Loake Drake is our go to smart casual shoe for the summer. Made on the Loake Claridge last it’s one of those shoes which really can be worn with or without socks. That is of course if you’re looking for that Italian summer look. What makes this shoe stand out from other variants on the high street is the contrasting sole edges, welts and heel block. Made in Loake’s overseas factory this fully leather lined 3 eyelet plain derby in calf leather comes in at an impressive £180. The suede options in navy and suede are even better at £170. All 5 versions of the Loake Drake are available at bradshawandlloyd.com or do visit our Hurstpier
Bradshaw and Lloyd Fine Shoe Blog
The Loake Donington is a delightful slip-on suede shoe with a driving sole, ideal for the summer ahead. The shoe is currently available in four stunning suedes with contrasting stitching. The options are tan , green, navy and light blue. At Bradshaw and Lloyd we also have limited remaining stocks in grey and red suede. Available sizes are listed at bradshawandlloyd.com.
Unlike many similar looking styles available on the high street the Loake Donington is fully leather lined. They are also a true moccasin so the upper is just like a sock wrapping around the foot. They are therefore immensely comfortable and the perfect shoe for summer wear and also just for your go to shoe hanging out. Do visit our shop in Hurstpierpoint to see the Loake Donington in all its guises. Sensibly priced at £115.
Suede is a marvellous material for making footwear and I particularly like suede boots. Suede is the reverse side of the hide and as such is a great deal more supple and flexible than the outside of the hide. As a result when made into footwear it provides a superbly comfortable upper leather. In addition suede is highly unlikely to ever split at the weak point where the shoe creases with the bend of the foot. Regular leathers inevitably do eventually split at this point once the lining has gone and/or the fibres in the upper leather weaken.
Of course there are many different grades and qualities of suede but essentially the tighter the grain the better and more durable the suede will be. But there are some things to bear in mind to enhance the longevity of suede boots. Due to its suppleness suede does not require feeding with polish to maintain the fibres. However as with all footwear it’s definitely advisable not to wear the same pair of boots every day. We all expel a considerable amount of sweat through our feet during the course of the day and it’s important to allow this to evaporate between outings. Otherwise the linings will begin to degrade and once the linings have deteriorated the uppers will begin to wear.
There are some excellent suede protectors on the market which can help waterproof your suede boots. I particularly like Carbon Pro which continues to allow your feet to breathe through the uppers whilst deterring moisture ingress. It’s a good idea to give your suede boots a protective spray every few months.
Should your suede boots get very wet in a downpour then just let them dry out naturally at normal room temperature. If they are totally waterlogged then insert some screwed up newspaper to absorb some of the excess moisture. So long as this is observed a good soaking will not negatively affect your boots.
Finally avoid using a wire suede brush but instead use a rubber suede brush to maintain your suede boots in tip top condition. Wire brushes are too fierce.
There’s certainly a severe shortage of quality men’s shoe shops in Sussex these days. As with so many other kinds of shops on the high street the internet has not been kind to shops offering good quality footwear to the discerning male. The lack of footfall on the high street for these shops has been further hindered by the fashion for disposable trainers. This is despite the fact that trainers now seem to cost up to £200 per pair. However as far as men’s shoe shops in Sussex are concerned a saviour has appeared just north of Brighton: Bradshaw & Lloyd.
Bradshaw & Lloyd has been offering high quality branded footwear to the discerning gentlemen online and mail order since 1990. However the bricks and mortar store is a relatively new innovation and opened its doors in 2015 in the village of Hurstpierpoint. We particularly specialize in Loake shoes and offer the biggest selection of fully stocked Loake styles in the south east. In addition to Loake we offer a comprehensive range of Barker, Sanders and Sebago shoes. However the key reason for opening the store was to launch our own range of ankle boots. These are made entirely in England to the very highest standard. In terms of quality we have tried to make them the best they can be but at a fraction of the cost of the more famous brands from Northamptonshire. So if you are looking for men’s shoe shops in Sussex do pop by. I’m usually on hand to offer advice on your choice of footwear.
