Bradshaw and Lloyd Fine Shoe Blog

  • Loake Chatterley boot

    The Loake Chatterley is the perfect boot for women of all ages looking for a stylish, well made, durable, non slip and well insulated Chelsea.  With the colder months ahead this boot is a must for every woman’s wardrobe. Loake Chatterley lifestyle

    The Loake Chatterley is available in a number of different suedes and leathers to meet all occasions.  The new stone suede version is proving extremely popular so don’t miss out from this season’s stock. The boot is available in half sizes from 4 through to 8 and is a regular medium wide fitting.

    As with almost all Loake footwear the Loake Chatterley has a goodyear welted construction.  To those unfamiliar with this technique, which is undeniably the best method of boot and shoe construction, it essentially mean the boot will provide a super fit, won’t lose its shape and can be re-soled numerous times.

    At Bradshaw & Lloyd we offer all the colour combinations of the Loake Chatterley which presently include: stone suede, dark brown suede, black suede, brown waxy leather, brown suede and black calf.  At a price of £170, which includes our premium quality shoe care kit and free postage throughout the UK, the Loake Chatterley is a must have this season.

  • The Loake Gable is our shoe of the month

    Although the Loake Gable isn’t a new member of the ever expanding range of instock Loake shoes it is certainly one of our favourites and certainly deserves the title of shoe of the month.  The shoe is made on the Loake Claridge last which provides a really stylish shape to an otherwise very simple design.  Some plain Gibson shoes can look a little orthopaedic but not the Loake Gable.  This shoe is a design classic without being overstated.

    The shoe ticks all the boxes in terms of quality without being beyond the means of most men looking for quality.  It has a full grain calf leather upper, is fully leather lined with a leather insole and has traditionally goodyear welted durable stud rubber Dainite soles stitched to a leather welt.  You really can’t ask for much more.

    With winter approaching the rubber sole is a good idea with improved grip on the pavement and the extra durability which you’d expect from Dainite.  The Loake Gable is available in both black calf and a rich dark brown calf.  At just £200 along with your free pair of shoe trees or deluxe shoe care kit the Loake Gable is an absolute must for the discerning gentleman.  We stock all sizes in both colours at Bradshaw & Lloyd.Loake Gable group

  • Half sole repair versus a full sole repair

    It is universally acknowledged among those who are familiar with the different methods of shoe construction that Goodyear welting is by far and away the best method. However when it comes to repairing Goodyear welted shoes which is preferable: the half sole repair versus the full sole repair?Repairing Loakes shoes

    If you pose this question to the manufacturer such as Loake, Church, Crockett & Jones and Barker they will always recommend returning the shoes to them where they can carry out a full sole replacement and they will certainly do a very good job.  However only they have the original lasts on which the shoes were originally made and can therefore ensure that they will come back to you fitting and looking the same as they were when new.  Should you however approach your local and perfectly competent shoe repairer he can also carry out the same long sole repair but he will not have the original lasts.  The result being that when you receive the shoes back they may well feel slightly different and their shape may also have changed slightly.

    The main advantage therefore of the half sole repair is that it is far less invasive and does not require use of the original last to be sure of retaining the original look and fit.  You should therefore never allow your local repairer to carry out a long sole and heel replacement.  The other advantages of a half sole repair is that it is cheaper and since it will be your local repairer doing the job you shouldn’t lose the shoes for long.

  • Dainite rubber soles

    What are Dainite rubber soles?:DANITE RUBBER SOLE

    Goodyear welted footwear is undoubtedly the finest method of shoe construction. You can replace the soles again and again without degrading the upper leather.  And no other method of shoe construction enables the sole, insole and upper to mould so well to fit the foot and produce extraordinary comfort.  However since its mass introduction during the early years of the 20th century the English shoemakers have found that the Dainite rubber sole can out perform traditional leather soles.

    The Dainite rubber factory in Northamnptonshire got its name from the fact that production had to keep going day and night to meet the huge demands of WWI.  The rubber soles produced at this factory were found to be much harder wearing than leather, provided better traction and didn’t allow water to penetrate as leather soles do once they have worn very thin.

