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LOAKE APPRECIATION & SHOE P0RN THREAD

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by wurger, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. KiwiFeet

    KiwiFeet New Member

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    Righto boys, check my collection out.

    I'm a New Zealander living in Melbourne (Australia) presently and only 12 months ago discovered this thing we call English goodyear welted shoes. Now I'm hooked. But as I say to my fiancee, better than collecting guns or cars.

    As below:

    [​IMG]

    Loake Gladstone - Black Calf

    When I first tried these on fresh out of the Herring box I was immensely frustrated - how could size 11 F fitting shoes feel like such bellowing clown shoes on a man who usually takes a UK size 12? It was no surprise when I read on the Pediware website last month that Loake has subsequently reclassified its Swing last to a G fitting, and recommends buyers to take another half a size down from what they'd usual take in the Loake Capital last. The Swing last needs extra width and length to enable it to do just that we are told - swing.

    Anyway, I'm pleased to say that all of my concern permanently disappeared after inserting a thick pair or Waproo orthotics. My Gladstones are the staple of my corporate rotation and I have grown very fond of them. After 12 months of wear (about 1-2 days a week), the leather sole finally gave way last month and wore right through to the cork. I'd resisted adding a rubber topy to keep the light spring in the step, and safe in the knowledge that for AUD$110 (£60) my Loake outlet here in Melbourne does a half leather resole and rubber heel. I've been very happy with this local repair even though it probably waives my eligibility to ever have a Loake factory refurbishment. Living this far away, sending back to a UK factory is uneconomical and difficult in any case.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Loake Hyde - Black Calf

    With rain and winter upon my southern latitude, I needed my second black pair for work to be waterproof. I'd taken two leather soled pairs to a conference in Sydney recently during a weekend of perpetual rain, and had come back with all shoes thoroughly sodden, and looking most unhealthy. The Hydes have been brilliant on this score with their 'Dainite' rubber sole, even if as a consequence they feel a little less flexible, a bit heavier and slightly "clompy". The welt ledge is wider too, but I'm not complaining as this boot probably has its primary demand in brown for outdoor weekend wear. I'm just glad they also look so good with the suit trouser and with jeans.

    I should add that even the Capital last in Loake is noticeably bigger compared to the same size in Church's and Cheaney. I'm very sure I could get away with a 10.5F in these boots, even though they are shorter and less bulbous than their plus size Gladstone cousin. Whereas my 11F Cheaney brogues (down the post below) hug my feet to the millimetre (like made-to-measure leather socks). Overall though, very happy. And Chris from Herring agreed to throw in free pair of cedar shoe trees given that they charge £20 delivery to Australia where Pediware and Robinsons do not.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Church's Cityline, "Hong Kong" - Ebony Capital

    I bought these shoes by mistake. I was sure they were black in the photos, and the colour description of "ebony" corroborated my assumption as well. When I read the word Ebony, all I can think about is shiny black and white piano keys, being played and sung about by Paul McCartney. So when I opened the box to find a pair of dark brown Oxfords the frustration kicked in. Especially knowing that at the bargain sale price of £145, and living at the arse end of the world, that getting a return or refund actioned easily would be most difficult.

    However, the colour very quickly grew on me. These Church's are so tight and glossy and crisp that it felt like I was wearing two shiny chocolate blocks on each foot. The leather is no supple calfskin I should add - Church's emphasise the perma-shine nature of it, when really it could be equally described as corrected hard leather from a very old cow. But after only three weeks of blistering sharp pain on the toes (as the vamp found its creases) this pair has become a delight to wear, and especially, to polish. They go so well with Navy too. A little detail not always obvious in the product description for this range is that they are not fully leather lined - instead, the arelined with a cream canvas material. I've never noticed any real difference.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Church's Cityline "Paris" - Brown Suede

    Following on from the success of the Hong Kong, I jumped at the chance to get a second pair of Church's Citylines when Herring announced that the suede line would be run off indefinitely, with £100 discount thrown in for good measure. One thing about this last that I should add is its peculiar sizing. I am a very firm "F" fitting (or even a generous "E" if the wind is blowing in the right direction) but the 11G in this range is as narrow (or narrower) than all of my Loake and Cheaney 11Fs. And long too. As long as my oversized Gladstones. I was intrigued when I saw they also came in an "F" and wondered which lean-footed fellows would possibly be able to form a market for that fitting.

