Whilst the upper classes dress down to go out, the working class dress up.

Dating back to the second half of the 19th century, and ever since, sub-cultures have been created and driven almost exclusively by those in the working class communities. Starting with the Scuttlers of Manchester in the 1870's and their monotony towards life in the slums, advancing through to the Teddy Boys, Mods and Rockers era of the 50's, through to the Punk and Skin scenes, Ska, Reggae, the 80's and 90's skate scene, right up to today's contemporary minimalism. They were all the brainchild of those fighting for an identity - an identity that correlates conclusively with fashion - so it makes sense to call these people heroes.

With this premise as his inspiration, Working Class Heroes was founded in 2006 by Thomas Bowden. The initial intent was to sell a range of skate and street clothing from all around the globe to the good people of Ulverston, Cumbria, from his tiny shop in a shady looking alleyway. Since 2006 the company has moved to a bigger, better, less creepy location, sweeping up new brands, stories and people along the way.

Our ranges of footwear, clothing and homeware is comprised of a brand mix that appeals to us. Not one that follows a particular genre or alignment, but one that we feel goes together, blurring the lines between distinctions and classifications in order to create something beautiful. 

40-44 Market StreetUlverston Cumbria LA12 7LS

Shoes from the Nike SB collection

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Shoes from the Nike SB collection

How Nike came to be was a result of entrepreneurship and a strive to improve the performance of track athletes. Phil Knight was a middle distance runner in the 1950's and was studying a degree at Stanford University. Here he met a Bill Bowerman who was in charge of a track and field program that Phil was taking part in. 

Bowerman was visionary in track and field events and an influential training coach at the time. He was continuously pushing the limits of what was known about varying factors to improve runners times including diet, training and footwear design. He had taken many of his trainer ideas to shoe manufactures of the time but none took him up. 

Knight was now taking a MBA in finance and as part of this carried out a study comparing German trainer manufacturing and Japanese. Part of this study took Bill to the Onitsuka Tiger manufactures and as a surprise outcome Knight offered to be the distributor for the brand in the USA. Upon the success of the deal one of his first ports of call was to try and flog some footwear to his old pal Bowerman. Bill surprised Phil and offered him a business partnership deal. This was the start of Blue Ribbon a sportswear business for the sales and distribution of Onitsuka Tigers. 

In the early 1970's Blue Ribbon decided to end their deal with Tigers and produce their own shoes. With the help of their first employee, Jeff Johnson who came up with the name Nike and graphic design student Carolyn Davidson the brand emerged. 

By 1978 their technological advances and styling was having international success with sales globally. Sports stars around the world were wearing the swoosh. From Henry Reno, Kenyan marathon runner, to tennis legend John McEnroe. Possibly the most influential sports endorsement occurred when a young Michael Jordan signed with Nike and cemented the brand as an innovated sporting footwear manufacturer with cult like street wear status. 

Nike launched their SB range in 2002 lead by the Dunk models and the range has now developed into large collection of skate ready and after skate trainers. Paul Rodriguez, aka P Rod, was the first skateboarder to sign for Nike SB and the team has grown a little to include the likes of Eric Koston and Stefan Janoski. The signature shoe of Stefan Janoski is possible the most successful and influential skate shoe of the decade. 

As Nike SB combine Air Max technology and signature skate shoes, the future looks great for skaters and sneaker collectors alike. 


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