You could rightly criticise my taste in socks.
Barker - Page 2
Is it just me, or do this shoes look a little big on your feet?
I've a pair of Barkers which are also very well made indeed.
However, I've just had a pair of black Oxfords returned from the cobblers (Barkers) with the same problem, compressed cardboard in the heal. Both pairs are less than 6 months old, likely a very recent development.
A through sole and heal, with high quality German leather is £70 - 75 + £170 for the shoes = ~£250 per pair. Value?
Here's Flex with (slightly) more acceptable socks (Thomas Pink):
Here's the straight Oxfords for comparison:
Edited by Hacking jacket - 3/5/13 at 12:31pm
These are the Barker Lincoln I talked about earlier in the thread. They are from the "Hand-grade" collection and as I said, cost about £220 when i bought them three years ago. They have held up well, the leather is perhaps not top notch, but definitely not corrected grain either. They take a shine spectacularly on the toe cap, but the vamp is rather creased (that's where the leather quality is most obvious, probably also because the are a little wide for me). Soles and heels have held up well, no re-soling yet despite rather frequent wear. Quality is on par with what I paid and I would recommend the shoes as a good entry level shoe for someone new to bench made shoes.
Edited by Pingson - 3/6/13 at 5:51am
Top range Churches cost £365 and come in a variety of widths (which I need) AND for £90 you get a COMPLETE genuine Churches through sole and heel, stitched welt, precisely as an original shoe! Part of the inner support in Churches is metal and no wood.
For the vast difference in quality the difference in price is minor.
I've owned two pairs of Barker shoes in the handgrade range, and quality wise, they are superior to Loake and compare very well to C&J benchgrade. They are a mass market brand, they try to please everyone but there is no question that they make the best value for money goodyear welted shoes in the UK.
Try them on before you buy though, their sizing is all over the shop and they (literally) have 100's of lasts.
As for Indian sourced leather and all that, I happen to know that's complete BS. They only have one line of shoes 'Barkers international' made in India. Everything else including barker black is made in their earls barton uk factory and the leathers are not indian.
The confusion arises from assumptions.
1) Barker is indian owned a bit like jaguar & range rover cars.
2) Some other Northampton makers like Grenson do outsource work to India for some of their lines.
I also asked Barker direct about this and they were eerily silent.
You can believe what you want to believe but I don't see any reason why Herrings would lie and they probably know a bit more about it than you or I.