Only oak bark leather soles are used in Bradshaw & Lloyd's Bench-Made Collection. So what exactly are they?
It’s leather tanned using the classical oak-bark method, obviously. A naturally pure tanning method taking place in old, three-meter deep oak lined pits. This method uses exclusively vegetable tanning agents in the form of barks and fruits. The process normally lasts between nine and twelve months, depending on the hide thickness. The leather is tanned without mechanical movement, without raising temperatures and without adding chemical catalysts.
Besides other advantages, this proves to be very lightweight due to the long tanning duration ensuring that the hide absorbs only the amount of tanning agent absolutely necessary. Oak-bark tanned leather possesses unique properties: it is extremely hard wearing, tough, as well as flexible, making a comfortable sole of outstanding solidity, standing out through its appealing surface and a warm woody color. Oak-bark tanned sole leather is also:
- Highly water-repellent
- Especially breathable
- Absorbs perspiration
- Deodorant and antiseptic
- Prevention against foot diseases
- Completely bio-degradable
Naturally this formidable sole leather does make the shoe rather more expensive than standard Goodyear welted sole leather but oak bark sole leather will wear at least 3 times longer. With the cost of resoling shoes forever escalating it is money well spent.
Trickers shoes also use oak bark sole leather in all their shoes.
Sanders shoes, Loake shoes and Sebago shoes use standard sole leather.