    Dainite rubber soles have changed little since those early days and are still made with natural rubber. All the great English shoe makers use Dainite rubber soles and attach them via the Goodyear method of construction to all leather welts allowing numerous re-soles as and when required.

  • Shoe care

    Important shoe care tips for keeping your shoes and boots in tip top condition:suede shoes cleaning

    Always try to use a shoe horn when putting on your shoes. It will keep the backs strong and sturdy and avoid crushing the stiffener between the upper leather and lining.

    Try to wear your shoes in dry weather on the first few outings – fine grit will get embedded into the new sole leather and so aid water resistance as well as wear.

    Always try to give footwear a 24 hour rest between outings. Amongst other benefits it will allow the linings to dry out.

    It’s always best to avoid excessive wetting but this can of course be unavoidable.  When it does happen always let the shoes dry naturally and away from sources of direct heat which can damage the leather fibres. Don’t wear them again until fully dry.

    It’s well worth investing in good quality shoe trees of which cedar wood versions are especially recommended.  Use these when storing your shoes to maintain their shape.

    Before polishing your shoes wipe away surface deposits with a dry cloth.

    Especially important is a regular application of a quality wax polish. This will help to moisturise the leather, keeping it supple and so help to prevent cracks.  For extra tips on footwear fashion see https://www.fashionbeans.com/

  • Obtaining Loake sizes

    In the days when all shoes would be purchased from a shop and tried before purchasing getting the correct Loake sizes wasn’t an issue.  However with the rapid expansion of online shopping the need to get the correct fit first time has never been more important.  Loake use over 37 different last/pattern shapes in the manufacture of their shoes and boots and although the width fitting is advertised each last shape provides a slightly different fit and feel as well as appearance.  Therefore to make buying Loake shoes on line easier we have greatly facilitated the task of obtaining the correct Loake sizes by offering a unique sizing service.

    Drawing around your socked feet to obtain Loakes shoes Drawing around your socked feet to obtain Loakes shoes

    Simply stand on a sheet of A4 paper in socked feet whilst a friend marks with a pencil the outline around each foot whilst ensuring the pencil remains vertical throughout.  Then measure the width of the feet at their widest (east/west) and their length at their longest (north/south).  Mark these measurements on the paper and then scan the sheets and email them to sales@bradshawandlloyd.com along with the style of Loake shoe in which you are interested.  We shall then interpret these drawings and advise you of the correct Loake sizes.

  • HiTop boot

    We are pleased to announce that we are now stocking the HiTop boot in our Hurstpierpoint store.  Otherwise known as the Playboy boot as favoured by Steve McQueen and Daniel Craig this boot is manufactured entirely in England by the Sanders factory in Rushden, Northamptonshire.  The boot is hand crafted with the very same tools and to the same specification as used in the 1960s when the HiTop was so loved by Steve McQueen.Sanders Hi Top lifestyle

    Although made in a number of suede options the snuff suede is undoubtedly the most popular and is the one we stock in all sizes in the Bradshaw & Lloyd store.

    American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) getting a suit fitting at a tailor and suit store, Hollywood, California, June 1963. (Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) getting a suit fitting at a tailor and suit store, Hollywood, California, June 1963. (Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)anders select the finest leathers for the HiTop, both for the linings and the upper suede.  The thick natural rubber sole is not designed to be repaired but is very hard wearing and provides extraordinary comfort and traction.

    The HiTop boot is available in English half sizes from 6 through to 12 in an F, medium wide, fitting.  Although a good regular English fitting we would suggest that you go up to the next half size if you are between sizes.  Do contact sales@bradshawandlloyd.com or telephone 01273-567575 should you require any further information about this great boot.

  • Loake leather

    Leathers used for the uppers of good quality shoes are graded according to a number of factors and the variety and cost implications are enormous.  However as far as Loake leather is concerned when purchasing their shoes there are essentially just two types of upper leather used.  They are either a polished side leather from a mature hide which has been corrected to produce a very flat, shiny and flawless leather or a full grain calf leather from a young hide.

