Bigtime footwear brands like Church’s and Crockett & Jones may get more press, but Loake — their neighbor in the legendary British shoemaking region of Northamptonshire — has been making some of England’s finest shoes for well over a century. Founded in 1880 by brothers John, William, and Thomas Loake, the brand has kept its process largely the same for five generations. And it’s an involved process, indeed: a pair of shoes can take up to eight weeks to manufacture, requiring more than 200 steps performed by some 130 craftsmen. The results range from elegant double-monkstraps to sleek lace-up oxfords to the brand’s signature chunky-soled wingtip, all of which share two things in common: they’re made with sturdy, Goodyear-welted soles (click here to learn more about that technique) and their craftsmanship is impeccable.
While the brand prides itself on tradition, recent collaborations with Japanese streetwear brands Deluxe, MackDaddy, and the shop NEIGHBORHOOD Tokyo — rich suede loafers with wooden soles, patent leather English brogues, and chunky-soled long-wings reminiscent of Doc Martens — prove that Loake knows how to keep current. Of course, in our classically-inclined menswear moment, there’s nothing more current than traditional style and quality — both of which you’ll find in a pair of shoes from Loake.