A FAMILY firm which has been making medical devices and leg braces for almost a century has taken its first steps into making golf shoes and designer footwear.
Newcastle-based Peacocks Medical Group aims to use its experience making footwear for people such as diabetics who have lost the sensation in their feet by producing comfortable sports shoes.
The business, which designs and manufactures from its Benfield Business Park factory, has also started producing top-quality bespoke men’s fashion shoes.
Peacocks had been looking to supply hand-crafted designer footwear to high-end stores such as Fenwick, but the costs associated with making them would put them out of too many people’s reach.
However, the firm is continuing to sell its stylish shoes to a steady stream of customers in the North East through word of mouth. Their best customer has recently bought his fourth pair.
Managing director Chris Peacock, the fourth generation of his family to head the firm, says the golf shoe market could prove lucrative in the long term.
He said: “There is a special gap in the market in golf shoes. It’s a big market and the vast majority of players complain of foot pain.
“We’ve taken on a project manager to look at the market and we have started a research and development project to do the bespoke golf shoes.
“We’re incorporating a lot of what we’ve learned about making a really beautiful pair of fashion shoes with our orthopaedic comfort soles.
“We’re getting a bit more focused about what we can offer and we have started looking at our specialities.”
He is confident there is a niche in the golf market, in which the very best shoes are largely sold only at specialist shops in London.
“We can definitely match on quality and style, but we’re got a bit more to offer because we really understand feet and the fit,” said Peacock.
“It might not just be golf – it might be other sports shoes. We are trying to incorporate everything we know about feet into a really dynamic shoe.”
The firm is working with leather cutters and printers to create an appealing shoe outer to go with the comfort aspect, which it is confident will be the golf footwear’s main selling point.
Peacocks, which makes about 3,000 pairs of medical shoes annually, also has an international reputation for producing calipers and leg braces.
Initially set up as cutlery manufacturer, Peacocks moved into the medical supply market to service the needs of survivors returning home from the trenches after the First World War.
We’re getting more focused about what we can offer and we have started looking at our specialities