About Us

Our company began in 1954 when Eric Ward started selling shoes at Bridge Street in Worksop. We are now the third generation to run our independent, family owned business.

Eric’s son Steven joined the business in the 1970s when there were shops in Matlock & Grantham too. Steven’s wife Jane joined later and throughout the 80’s they also had shops in Rotherham & Chesterfield. In 1988 they took over the stores in Bakewell & Belper, where we still trade today. Alison joined in 1998 before going to work for Clarks in 2001. We met whilst working for Clarks and returned to Wards in 2007, allowing Jane & Steven to take a step back. Between us we have over 40 years experience in the footwear industry. It is a privilege to be involved in the family business.

We specialise in great quality footwear, which we source from leading brands all over the world. We choose the best styles from each of our suppliers to give you a wide choice of shoes, boots, sandals and sports. Each season we look for new and exciting products to offer you the latest innovations in comfort & style - something you can’t always find on major high streets. We hope our collection will leave you spoilt for choice.

Our business has changed over the years as we’ve met new challenges and listened to our customers feedback. We now have shops in Bakewell, Belper and Welbeck. Launching our website in 2022 is an exciting new chapter for us. We are thrilled to be able to offer our unique selection of footwear & accessories to new and existing customers, far and wide.

Our team are experienced, friendly & helpful. Many of them have been part of the Wards family for a long time and we are very proud of them. We aim to offer the best customer service and our staff are always ready to offer advice on fit, trends, comfort, accessories and much more! We love talking about footwear, which brands we know and love, and what’s new and exciting. Our team have plenty of personal recommendations so don’t hesitate to ask them for help or suggestions. We train all of our staff to expertly fit children’s shoes - with the right knowledge to fit our wide choice of styles from different children’s brands.

Where you shop really matters these days! We value our customers and offer rewards & discounts for loyal customers - please ask us when you’re next in store, we’d love you to join in and benefit from our loyalty scheme. Our family business employs 20 people. That means when you shop with us, in store or online, you are supporting 20 families in Bakewell, Belper & Welbeck. Thank you for choosing to shop small & support our independent business.

We live just outside Matlock, in Derbyshire with our two boys - perhaps the next generation of Wards shoes - watch this space! When we’re not thinking about shoes, we love spending time with family & friends, travelling, reading and walking our dogs.

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope you find something you like.

Justin & Alison