Norman Walsh began making athletics footwear upon leaving school in 1945 at the age of fourteen, following his father into the footwear business and serving his apprenticeship at Bolton based Foster Bros Footwear, where he became a master craftsman. Mr Foster was the grandfather of Joe and Jeff Foster who both went on and founded “Reebok”. In 1945 Norman’s skill was recognised early by Mr Foster which led him to become responsible for the professional athletic customers. In 1948 he was chosen to make many of the shoes worn by the British Olympic team for the 1948 Olympics held in London. His name became known by many top professional athletes around the world. In 1961 he founded Norman Walsh Footwear.
Throughout the 60’s Norman Walsh continued to manufacture sports shoes of an incredibly diverse range such as; Track & Field, Road and Fell Running, Rugby League, Football and Cricket, all handcrafted and made for his individual customer needs. In the 1970’s Norman decided to ‘go off-road’ and designed his first fell-running shoe with fell runner Pete Bland. With a soft, flexible upper and a tough sole, they where quickly taken up by rock climbers and also used by Sir Chris Bonington to make the first ascent of the notoriously tough Mt. Kongur in China.