Walsh x Solovair Ref. 830 Boot.
This season, Norman Walsh have collaborated with the renowned Northamptonshire Productive Society (NPS) and their famous brand Solovair. From small beginnings to the present day, a like Walsh, NPS Shoes has lived a product defining history!
By combining over 190 years of traditional craftsmanship between the two, this new launch makes a great pairing within the UK manufacturing industry.
Designed by Norman Walsh in the early 1960's the Ref. 830 would go on to become perhaps the most successful performing rugby boot of all time.
During the 1960's, 1970's and early 1980's, season after season, Norman Walsh rugby boots would adorn around 9 in 10 of the top Rugby League goal kickers.
They were also used when the record for 12 goal kicks from 12 attempts was made and during its success, more players wore Walsh boots at Wembley games than all other manufacturers combined.
The Ref. 830 and its similar counterparts would remain little unchanged over its three decade career, only changing where technology allowed. But what was so special about the Walsh Ref. 830? What set it apart from the rest? Well, Norman Walsh had two unique aces up his sleeve when it came down to design and functionality.
Firstly, Norman developed and made the Ref. 830 around his famous athletic and track shoe lasts which gave the boots a far more snug and secure fitting as opposed to the bulbous competition. The track spike last also gave the boots a pronounced toe spring which allowed for a far more efficient forward motion when running.
The second ace was found in the sole construction. Where other styles and manufacturers used a solid leather (and later nylon) sole plate which gave great stability but also limited foot articulation, Norman developed a 'split-sole' construction. This featured a separate toe and heel plate, allowing for incredible flexibility in the sole for those players who needed agility over stability.
These two unique developments allowed the boots to achieve an unrivalled performance in flexibility and mobility.
You could say this shoe has taken nearly 60 years to develop, and with such an impressive and decorated history, it should be no revelation that to bring this legend back would require something special and worthy of its moniker.
Collaborating with the renowned Northamptonshire Productive Society (NPS) and their famous brand Solovair, taking an unreleased upper concept developed by Norman Walsh in the 1960's for inspiration, Walsh have faithfully reimagined the Ref. 830 rugby boot.
The upper is crafted from a selection of beautiful leathers, coupled to the iconic Solovair 'Soft Suspension' commando sole and joined together by the age-old Goodyear welted process at the NPS factory in Wollaston.
Available in two colour ways, Greasy Black is a full-grain flat leather impregnated with an oil to give a supple and waterproof finish. Guacho Brown, like the Greasy Black, is a full-grain and impregnated oil leather however, by a different tanning process this enables impressions to be seen along creases when worn, to create a beautifully distressed character.