I wrote this almost five years ago about the Salford Sioux. If you’re not up for reading the whole thing, let me give you a brief version.
Nearly 130 years ago, Buffalo Bill and his touring show headed across to the pond and set up camp for a winter long season in the slightly unlikely destination of Salford. It took the BBC well over another century to recognise the merits of the city as an entertainment base, but Bill (real name William Cody) was characteristically quick at the draw.
As part of the touring show, 100 Native Americans spent months camped in the cold British winter, with some of them actually dying as a result. But while some sadly perished, others were quite taken with their surroundings and following a tour a few years later it is thought members of the Ogala branch of Sioux Indians remained in Manchester and integrated into the city. Anyway, my slightly spurious, tenuous attempts to link the moccasin wearing Mancs to a load of teepee dwellers in 1897 went down well. But joking apart, there’s got to be something in it. How else do you explain suede and crepe being so popular in this part of the world?
Most recently, a brand born next door to Salford in Bolton had a very nice stab at the familiar combo. The Walsh Challenger boasts a suede upper, ankle height, sitting on a sturdy crepe sole, with fell running vibes. The shoe itself was developed in the early 80s to cope with testing terrains and eventually evolved into their PB Elite boot. I wouldn’t fancy sprinting through puddles in these though. They’re light, comfy and they’re exactly what all the descendants of the Salford Sioux are wearing, nailed on.