    Great expertise is required by the Loake shoe buyers in selecting the correct hides for their shoes. Great expertise is required by the Loake shoe buyers in selecting the correct hides for their shoes.

    Side leathers are cheaper but do provide an instantly shiny leather.  They are a little stiffer than full grain calf leathers and as a result will, after many years of wear, eventually begin to weaken where the shoe creases.  Calf leathers by contrast are much more supple and will therefore last much longer.  However all leathers will benefit from being fed regularly with a good quality wax or cream polish in order to avoid the leather fibres from drying out and then breaking down.

    Another thing to look at carefully when selecting your next shoe purchase is the lining.  It’s always best to have a fully leather lined shoe rather than one that might have a canvas vamp lining perhaps.  Loake shoes tend to be fully leather lined but a good quality thick calf leather lining will inevitable help the shoes longevity rather than a thin leather lining which will wear through quicker.  Once the leather lining has worn through around the shoe’s forepart perspiration and constant rubbing and creasing will start to weaken the outer leather itself.

    Whether they are made in Loake’s factory in India or their factory in Northamptonshire all Loake leather for their uppers is sourced from European tanneries.

  • The Loake Capital last

    There is often some confusion over what exactly is meant by a shoe last.  Put simply the last is the mould or pattern around which a shoe is made and it is what determines both the overall shape of the shoe and also its fit.  Traditionally lasts were hand carved from beech wood by skilled craftsmen but there could be slight differences between each one.  Fortunately today there are computer operated lathes which can carve identical lasts from solid plastic and therefore avoid any discrepancies.  The Loake Capital last is one of Loake’s most popular lasts, there are over 37 in total, and is used in the majority of the Loake 1880 premium collection of shoes.

    Loakes, Trickers and Sanders use a variety of shoe lasts. Loakes, Trickers and Sanders use a variety of shoe lasts.

    A last can be made in a number of width fittings but the English shoe makers of Northampton tend to use a single last in just the one width fitting, whether it be E (narrow, F (medium wide), G (wide) or H (extra wide).  The Loake Capital last provides an F fitting which suits the vast majority of men’s feet in the UK.

    The beauty of the Loake Capital last lies not just in its good regular fit but in the truly elegant shape which it provides.  This is a slightly chiselled toe but crucially without being too long.  There are far too many shoes offering an otherwise good looking toe shape but which have far too much empty space beyond the toes.

    Ordering shoes on line is a necessity for most these days due to the lack of high quality men’s shoe shops in the high street.  However if you are able to visit our Hurstpierpoint store you will be surprised by the vast array of Loake shoes which we stock, many of which are made on the Loake Capital last.

  • Fitting Loake shoes

    Having been a Loake specialist since 1990 we at Bradshaw & Lloyd have plenty of experience in fitting Loake shoes.  At present there are some thirty seven different lasts on which their shoes and boots are made and these not only determine the overall shape and therefore look of the shoe but to some extent also the fit.  This was never much of an issue when one would traditionally visit a shoe shop and try on different shoes until finding the right pair that fitted.  However with internet shopping now superseding the high street it is now rather important to order the right size first time.  We all know what a bore it is to have to return items and await the replacement.loake 1880 logo high res- 2012 cmyk

    Loake are well known for the quality, pricing and styling of their footwear but what is less well known is how their shoes fit.  Fortunately, and unlike some other famous shoe brands, when it comes to fitting Loake shoes they are pretty consistent in their sizing.  As a general rule of thumb if you have been happy with a certain size and fitting in a pair of Loake shoes or boots you can be pretty confident that the same size and fitting in another style will suit just as well.

    However for added confidence in fitting Loake shoes at Bradshaw & Lloyd we offer an exclusive online shoe fitting service whereby you can submit outline drawings of your feet and we shall advise the best size and fit in a particular model.  For further details please refer to the sizing link at the bottom of our home page at www.bradshawandlloyd.com.

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