    I've never had good suede shoes before and I was initially terrified to see them so easily stained and marked. But after adding a rubber and brass bristled suede brush to my shoe care kit, and emptying the best part of a can of Kiwi suede waterproofing spray not to them (to the annoyance of my coughing and spluttering fiancee), I've really enjoyed the process of keeping them clean. They get many a comment. I've not yet had the courage to wear them with a suit in a corporate environment yet, but my Dad (a dapper retired man of insurance) assures me that the look is most acceptable, and has been precedented by a number of English gents before me. RIP Church Cityline suedes - I'm glad I managed to snatch a momento before you went.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Cheaney Arthur III - Dark Leaf

    Now we hit my favourite - my Cheaney brogues. My favourite shoes of them all. Sure, part of the appeal is the ornate detail of the brogueing. And the rich and atypical "dark leaf" burnished colouring. But it is also the way they feel. My Cheaneys feel far more imperfect and 'original' than any of my other shoes. You can see in the photo below how the height of the heels are actually quite different. At first I was aghast, but then quickly realised that handmade means human imperfection which I have come to appreciate.

    There is something a little fragile about this pair. The leather heel just a tad more susceptible to pockmarking. The leather sole just a little more vulnerable to the swelling effects of moisture. The upper leather just that much more indefensible to permanent creasing and marking. I nurse this pair like you would a vulnerable puppy, and keep the day-to-day hammering to the Loakes, which I'd be less upset to take to an early grave. And these Cheaneys reward me with such comfort. Soft but firm, snug and immaculately fitting old friends.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    RM Williams Craftsman - Brown Kangaroo

    Whilst this thread is English-made in its focus, I had to add my RM Williams Craftsman boots to the post as they deserve equivalent kudos. Goodyear welted leather soles as well, on a very English Chelsea boot platform. But in detail they are firmly Australian. To me, this is because of the slightly squared chisel toe that almost nods to the American cowboy boot, and the sharper slanted elastic sides. These boots are as much at home poking out the bottom of a pair of moleskins on an Outback safari as with jeans in an inner-Melbourne pub. And many Australian blokes wear these under a suit as well to let you know there's a bit of humour and recreation to them outside the boardroom.

    One thing special about RM Williams boots is that they are made from only one piece of leather, much like the whole cut series just released in the Cheaney range. As such, you'll never see that little straight seam that appears beneath the elastic sides of all English-made Chelsea boots. I've put rubber topys on the bottom of mine because I thrash them outdoors so much. In fact just last week I was walking dirt tracks up in Kakadu National Park - but upon my return they've shined back up perfectly as below. Mine are made of Kangaroo leather - so much finer that traditional calf leather giving them a lighter, shinier and more sumptuous feel, even if more fragile. RM's rival any British Chelsea boots boys. I recommend the investment.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I hoped you enjoyed the run-down. Adieu.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014


  2. ajc2162

    ajc2162 Senior member

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    Hi KiwiFeet
    Your first post - and what a great one to start off with. I'm impressed with your choices - they look great.

    I'm interested that you also only found out about better quality shoes recently (....only 12 months ago discovered this thing we call English goodyear welted shoes. Now I'm hooked.)...

    Were you like me - stumbled upon SF and the penny dropped?

    I like the Loake 1880s as they fit me perfectly and, to quote Wurger (to whom I'm most grateful for starting this thread) .... The Loake 1880s, from my experience, are one of the best goodyear welt shoes in terms of fit, style, leather and workmanship in the sub 200 pound price point. Have recently purchased a dark brown Aldwych and 2 Strands (burgundy & mahogany - couldn't decide between the two - so wimped and got both).