The Sebago Clovehitch is one of the very best performing deck shoes in the sailing industry. The shoe was developed by Sebago to offer a more highly engineered shoe than their ever popular Dockside. The Dockside can be slipped on and off without undoing the rawhide leather laces. The Sebago Clovehitch conversely is designed to stay on the foot, in all weathers. Its sole also offers extraordinary grip on wet and turbulent decks.
In addition to the above we particularly favour the Sebago Dockside over other brands for one very good reason. It is simply the best looking performance deck shoe on the market. So when you are not pushing your yacht to its limits on the high seas you can wear the Sebago Clovehitch shoreside. The shoe looks great and somehow seems to improve with age and a more weathered look. At Bradshaw & Lloyd we stock the shoe in all sizes in both brown cinnamon and navy.
The veldtschoen method of shoe construction was developed to provide enhanced waterproofing for country weight shoes and boots. The technique remains a goodyear method of shoe construction whereby the upper is stitched onto a strip of leather called the welt. This welt goes around the most part if not all the shoe/boot. The difference with a veldtschoen shoe is that the upper is not folded in under the upper so that the stitching holding it to the welt remains invisible from the outside. Instead with veldtschoen the upper leather splays outwards and lays on top of the visible section of welt. And the stitching holding the upper to the welt and subsequently the sole is clearly visible. Water running down the upper is therefore deflected away from the shoe and will not therefore be drawn into the join where the upper meets the sole.
Veldtschoen is therefore a superb way of enhancing the waterproofing aspect of a goodyear welted shoe. However there is a downside. One of the main purposes of traditional goodyear welted construction is that the shoe may be re-soled on numerous occasions without degrading the upper leather since the sole stitching does not touch the upper. When re-soling does degrade the welt then sections of the welt may be replaced fairly inexpensively. With a veldtschoen shoe the sole stitching goes through the upper leather itself and after a few re-soles will no longer be possible.
The choice comes down to whether for your purposes enhanced waterproofing trumps the longevity of a traditional goodyear welted shoe.
One of the questions I’m most frequently asked about shoes is over the different leathers used for the leather uppers. In particular what exactly is side leather as opposed to calf leather?
The leather buyer is a hugely important role at the shoe factory and since there is no official standardized grading of leather it is down to the skill of the leather buyer to determine which hides and which part of the hides will be best suited to different roles in the footwear which the factory will be producing. In addition the hide can be quite thick and may be cut horizontally to provide different layers of the hide for different purposes.
Side leather is the term used for hide from a mature animal. It is also known as corrected grain leather as the hide can have blemishes such as scratches which will need to be removed before the hide is usable. Side leather may not be the very top layer of the hide and since it comes from an older animal can be relatively stiff. This stiffness can make the leather more susceptible to creasing and cracking with wear. Side leather invariably has a higher shine finish and will not show the grain of the hide.
Calf leather, as its name would suggest, comes from a younger animal. It is therefore much more pliable than older side leather. The suppleness of calf leather means that it will last longer than mature hides. It is more expensive than side leather and since the hide is thinner it is not possible to get as many layers from the hide as is possible with side leathers. Therefore it is usually the very top layer of the hide which is used and the natural grain of the hide will usually be visible.
In my view if you are looking for an instantly shiny shoe which will retain this shine easily then you may prefer a side leather. If however you are happy to put a little effort into polishing your shoes and would like a more supple leather which will last longer than look for calf leather.
There are a good range of Loake deck shoes available for the Spring /Summer 2019 season. We think that these compete very favourably with some of the more established deck shoe brands which are available elsewhere on the web and high street.
There are six quite distinct styles of Loake deck shoes available in this Loake Lifestyle collection. These include the: Plymouth, Lymington, 521, 522, 524 and 528. So there is a shoe to suit most requirements. We particularly like the Plymouth slip-on with its brown waxy leather upper and contrasting stitching. But all are of traditional moccasin construction so will withstand some of the toughest demands whilst remaining flexible enough to be your go to summer choice of footwear.
These Loake deck shoes are not made in Loake’s Kettering factory in Northamptonshire. Instead they are made from European hides in Loake’s factory in India. Having said that the quality of the craftsmanship is quite superb. The suedes and leathers are of prime quality and the soles offer the grip and durability that you would expect from a premium deck shoe.
Visit the Bradshaw & Lloyd website to view these fabulous Loake deck shoes at unbeatable prices.
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.
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.