Have the day off with the sniffles and I've just been looking at the Loakes stuff. Am I crazy in thinking this is a very nice looking shoe? Does the polishing say something about the quality of the leather (and does that matter for practical non-SF purposes)? I also quite like this one. Now, I'm off to order some T.M Lewin shirts while I have the time... I'll be honest and say straight out that both of them aren't all that nice and as a few of us have pointed out, if buying Loakes you need to stick to the 1880 range as it is better quality calf leather and made in England at this level. The 1880's are on more classic lasts also, these are both a bit fashiony I guess some would say. The shinyness is more often than not an indicator of corrected grain leather, do a search for what that means and you'll find heaps of info, in a bit of a rush to explain it right now. Good luck, but yeah pay the extra and stick to the 1880 range. I got a pair of Herring suedes made by Loake at xmas (Shoemaker level I think) and they are not wearing well at all. +1. I don't really like that "twin seam" or bicycle-shoe-style toe - I suppose that my tastes are a bit more conservative. Steer clear of shoes that state that they are "polished leather" as, all too often, it's code for corrected grain leather. Corrected grain, or CG as it is sometimes called, is inferior grade leather that has had the outside layer scraped smooth and which then usually has a plastic-like finish applied to the outside of the leather. It's prone to cracking, doesn't take polish well at all, and if you happen to scrape or bump your shoes, the CG finish scrapes off and the shoes look pretty tatty as they can't be polished back to a nice finish. Instead, look for calf leather shoes. These might not look as shiny at first, but they will develop a nice, deep finish, they will take polish well, and the finish will not crack like a CG finish does. I have the Loake Strand from the 1880 line in burgundy and they are very nice. The leather in Loake shoes seems to be a bit stiffer then the leather in a pair of Crockett & Jones, and so it takes a little while to soften up. I overcame this by treating my Strands to a few doses of some Saphir cream over the course of a few days, before I wore them. It really helped them to soften up and to be nice and supple.