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The history of Grubs wellington boots

Last Modified On: Posted in News and Footwear

We look at the history of this great brand which has developed from making cricket shoes to top quality wellington boots. To this day it remains a family run, UK based business, and has done for eight generations.



It all started in 1776 when the Foster family were cordwainers in the small village of Sandiacre, Nottinghamshire, making shoes for the local gentry and middle classes.

This soon changed in 1862 when Samuel Biddulph, a rising legend in Nottinghamshire cricket, came to Samuel Foster looking for a solution to improve his shoes that were not biting into the ground enough when he was bowling.

The idea emerged that spikes needed to be implemented to help with grip. Thus the cricket shoe was born and everybody turned to the Fosters for their crickets shoes which then expanded to golfing shoes, and then onto shoes for new sports like football and their products became a hit.

After years of success and customers travelling from afar, they looked into what they could the do next and came to the running industry.   

Joe Foster, a keen runner himself, recognised that in order to improve his own running performance he needed quality running shoes and in 1895 he created the first “FOSTER” Running Pump. He worked from his father’s back yard and his brilliance in design was recognised in 1904, when the legendary Alf Shrub blistered down the track at Ibrox Park, Glasgow, smashing three world records in one race wearing Joe Foster’s Pumps.


In 1910 demand was so great that he had to expand and create the world’s first athletic shoe factory to meet the needs of professional athletes. A change in supply and demand came with World War I, when the factory turned its hand to army boots.



By the early 1950s, Foster’s had been passed on to another generation, who expanded the business into the wider sporting world and production of Foster’s rugby and soccer boots began. By 1958 the business employed 20 craftsmen producing over 30,000 pairs of handmade boots and pumps each year.

The business passed on to a further generation in 1958, and fresh impetus led to the creation of a new company, ‘Reebok’, which remained very much a family firm throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

David Foster began working full time for his father in 1983. After an apprenticeship of fifteen years, he formed his own company to design and develop shoes for a range of international brands.

David and his wife, Jan, created the neoprene revolution in sports and agricultural boots in 2000. Their company, Grubs, builds on its history and tradition to offer the most comfortable performance footwear available today.



Their carefully crafted team are all active sportsmen, bringing first-hand experience of what works and what doesn’t in the field. The company now offers a range of light, waterproof, warm, comfortable wellington boots with amazing grip.

Grub’s have an extensive range of rubber boots in many different colours and sizes, certain to be the perfect boot across all sectors including the equestrian, agricultural, country sports and building worlds, but also suitable for gardening, camping, caravanning or even just walking the dog.


Last Modified On: Posted in News and Footwear

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