PLIMSOLL is the name given in general terms to all footwear with rubber soles and canvas upper.

In the 1890's Dr.Samuel Plimsoll, a victorian engineer invented 'The Plimsoll Line'. This was a system devised to control and limit the volume of goods onto ships. Many unscrupulous ship owners at the time were  overloading their vessels, resulting in numerous sinkings with the inevitable loss of cargo and lives. His system was a series of lines on the outside of the ship to indicate how loaded the ship was. It was extremely unpopular at the time as it meant ships were carrying less goods and therefore making less money.  However the system still survives to date on many vessels and whilst Dr.Samuel Plimsoll's reforms lead many to view him in his lifetime with disdain he is now commemorated with a bronze statue on the embankment of the Thames for his services to furthering the safety of shipping across the globe.


In the 1920's when footwear companies first starting making rubber soled footwear ,with canvas uppers, people started calling this type of footwear a 'Plimsoll' because of the resemblance of the upper edge of the rubber on the canvas to the plimsoll line on a ship. The name has been used across the world ever since, and evokes memories, ranging from the nostalgic to sheer dread of PE classes on freezing winter days,wearing nothing but an airtex vest, polyester shorts and flimsy plimsolls.

The name aside, our take on Plimsoll was first made in Eastern Europe, and is based on a miltary exercise shoe dating back to the early 1950's. We have since moved production, using the very same design, to the Far East for a cleaner and better quality looking version, whilst still retaining the vintage 'old school' looks of the original.