A bit about Mountainfeet...
Mountainfeet started life as Paul Braithwaite Outdoor Sports in Oldham and for nearly forty years has offered specialist, friendly service to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and levels of expertise. Over the last few years we have been particularly concentrating on the footwear side of our business and feel confident that we can now provide a fitting service second to none for our quality stock of walking, climbing and running shoes and boots. In 2012, we relocated to the picturesque Pennine village of Marsden where customers have the benefit of our free car park and the opportunity to enjoy Marsden's other excellent shops, pubs, restaurants and countryside.
Paul Braithwaite Outdoor Sports was founded by Paul himself back in 1975 after his return from the successful Everest South West Face expedition where he was instrumental in solving the key to the climb along with his friend Nick Estcourt. After a period of several years Paul found himself spending more and more time running his roped access company, Vertical Access and eventually sold the shop in 1999 to climber and mountain biker Garry Smith who revitalised the shop and gave it back the direction it needed. He recruited a friend, Si Taylor in 2001 to help out on a temporary basis just before the catastrophic foot and mouth outbreak of 2002 put the shop back on the ropes again. To regenerate Garry's good work and provide some much needed funding, Si bought into the business in 2002 and the two friends built Paul Braithwaites back up to robust health again. Garry's decision in 2004 to return to his previous Health Service career together with the recession saw Si decide to change the name and the direction of the shop and ultimately relocate to Marsden.
Today, Mountainfeet is owned and run by Si who has a professional background in skiing and mountaineering together with being a qualified foot health practitioner. He is ably assisted by Marcus Buckley who is now working part time to fit in with his University studies. Local lad Phil Sneyd was also a highly valued member of the team until 2013 when he left to pursue a career in Canada as a podiatrist. The lads both worked full time at the shop for many years and their combined specialities of climbing, walking and mountaineering meant customers were in expert hands. We're now lucky to have the highly professional Charlotte Northin taking up where Phil left off on the foot health side of things and she's proving a very popular addition to our staff.
Amongst ourselves, we also have experience in mountain biking, paragliding, skiing, ski-touring, sailing, diving, windsurfing and canoeing and so can deal with most enquiries! Si now also attempts to bring a modicum of experience as a (un-talented but knowledgeable) fell runner to the shop – we stock a decent range of off road running shoes.
Our major speciality is in expert footwear fitting and we are highly committed to educating customers on the benefits of knowing more about their feet and good fitting practice. To this end we feel we offer a much more comprehensive service than most other footwear shops – see our footwear fitting method page.
We were also privileged to have had the company of Cap the Collie Dog in the shop for many years. His loss in August 2010 devastated us and many of our customers and you'll see loads of pictures of him in the shop and here on our website. He was a real free spirit who was happiest on the hills, running beside us on our mountain bikes or keeping us company on walks all over the UK. Cap was a stunning character who added a certain "je ne sais quoi" to life at Mountainfeet and is sorely missed but very fondly remembered.
The good news now though is we have a new 'apprentice' sheepdog called Gyp who Si has trained up. Gyp comes from a distinguished line of Cumbrian working dogs and so far he's managing to fill Cap's large and unique paws very well! But Cap is a tough act to follow so the young 'un has his work cut out...
To summarise, our shop is a chilled out specialist shop where the emphasis is on expertise and courteous service – two qualities that seem in very short supply these days. In order to preserve those values we'd just say one thing – use us or lose us...!