Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available


Episode 6 of 6

Documentary series. Gregg Wallace visits the UK's largest sports shoe factory to see how they produce 3,500 pairs of trainers every day.

Gregg Wallace joins a human production line in the largest sports shoe factory in the UK to see how they produce 3,500 pairs of trainers every 24 hours by sewing 32 million individual stitches and using 140 miles of thread. He makes his own pair of shoes and discovers how they put together 27 different pieces made from eight different materials which require auto- and manual stitching, and finishing with a 'roughening' robot and a hot oven. He also meets the man who comes up with new designs, including trainers inspired by the three most popular pub names in England.

Meanwhile, Cherry Healey gets hands-on in a tannery to help them process thousands of rawhides into finished leather for the nation's shoes, and finds out how a ballet shoe company painstakingly turns 37,000 square meters of satin into a quarter-of-a-million ballet shoes - some of which only last for one performance. She also gets to design her own court shoes at Cordwainers College in London, where she learns how to turn creative ideas into commercial products - last year, sales of women's designer shoes topped £532 million.

And historian Ruth Goodman reveals how, when the sewing machine was first introduced into shoe factories in the mid-19th century, traditional shoemakers went on strike, rebelling against joining a restrictive production line. She also traces the surprising origins of the humble trainer to the back streets of Bolton, where Joe Foster invented his running spike in 1895, above his father's sweet shop, and discovers that Reebok trainers were originally British.

59 minutes

Last on

Sat 29 Jun 2019 18:30

More episodes


You are at the last episode

See all episodes from Inside the Factory


Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Bloc Party

    This Modern Love

  • 00:04

    James Morrison

    I Need You Tonight

  • 00:04

    James Morrison

    I Need You Tonight

  • 00:09

    The 1975


  • 00:09

    The 1975

    The Sound

  • 00:17

    Alan Walker

    Faded (feat. Iselin Solheim)

  • 00:19

    Alle Farben

    She Moves (feat. Graham Candy)

  • 00:20



  • 00:23

    Eliza and the Bear

    Make It On My Own

  • 00:24

    Lily Allen

    As Long As I Got You

  • 00:25



  • 00:27


    Turn It Around

  • 00:28

    Lily Allen

    Life For Me

  • 00:30


    White Lies

  • 00:37

    The 1975


  • 00:31

    Jess Glynne

    Love Me

  • 00:35

    First Aid Kit

    Kings Of The World (feat. Conor Oberst)

  • 00:37

    The 1975


  • 00:38


    Clearest Blue

  • 00:40


    Bad Habit

  • 00:41



  • 00:45

    Paloma Faith

    Take Me

  • 00:49


    Cheap Thrills (feat. Sean Paul)

  • 00:51

    The Kooks

    Mr. Maker

  • 00:56

    Little Mix

    I Won't

  • 00:56

    Sam & Dave

    Soul Man

  • 00:58


    Things We Lost In The Fire

  • 00:58


    Things We Lost In The Fire


Role Contributor
Presenter Gregg Wallace
Presenter Cherry Healey
Presenter Ruth Goodman
Executive Producer Alice Harper
Executive Producer Sanjay Singhal
Series Producer Chris Parkin
Director Chris Parkin
Series Producer Amanda Lyon
Producer Emma Pound
Production Company Voltage TV Productions Ltd


  • Tue 30 Aug 2016 20:00
  • Wed 31 Aug 2016 23:15
  • Sat 17 Sep 2016 02:10
  • Sun 16 Apr 2017 18:00
  • Sat 29 Jun 2019 18:30