Family-run shoe shop, Blackman’s Shoes, has shunned online retail and embraced its East London locale.
Despite lying just metres off Brick Lane, one of London’s most famous streets, Blackman’s Shoes in East London remains something of a hidden gem. Blackman’s has been at its Cheshire Street location since 1935, despite the changes that have swept through East London in the intervening decades.
“We don’t sell online,” reads a message on the shopfront. Blackman’s is proudly an offline shop that offers no online retail outlet. Customers must drop into the shop itself to get the Blackman’s experience. Visiting the shop also means you get to banter with the owner, Phil, his cheeky wit will certainly keep you on your toes! The shop is a family-venture and Phil has many great stories to tell from over the years.
Once you have chatted with Phil and you come to pay for your new purchase, you will not be able to use your card. In keeping with its low-digital approach, Blackman’s is cash only. But, you will not need to empty your wallet to buy a pair of shoes at the shop. In fact, Blackman’s sell some shoes for £5, which is less than the price of a pint in the upmarket Shoreditch bars that lie under than a mile away.
“The Devil wears Prada, but the people wear £5 plimsolls”, proclaims a sign on the shopfront, reflecting both the good deals and sense of humour you will find in Blackman’s. While the Brick Lane area is one of the most hip places in London, Blackman’s does not try to keep up with trends, but is in its own way undeniably cool.
Blackman’s say they were the first shop in the UK to stock Doc Martens, a shoe which would come to be associated with punk in Britain. The shop still stocks Doc Marten boots and shoes today, a brand which, like Blackman’s itself, has remained a firm favourite among East Londoners over the decades.
The shop stocks a range of shoes and boots, and while you won’t find the latest in-style pair of trainers in Blackman’s, there many well-priced shoes to be found in the shop. Phil’s experience means he is a safe pair of hands to find you something you would like to wear on your feet.
While there are a multitude of online shopping and chain shoe shop options available to us, you will not find an experience like Blackman’s anywhere else. The shop offers a personal experience, good value, and has a backstory that is unique to our area. What’s not to love?
If you enjoyed this piece, check out our article on the Boundary Estate