Ernie Goodwin’s late son, Frederick, had two passions in life: quality shoes and exotic body art. There is a third, but we won't go into that... In 1939, a young Freddy was called to join the British Royal Navy to serve his country and set sail on a journey of a lifetime.

It would be this experience that would spark his greatest and most influential idea make him a part of Goodwin Smith history. Freddy spent six years traveling the globe fighting for his country and along the way – on an 18-month tour in Japan – discovered the art of tattooing. During his time on the island of Okinawa (google it) he became fully immersed in the history and culture of tattooing, resulting in him getting his very own ink.

In April 1945 he returned to Bacup, England and rejoined the family footwear business. His memories of Asia stuck with Freddy over the years and left him with a desire to merge his new love of tattooing and his family craftsmanship. In the early 50s he visited tanneries in India where he studied different leathers and their suitability to be tattooed.

Vihaan from Kanpur city explained that only fine grain leather could be used because anything that’s too heavy wouldn't take the ink. We tried it anyway, turns out he was right... Today, thanks to Freddy, Goodwin Smith offers a unique and tailored tattooing service for you and your BuckingGoodShoes. It's time to make your mark, sir.



    1. PICK YOUR SHOES: Choose the pair of bucking good shoes that you would like to be customised with your own tattoo design (bespoke or from our below designs). We recommend a tan shoe design for clarity. Tattoos always look great on tan.
    2. THINK INK: Now the fun begins, pick your ink. You can choose from simple initials, names or dates (price from £30.00) in a chosen font or an image from our range of artwork (look below). These have been uniquely designed for us by our resident tattoo artist Lee Pick.
    3. CONFIRM PLACEMENT: Now you need to decide on where you're being inked; one man’s Derby is another man’s Gibson so to avoid issues with terminology simply identify the required positioning of the artwork by referencing to the areas shown in the below Diagram.
    4. ORDER: Simply email quoting: The shoe name, colour, and size required. Quote the artwork reference of the required design, confirm the area on the shoe you would like your design and if you would like it on the left or right foot, or both! If you would like a personalised design (lettering or numbers) please quote in your email what you would like and where. Before we ink your shoes we will send them out to you to ensure they fit correctly. Once you're happy with your size simply send them back to us using our FREE returns service and we can start the tattooing process.

    GET EXCITED: Once we receive your request, one of our team will get back to you within 72 hours to confirm your order and advise the total price along with a linked payment request. When your payment has been processed, we will send your chosen shoes out to be tried on to ensure they fit correctly. Once these come back to us you can expect delivery of your new custom Goodwin Smith shoes within 28 days.

    THE REALLY SMALL PRINT: All our tattoos are created by resident tattoo artist using a real tattoo machine and ink. During this process the area of leather will darken slightly around the tattoo itself. This is a natural effect of the process as the leather would have been polished prior to the artwork being applied.

    Every pair of tattooed shoes is unique and your design is special to yourself and cannot be resold, therefore shoes that are purchased cannot be returned or exchanged.

    If you have any queries regarding our tattoo scheme please email and our team will get in touch.

      Goodwin Smith

      Join our Mailing List

      Sign up to receive our daily email and get 50% off your first purchase.