History of McKinlays

Finest Quality Footwear Since 1879

In 1870 Robert McKinlay arrived with his family in Dunedin, New Zealand. An immigrant from Scotland, Robert was a perfectionist and true craftsman. He established his own footwear manufacturing company in 1879 supplying boots and shoes to a growing Dunedin population. In the late 1800’s Dunedin boomed as the discovery of gold made the city the centre of New Zealand commerce. McKinlays prospered along with the city, supplying miners, farmers and city dwellers alike with quality footwear. The original factory was in the Caversham area and then moved into the centre city to Great King St. In 1939 it moved again to 20 Filleul St directly behind the town hall. In 1990 we had outgrown this building with changes to our manufacturing processes & a need for more warehouse space. In late 1990 we moved again to South Dunedin into the old Otago Laundries building & it is from here that we still make & dispatch footwear all across the country & various parts of the world.

More than 100 years later, McKinlays still prospers.

The Company has retained all its production in Dunedin, New Zealand. Its marketing covers New Zealand and Australia and is distributed through selected retailers and Customer Direct for customers with no stockists in their area. Now being run by the fifth generation of McKinlays – brothers Graeme & David McKinlay, the company makes its footwear using “veldtschoen” construction, where the leather upper is stitched to the midsole before the sole is attached. The “veldt” method is noted for its inherent comfort, flexibility and strength.

McKinlays also offers customised footwear, for people who have foot problems, cannot access our stockists, or who may want one-off styles made. Based on its orthotic (surgical) footwear making division, McKinlays can offer the expert advice of qualified orthotists and craftsmen on a range of foot problems. McKinlays offers a dedication to customer service and values quality and product integrity in presenting its shoes.