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Our Story

Forbes Footwear has been improving the lives of people of all ages since 1940 by preventing sore feet through providing quality, well-fitting shoes.


Still a family-owned store, it was established in Hornsby in 1940 by the late James Forbes (back row on the left), a goldminer from Charters Towers, Queensland with his son Warren (shown far right).

James enjoyed being a part of a growing community in Sydney’s north, worked hard and followed a simple philosophy:
“provide a good quality product and unmatched service at a fair price and the customer will be satisfied and always return.”
The tight-knit Forbes team continue to apply that philosophy today under the leadership of the fourth generation, James’ great grandson Scott Forbes.
“If you do the right thing by both your customers and suppliers, they will know where to come when they need you,” says Scott.

Sharing the Family Secret

Forbes FootwearScott said over 80 years in the business has helped his family’s store to become the home of men’s and ladies’ orthotic friendly fashion, because they have learned the secret to finding just the right shoe for each individual. 

“It is simple really. It’s taking the time to talk to people about their needs and preferences,” he said. Scott and his team work hard to track down genuine brands that provide the highest levels of workmanship using top quality materials and classic workmanship.


Family Finds Ways to Meet Local Needs

Second generation Forbes, Warren, Scott’s grandfather, had a big heart and big feet. Like many modern businessmen, he found it difficult to find shoes to fit that were comfortable, yet supportive and professional. 

Warren made it his mission to meet this need and do it well and Scott is continuing the legacy. Forbes Footwear still carries many of its ranges up to a size 16 so if you need a large size shoe in dress shoes, casual shoes, sports shoes, work shoes or boots, it’s time to experience the Forbes welcome. See our range online, and there is an even greater selection instore.  





Third generation Lindsay Forbes applied this philosophy a step further. He recognised that his customers needed something a little extra – specialist brands which catered for common foot problems.



Continuing the Legacy of Caring for Hard to Fit Feet

Today, Scott and his team consistently strive to provide new and varied products, curating a much larger range than can be found in chain retailers. The team particularly searches for shoes to prevent sore feet for customers who need:

    • Large size shoes for men and women,
    • Shoes to be worn with orthotics,
    • Wide fittings,
    • Podiatrist recommended shoes, and
    • Shoes for difficult foot conditions including plantar fasciitis, diabetes, bunions and hammer toes.

Research and Training

Scott values his staff and keeps them up to date with quality training and news about the latest research. This helps to ensure his team can continue to provide knowledgeable service and the best care to their customers, many who are now the third and even fourth generation to trust Forbes for their footwear.

See our blog page and follow us on Facebook for tips, research and tips for living well with challenging feet.

Comfortable Fashion Shoes for Orthotics

Scott has concentrated on growing the orthotic friendly range. As the benefits of orthotics become more widely known, it also became clear that not all shoes were suitable to wear with them. Scott and his team have sourced a wide range of orthotic friendly shoes to help make buying shoes fun again even when you need orthotics. His orthotic range also works better than regular shoes for off the shelf arch support inserts.

Even in this new era of multi-national shopping centres and online trading, at Forbes Footwear, James old fashioned values of service and quality are still top priority.