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Loake Strand

Average User Rating:
4/5,
  1. wurger
    4/5,
    "LOAKE 1880 STRAND BURGUNDY REVIEW"
    STYLE

    Loake Strand is a semi brogue Adelaide. Adelaide brogues are a variant of oxfords with broguing in a "U" shape around the laces and it does not intersect any other seams on the vamp, also called an "U Throat" oxford.

    Normally, an oxford shoe has two separate pieces of leather for the vamp and the quarter that are sewed together. An Adelaide brogue has just one piece of leather for the vamp with no quarters, like a whole cut but with a separate piece for the facing.

    The burgundy colour is one of the most versatile colours, can be worn in both office and weekend occasions.

    [​IMG]

    THE LAST & FIT

    The Strand is on the Capital last, Loake's most straightforward last, designed to fit standard average feet, true to size. I purchased my normal UK 6.5F which had the right length, sufficient width, comfortable toe box and a snug heel. The Capital F last is similar to Alfred Sargent 724 F last, Tricker's 4537 fitting 5 last, which I also wear in UK 6.5. For reference, I wear a US 7 E in Allen Edmonds Park Avenue and Kenilworth.

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    WORKMANSHIP

    The brogueing on the uppers is neat, same goes for the inside lining. The medallion holes are cleanly punched. The burnishing of the Loake is average, mainly in there are some very dark burnished patches where the leathers overlap, and where there is an uneven surface/indent on the leather upper, there are lighter stripes, which I have trouble to cover with polish.

    Goodwear welt is stitched aloft, standard for shoes at the 200 pound price point. The soles have nice patterned grooves, which my cobbler applied topy to. There is a slight imbalance between the sole and heel, when the heel stands flat on the ground, there is a small gap between the sole and ground, again, quite common in shoes at this price range with pre-made leather heel blocks.

    The heels of my pair is quite low, less than 2.5 cm/1 inch tall on a flat sole, lower than the Aldwych; while the higher grade shoes from Gaziano Girling and Alfred Sargent have fiddle waist with a smaller but taller heel at close to 3cm/1.2 inch. In my opinion, a narrow waist with a small tall heel is more pleasing to the eye and more elegant.

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    LEATHER

    Both leather uppers and interiors are rather supple, no excess creasing from wearing and very comfortable from the first wearing. There are suede inside heel counters to help with heel slippage, which is a nice touch. The upper is not very porous, thus relatively smooth, makes polishing very easy and produces very good shine.

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    CONCLUSION

    Considering its relatively low price of 200 pounds, and been Loake's premiere line, it offers a pair of good quality goodyear welted shoes at a very affordable price, especially for people that doesn't live in UK or the US. Comparing to the my other higher grade English made shoes, there are differences when taking a really close look and feel the leather by hand, but then they do cost around twice as much as the Loakes.

    Comparing to the black Aldwych I reviewed, I am not as happy on the finishing of the burgundy Strand, but that comes down to the colour choice, black is very hard wearing and hides pretty much any imperfections.

    The Loake 1880s, from my experience, are still one of the best goodyear welt shoes in terms of fit, style, leather and workmanship in the sub 200 pound price point.
    Overall:
    4
    Value:
    5
    Quality:
    4.5
    Sizing:
    5
    Style:
    5
    Purchase Date:
    2013-07-14

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