In need of some tough, not too expensive, easy clean, smart, black leather footwear for work in winter. It's a smartish dress office environment but the job occasionally means going outdoors in all weathers at short notice.
With that, I've pretty much decided on a pair of Loake Kemptons with the rubber sole. They seem to tick all the boxes, and the pics look like they won't make my size 12 feet took too bulky.
I know there's not a lot of Loake love on this forum but most guys seem to be cool with the 1880 range.
Here is my (possible silly) problem:
Herring Gosforth II: Identical as far as I can see, and £15 cheaper. I've never dealt with either company, and I've read more good things about Herring than I have about Loake.
Would I be missing out on anything other than the Loake insole? Is there no chance of getting Loake's seconds? How does their service, and after-sales service, compare?
Before the chukka thing, I bought a pair of CT Alnwick shoes for this purpose - http://www.ctshirts.co.uk/men's-shoes/men's-boots/Black-Alnwick-Derby-on-rubber-sole-shoes?q=gbpdefault||ML127BLK|||||||||||||
I think these are also made my Loake, but perusing old threads on the subject of CT shoes is what made me question my decision in the first place. I can still send them back, so please let me know whether you think my rethink on this is taking me in the right direction. Quality aside, they're fairly sleek but may still be looking a bit like policeman shoes. Opinions welcome.
To be honest, I'd prefer an Oxford, but a high instep and need for a rubber sole doesn't seem to leave me with any options there.
By all means weigh in on the chukka/derby with a suit debate as well!