    I got them through Shoe Healer and have found Richard's service to be excellent and very price-competitive. We are blessed to have a choice of 3 good outlets since Pediwear and Herring seem to make people happy as well.
     


  3. Odradek

    Odradek Senior member

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    Nice shoes.
    I have no need myself for so many black shoes but I'd love a pair of the Hyde boots, maybe before winter comes. Worried that I couldn't wear thick socks with them in my usual Capital last fit of a 7.

    I hadn't realised that Loake had "reclassified" the Swing as a G last. Makes sense.
    t have the Loake Asquiths on the Swing last, and even though I'd read they were a large fit, (Shoehealer advised dropping half a size), I have them in my regular size 7. I also ordered them in a 6.5 from Herring but sent them back. They were the last pair in that size in the Herring sale and sadly they had a flaw. Herring offered to try and track down another pair in 6.5 but I said I'd stick with the 7. 6.5 was a snug fit, but the 7, while roomy, feels comfortable at the end of a long day. Feet swell in the heat, and these are a summer shoe.

    Might try some insoles in them to see how that goes.

    As for Cheaney, they have a few shoes on my wish list, notably the Victor with Donegal tweed.
     


  4. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    I know they are corrected grain and cemented but does anyone have experience of Loake's Woodstock? I tried a pair on the other day and they fit perfectly. Given that they have some beautiful colouring, is it worth buying a pair, for their looks, more than anything else?
     


  5. Odradek

    Odradek Senior member

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    I used to have a pair of the tan and brown.
    Remember they are a G fitting and maybe drop down half a size from your regular.
    Mine were 7.5G and at the time I bought them I was sure I was 7.5.
    They were far too big for me, given I now wear a 7F in the Capital last.

    Sold them on eBay for about half what I paid, but I would keep them in mind to buy again.
    Good quality for the price.
     


  6. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    Great to see more Kiwis and Aussies on The forum.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014


  7. Contango

    Contango Senior member

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    We're all small-timers when it comes to shoes compared to you though! :slayer:
     


  8. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014


  9. Simar

    Simar Member

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    New 758T's from the Shoemaker Collection . At 83 GBP these were a good buy ; it is apparently a discontinued model . The 3625 last is probably my best fitting last from Loake ; it's a shame this last is only offered in their polished leather . The 3625 isactually quite sleek and has a lovely classic shape . By comparison it fits very similarly to the church's 73 last , but it fits more snugly around the heel , which I like . These are very sturdy and comfortable shoes . The colour is chestnut , but I would like dark tan would be more accurate . They also came with a genuine vintage battered box ! [ATTACHMENT=9523]image.jpg (388k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]
     


  10. Simar

    Simar Member

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    Another image of the 758T .[​IMG]
     


  11. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Beautiful shoes, Simar!
     


  12. Simar

    Simar Member

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    Thanks Munky.
     


  13. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    My wife just bought me a pair of Loake Mojave suede shoes - the shoe version of their dessert boots. Although they are fairly inexpensive at just under a £100, I think they are stylish as casual shoes in the summer. Most of all, though, they really fit. I have paid more than double this price for shoes that really don't fit well at all. The answer to this latter point is, I expect, to go somewhere where they measure you feet carefully and to try on lots of pairs of shoes made on different lasts. Meanwhile, I am very happy with my Mojaves!
     


  14. Simar

    Simar Member

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    Certainly quality shoes should be well made and attractive , but really fit is paramount . I think Loake's have a real advantage , for me , in that a number of their lasts fit me really well . IMHO they should upspec their older proven lasts to offer calf and a wider colour range and styles . Any pics of the Mojave , Munky?
     


  15. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Thanks for your comments, Simar.I don't have a way of putting up pictures. The shoes can be seen on their site, however. They are in their Lifestyle range. For anyone obsessed with detail, these shoes are made in Italy! Sad to say, I e-mailed them, to ask them!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014


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