Founded in 1881, Solovair ( Sole-of-Air ) is a brand of British-made boots and footwear produced by NPS Shoes Ltd. The NPS factory is based in Wollaston, Northamptonshire, an area regarded for its history in shoe manufacturing. NPS shoes are known for the development of their Goodyear welt technology and use it in all their shoe production.
In 1960, NPS collaborated with a neighbouring shoe manufacturer, Griggs, to create a boot using a Solovair sole and a Griggs upper; the result was the now iconic Dr. Martens boot.
The first pair left the NPS factory in 1960. NPS Shoes continued to make footwear under licence until the mid 1990s called 'Dr Martens made by Solovair'.
They trademarked the name Solovair in 1995 and now make their own air-cushioned boot using the same lasts and leather cutters and machines used to create the first original Dr. Martens suspension soles in the UK.