Loake shoes have a global reputation; the first factory opened by John Loake and his two brothers, in 1880 and today continues in the safe hands of his great grandson Andrew Loake.
Loake handmade shoes can take over eight weeks to make and the Goodyear welted construction method favoured by the company has a 300year old legacy.
In the modern age when the prevailing wisdom is that machines have surpassed the skill of man and eight weeks in high street retail represents at least two stock cycles of cheap, disposable fashion, Loake’s commitment to making beautifully crafted shoes that last a lifetime is feat worthy of celebration.
If you weren’t aware of the exquisite care taken to craft a pair of Loake shoes – and few of us are, even true Loake devotees – then the video above will be a revelation. Watch it. You will treasure your Loake shoes with renewed vigor.
There is something undeniably elfish about the craft of shoemaking, little wonder the Brothers Grimm were inspired to write their famed fairytale. Perhaps it’s the attention to minute stitching detail, the nimble fingers that cut artful brogues – in shoemaking this is termed ‘clicking’ after the sound made by a handheld blade during cutting – or maybe it’s the exquisite care taken to ‘welt’ the sole.
Looking at a factory made shoe after honing the eye on a pair of Loakes one can’t help noticing how coarse they are. These are people who care about shoes, who will as part of their repair service, like the shoemaker’s elves, whisk your shoes away and rebuild them on the original ‘last’ and return them ‘looking very much as they did when they were new,’ – Andrew Loake.
A proper company, making proper shoes that last a lifetime.