Today I thought it would be fun to pit against and compare two popular country style shoes from Loake and Barker. The Loake Badminton and the Barker Kelmarsh.
The Loake Badminton
The Badminton is a very popular heavy country brogue from Loake’s 1880 Collection. This brogue has all the features of a classic country shoe, featuring an embossed grain leather upper and storm welts. The storm welts not only add to its ‘chunky’ design but help give the shoe water resistant properties. Of course being in the 1880 collection the Badminton is Goodyear welted onto Dainite rubber soles for added durability and grip. Made on their 026 last which is very much a classic English last shape with a rounded toe. Available in two options, dark brown grain and mahogany grain the Badminton is a stylish brogue that will go with most of your country outfits. Priced at a reasonable £225.00.
The Barker Kelmarsh
The replacement for the ever popular Barker Grassington the Kelmarsh shares many similarities to its predecessor. Made for Barker’s Country Collection the Kelmarsh is a traditional wingtip brogue derby. The brogue has a calf leather upper with a natural finish providing a grainy look. Barker use a rather special leather that results in supple and soft feel. Featuring a storm welt that will add weather resistant properties. The Kelmarsh is Goodyear welted onto Dainite rubber soles for added durability and grip. Made on the 460 last which provides a broader G fitting compared to the Grassingtons F fitting. The Kelmarsh is available in two options, cedar grain and cherry grain. Priced at £310.00.
So let’s compare these two country brogues. It really comes down to the finer details, both shoes are stunning in design. However, I would say the colour options of the Kelmarsh are slightly bolder and could turn more heads. Whereas the Badmintons are more safely coloured and a safe option for those who want a traditional look. Both brogues have a grained upper, however the Barker website claims the grain finish of the Kelmarsh is natural. Barker also uses a more supple leather compared to Loake’s stiffer leather. Perhaps this is the reason for the steeper price. Finally, the Loake Badminton has slightly thicker laces than the Kelmarsh, that some may or may not prefer. In the end both brogues are beautifully designed and will last a lifetime if properly looked after. So it really comes down to preference and price range.