Bradshaw and Lloyd Fine Shoe Blog

  • Docksides from Sebago

    If you were to visit a quality yacht chandler or yachting wear retail outlet almost anywhere in the world the likelihood is that you will see at least a small collection of Sebago Docksides on display. These deck shoes are not the cheapest on the market but when you need to rely on your footwear price can be secondary. For over 60 years these trusty deck shoes have proven to be the toughest and most reliable form of footwear for the discerning yachtsman whilst being the most versatile. Traditionally made for both men and women no other type of footwear performs so well in the roughest sea conditions whilst being stylish enough to wear in the smartest establishments on land.
    Sebago have always prided themselves on using the finest leathers and true moccasin construction for their Docksides. However they have managed to combine this with producing shoes that fit feet both really well and have terrifically hard wearing soles which can truly grip the wettest and rockiest decks.
    At Bradshaw and Lloyd we stock all the most popular Sebago Docksides and if our website lists the size you are looking for then you can be pretty confident that they are in stock here and can be despatched to you the day you order them. Visit our website to view the whole range.

  • Shoe trees

    When you’ve spent your well earned money on a pair of men’s quality shoes should you go the extra mile and fork out more money on a pair of shoe trees? My answer to this rather depends on what sort of shoe trees they are. And the price of shoe trees can vary tremendously from a few pounds to £50+.

    Shoe trees have essentially two roles to play.  But in order to do so they must fit the shoe or boot well. A shoe tree’s purpose is partly to maintain the shoes shape and prevent it from curling upwards and therefore also inhibit the development of creases in the upper. But it also makes cleaning and polishing the shoes easier and of course maintaining your shoes should be a pleasurable experience.
    The second role of shoe trees is to help absorb perspiration from the linings and insole. To this end I believe that there is little point in having: metal, plastic or highly polished wood trees. The more absorbent the material the better and wood is generally recognized as the perfect material for shoe trees. Of all the woods cedar is the best, being highly absorbent. It also has the added benefit of containing oils which deter certain insects.
    My preference is for cedar wood shoe trees in two parts which are sprung at the waist. But don’t just pick up a pair which purport to be the same size as your shoes. You should insert them into your new shoes in the shop and try different models until you find a pair that fit really snugly inside the shoes. But bear in mind that they shouldn’t take so much effort to remove that will give up on using them.

  • Loake 1880 footwear

    The Loake factory offer five distinct shoe collections. Each of these has distinct features but the Loake 1880 collection of city and country shoes and boots is the pinnacle of their shoemaking skill. There is an overseas factory which makes the Design Loake, Lifestyle and L1 collections but the Loake 1880 and Shoemaker collections are branded ‘Made in England’.

    Only the best full grain calf leathers and suede leathers are used in the making of Loake 1880 footwear. Whether they are made with leather soles or rubber soles for enhanced grip and wear there are a number of unifying features. The upper leathers are all fully leather lined with leather insoles. The soles are Goodyear welted to a leather welt. This is important when it comes to re-soling as a plastic welt does not lend itself to repeated successful sole replacements. Goodyear welting is universally regarded as the finest method of shoe construction. It enables repeat resoles without undermining the integrity of the upper leather.

    We particularly like some of the lasts on which the Loake 1880 collection are made. The last determines not only the fit of the shoe but also its overall look and shape. In the city range the Capital last is truly elegant and unlike so many modern toe shapes is not unnecessarily long. Whilst the Jockey last is great for the Chelsea boots.
    Do visit our shop in Hurstpierpoint to view a large selection of the Loake 1880 collection or log into where you can view the entire range.

  • Goodyear welt

    There are various ways of making men’s footwear and pretty much everyone agrees that goodyear welt construction is the best method.  Let’s explain why:

    The simplest option is when the factory has the upper stuck onto the sole with powerful glues.  This is certainly the cheapest and fastest method of construction.  However once the sole has worn through to the upper you have little option but to throw the shoes or boots away.  A re-sole may be attempted but they are rarely successful. Also the upper has no rigidity and can offer little support to the foot.  This may be fine for light weight shoes but not for more serious form of footwear.

    Another option is when the factory stitches the sole directly onto the upper.  This is known as Blakey stitching and makes re-soling possible.  However with each re-sole additional holes are punched through the upper which will eventually become weakened and the re-sole will eventually fail.  This method is widely used outside the UK and is only marginally more expensive than gluing the upper to the sole.

    With goodyear welt construction a leather welt, which is a strip of leather about three quarters of an inch wide, is stitched to the outside edge of the upper.  This creates a void in which pulped cork is packed.  The welt is the separately stitched to the sole.  This creates a far more rigid form of construction allowing a great deal more support for the foot.  Also the shoe or boot can retain its shape without collapsing.  Additionally the cork filler helps to mould the insole to the shape of the foot creating significantly more comfort. When it comes to a re-sole the new sole is stitched to the replaceable welt and therefore does not degrade the upper leather.

    Goodyear welt construction by contrast to the three simpler methods mentioned above is rather more time consuming.  For a pair of shoes to come through the factory can invariably take from 6 to 8 weeks. But to get a better looking, fitting and supporting shoe and one which can be repaired isn’t it worth it?

    In a world where we are trying to move away from disposable single use products goodyear welt construction is the ideal solution.

  • The Loake Lincoln tassel loafer in green suede.

