What is the Loake story?
The Loake family have been making shoes in Northamptonshire for five generations. We are proud to be one of the most experienced producers of Goodyear Welted footwear in the world and estimate that we have made more than 50 million pairs since the company first started manufacturing over 135 years ago. The tradition began in 1880 when three Loake brothers set out to produce the best men’s shoes possible. Today they have become a favourite with discerning customers all over the world.
How would you define a classic English shoe?
The famous Goodyear Welted construction is a traditional and intricate process, with origins born in Britain that can be traced back over 300 years. We still believe there is no finer way to make a gentleman's shoe. Probably the most well known Goodyear Welted style is the brogue. No English gentleman’s wardrobe is complete without a pair of handcrafted Goodyear Welted brogues.
Tell us about the production process of a Loake shoe.
Some 130 skilled shoemakers, up to 75 shoe parts and 200 different operations are involved in making a pair of Loake Goodyear Welted shoes. Only the very highest quality materials are used. Watch this 'behind the scenes' film to see the passion and attention to detail involved.
What's important to you? And what inspires you?
Loake is a truly authentic British brand, having made footwear for British soldiers and officers during two World Wars, British Olympians and other high profile British sportsmen, actors and musicians. As the current custodians of Loake, we are immensely proud of the commitment of our forefathers and the tradition they worked so hard to establish. For this reason, our premium grade Goodyear Welted shoes continue to be made in Kettering, England, in the same factory that the three brothers built in 1894.
Anything else you'd like to tell us?
Despite our heritage and traditional craftsmanship, we like to think we are very much a forward-looking company. Our range of footwear includes alternative constructions and a choice of both classic and more casual styles. We aim to maintain a balance between traditional and contemporary design, and thereby introduce new generations of wearers to the benefits of fine, handmade shoes.