soccer boots graced the feet of many of the top players from Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers.  Their fame was such that when the Moscow Dynamite team made its first trip to the West they all stopped by the Olympic Works, to be personally fitted with new boots.

Jeff (left) and Joe Foster finishing football boots in 1958

Jeff (left) and Joe Foster finishing football boots in 1958

In the early 50’ s my grandfather, Joe and great-uncle Jeff began their apprenticeship at the Olympic Works, learning the skills and knowledge that has been passed down from father to son.  The notorious hand sewing of welts began to be done by machine but ‘studs and spikes must still be fitted by hand to the specification of each customer’ they were instructed.  

By 1958 the Olympic works was at full capacity, 20 craftsmen producing over 30,000pairs of hand made boots and pumps each year, 8,000 finding the feet of new American stars under the Stewardship of Yale and Olympic Coaches Frank Ryan and Bob Geinjack.

Storm clouds were gathering however, when Mariah died in the autumn of that year Billy and My great-grandfather began to disagree on the direction of the company, added to this my grandfather and great-uncle wanted to have a greater say in the business they would inherit, disagreement turned into a full blown feud, with my great-grandfather trapped in the middle!

Billy wanted to continue as they had always done with the quality and craftsmanship the prime consideration. My grandfather and great-uncle saw the rise of cheaper, new technology, being used by Adidas and Puma as the way forward and pressed for a change! At the1958 FA Cup Final Nat Lofthouse scored the winning goal for Bolton Wanderers in Foster’ s boots. That same year my Grandfather and great uncle left under a cloud to found a new company ‘Reebok’.

The two companies were now bitter rivals, but it could not last.  In 1960 the Foster company began to fall apart, Billy died in the spring from pneumonia.

Six years later the Olympic works was part of the area to be cleared to build a new technical college, James was producing shoes right up to the bulldozers moving in!

The next 10years saw a gradual decline in the Foster business as my great-grandfather watched one supplier after another go to the wall as British industry struggled into the seventies.

For my grandfather and great-uncle the story was very different, Reebok was establishing its own reputation with its own records and medals in the major games. 200,000 pairs found fame on the feet of the worlds athletes every year. Whilst in 1981 they were rated number one for quality by Runners World Magazine.

Their foresight and Dedication to product development and performance ensured continued success. Throughout the seventies and 80’ s Reebok remained very much a family firm, with my grand mother, great-aunt and my grandfather’ s younger brother John all working for the company.

My dad’ s apprenticeship started early, with school holidays spent making boxes, cementing soles and lacing shoes. His weekends were adventures to muddy fields and hillsides, selling shoes to athletes at races. 

My father, David & grandfather, Joe in 1984 

My father, David & grandfather, Joe in 1984 

My dad began to work full time for my grandfather in 1983 becoming the six generation of Fosters to hand craft the finest running shoes for the world’ s greatest athletes.

My Grandfather sold Reebok in 1984 to the American distributor, but my father continued to work for them until 1993, designing many of the famous classics the company is known for. 

After an apprenticeship of 15 years he returned to Bolton to form his own company, to design and develop shoes for a range of international brands.While on a business trip to China my dad met an old friend who had an idea to use neoprene in rubber boots.

The two of them worked on  the idea that week and my dad brought back boots for my sisters and I to try.   We loved our new ‘ wellies’  and our warm toes.  A further trip brought more styles, one for  gardening, one for horses and one for farmers.

My Mum and Dad travelled the UK with their new  boots and started to find companies to sell them.  Within a couple of years the revolution had  spread across Europe and the GRUBS® brand was born.  

Now with worldwide sales, a reputation for innovative styles and colourful boots for all outdoor activities.

GRUBS® is known  for light, waterproof, warm, comfortable boots with amazing grip.  GRUBS® today is run by my  mum and dad, based form their offices and warehouse in Bolton Lancashire where it all began  eight generations ago.