First HJ Hall factory built in 1882

The Beginning

The first Hall’s factory was built in 1882 in the rural farming community of Stoke Golding, Leicestershire.

It employed just 16 people and had a monthly turnover of £32 4s 4d. In 2012 HJ Hall celebrated its 130th year, the HJ Sock Group has now grown to become the largest independent British sock manufacturer.

Honest John Hall

‘Honest’ John Hall

The original goal for John Hall was to provide warm, long-lasting socks for the farming community in which he was brought up.

The first socks he produced were pure Scottish wool, grey half-hose. These were recorded in 1882 as costing 2s 7d for two-dozen pairs. John was renowned for his honesty and integrity and became known as Honest John (which is where the HJ comes from).


The brainchild of Peter Hall (John’s grandson) was born in 1958. These have become renowned as truly resilient and durable.

Indestructible™ socks were originally made from heavy duty nylon but can now include some natural fibres, they are unshrinkable and underwritten by a guarantee of wear. This guarantee has gradually been extended over the years and now stands at 12 months.

They are still made at the factory in Hinckley today. The oldest pair we are aware of is 47 years old.


By 1977 HJ Hall had totally outgrown its original home and moved to a purpose built site that was a 66,000 sq ft hosiery factory at Coventry Road in Hinckley, with specific dye-house and effluent facilities.

The additional space allowed each stage to be optimised. With expansion, the factory has now grown to 85,000 sq ft and houses new facilities and modern equipment.


Neville Hall (John’s great-grandson) added Softop™ socks to the portfolio in 1989.

They were invented (and patented) to minimise the problems caused by the tight elastic in other socks.

Made of natural fibres and containing no-elastic at all they are still the market leader, having sold over 20 million pairs worldwide.

Softop™ are the only non elastic socks endorsed by The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.


In 2001 the acquisition of the global sock brand Pantherella, in Leicester, producers of fine English socks for over 70 years, allowed the Group to become the leading UK branded sock manufacturer, importer, distributor and exporter.

HJ continued with their expansion in 2007 with the purchase of another British sock company, Scott Nichol, which continues to flourish under the Pantherella leadership.


ProTrek™ socks were put to the ultimate test by team Polar Horizon in 2007 as they faced the toughest race in the world, “The Polar Race”.

They travelled 350 miles across the Arctic to the North Pole facing freezing conditions of -50°C and were the ONLY team not to get any blisters or smelly feet.

The whole ProTrek™ range of technical socks covers all seasons from light walker to heavy terrain.


HJ’s constant innovation and creativity led to partnerships with two leading British celebrities, both known for their skills and expertise in their specific fields.

The Peter Jones from (Dragons’ Den) range proved so successful that the logical step was to join up with another celebrity for technical ranges. The adventurer Ben Fogle was the ideal candidate and a range was developed with his help.

Healthy Feet

With increasing awareness of medical conditions foot care had become a vital part of staying both healthy and fit.

HJ’s experience had led to the development of socks for travel, socks that give you stamina and socks for specific ailments such as diabetes, swollen ankles and water retention.

The HJ Diabetic sock has become a market leader and is also endorsed by The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.