    If you’re looking for a special shoe for the summer ahead we love the Loake Lincoln in a rich green suede. This tassel loafer is both classy and also rather eye catching.  We would suggest wearing either with or without socks depending on your mood. As you might expect from the Loake Shoemaker collection the shoe is traditionally Goodyear welted and fully leather lined throughout. Leather enables your feet to breathe and any synthetics inside a shoe tend to suffocate feet with all the inevitable ramifications. The Loake Lincoln is made on the F fitting Loafer last so is designed to fit the average medium wide fitting foot. The Loafer last also provides a very attractive shaped shoe.

    The Loake Lincoln is now available at And if you would like to discuss your shoe requirements do contact us at We are here all day Monday to Saturday.

  • Sebago shoes for everyone

    At Bradshaw & Lloyd we have been offering our customers Sebago shoes for the best part of 30 years. The reason is simple, Sebago never compromise on leathers, build quality or craftsmanship. The shoes are built to last and really do just look better as they age. This formula has meant that there is now a worldwide very loyal market for Sebago shoes.

    The classic Sebago Dockside is the go to deck shoe for both the serious sailor and those looking for a robust recreational shoe which can look great with almost any outfit, except perhaps a suit and tie. The sole of the Dockside is designed to be re-soled but the toughness of the unique rubber used means that it’s really quite challenging to wear a pair out. We’ve had customers in our shop with pairs they have been wearing for 15 years on the original sole.

    One of the Sebago shoes which we are particularly pleased has been reintroduced is the Foresider. This shoe is very much based on the Dockside but has a thicker sole facilitating walking on much rougher surfaces. The Foresider is being stocked in our Hurstpierpoint store. Or of course you can buy online along with our expansive range of Sebago shoes on offer for both men and women.

  • Playboy boot

    The Sanders HiTop chukka boot is the famous Playboy boot as worn by Steve McQueen in the 60’s and 70’s. The Sanders factory in Northamptonshire, England, have the original tooling and make the boot in an impressive range of suedes and to the same very high quality specifications which has so appealed to generations of men looking for style and substance in their footwear.
    Daniel Craig of Bond fame also has an impressive collection of the HiTop/Playboy boot and managed to sport a pair in at least one of his Bond films.
    The boot is fully leather lined and has a thick sprung iconic crepe rubber sole which wraps around the boot. The height of this rubber makes the boot totally waterproof when stepping into a puddle up to 3cm deep. The sole itself is highly durable but is not designed to be replaced.
    To view a full selection of the Sanders HiTop / Playboy boot visit or pop into our Hurstpierpoint store where we maintain stock of the snuff suede version in all sizes.

  • Tickers

    Trickers have been making hand crafted men’s leather footwear in their Northampton factory since 1829. The same hand craft skills persist to this day and at Bradshaw & Lloyd we are proud to offer a selection of shoes and boots from their Town and Country collections.
    Trickers are certainly very proud of their heritage and one thing that their loyal customers love is that they don’t change their last shapes at regular intervals. You can therefore buy a pair of perhaps the Burford boot and wear them for 20 years in the knowledge that you will be able to replace them with an identical pair when they do finally warrant replacing.
    One innovation that Trickers did introduce, arguably about 100 years ago, are rubber Goodyear welted soles. Constructed in just the same way as a leather sole, ie stitched to a leather welt, a rubber sole does offer rather better traction and better wear. So very sensibly Trickers offer the option of a rubber sole for most of their Country collection.
    Most Trickers styles are in stock and available for immediate dispatch so have a browse through the styles listed at Bradshaw & Lloyd and let us know if we can be of any assistance with your choice of footwear.

  • Monk shoes

    Monk shoes haven’t been at the front of the discerning gentleman’s wardrobe for many a year but have certainly now begun to fight their way back to their rightful place at the front in the form of the double monk. And Loake have certainly set hearts a fluttering in the form of their Cannon style monk shoes. The Capital last has proved the perfect last for formal styles in the premium Loake 1880 collection for many years now and now used on the Cannon totally works. It’s a slightly chiselled toe but crucially without being too elongated.

    These Cannon monk shoes are available in either black calf or dark brown burnished calf and are available in half sizes from 5 right the way through to 13. At Bradshaw & Lloyd we include a rather fine free accessory with each pair of these fine Loake Cannon monk shoes.

  • Loake boots

    At Bradshaw & Lloyd we love the huge range of beautifully designed and constructed Loake boots coming out of the Loake Kettering factory. These are the boots which you will find in the 1880 and Shoemakers collections.  From our point of view they tick all the box requirements we look for in a quality English boot.

    Fundamentally they are made in England which suits the heritage requirements of genuine Northamptonshire footwear. The lasts on which the boots are made are truly stylish and meet the more fashionable requirements of 21st century men.  Most importantly when sending these boots all around the world they are true to size. This means that if you are usually a UK size 9 for example in English made footwear then you should be fairly confident that a size 9 in these Loake boots should fit you just as well.

    One crucial feature that all these Loake boots have in common is that they are traditionally Goodyear welted. This is not the place to go into details as to what a Goodyear welted constructed boot is but let’s just say it’s universally recognized as the very best method of construction.  It allows the best fit, comfort and longevity.

    We offer the full range of Loake boots from the 1880 and Shoemakers collections so do visit our website or the factory's to view the entire range.

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