Bad news for guys who want to look good on a budget. UK shoemaker Loake is putting up new export restrictions starting February 1st, which means UK retailers will no longer be able to ship orders to the US or Canada. For North American customers, that means the price of Loake shoes will jump about 60% – from the $250 UK retailers charge to the $400 price tag at US shops such as East Dane.
The good news? UK retailer Pediwear just put a bunch of their Loake shoes on sale, which means this is about as good as time as any to get one of the company’s Goodyear welted shoes (just stick to the premium 1880 line). Pediwear will even include a free pair of shoe trees with your purchase.
Some notable models:
- Aldwych: A basic cap-toe oxford built on the company’s Capital last, which is a nicely shaped, but still reasonably conservative. Available in black and brown, with the second being on sale. For something a bit more unique, check out the Ledbury.
- Badminton: A bit more casual in both shape and style, this country brogue would do well with jeans and casual tailored trousers.
- Hyde: A pebble grained boot with a slightly sleeker shape than the Badminton above. With the studded Dainite sole and taller boot construction, this could be a good option for rainy days.
- Whitehall: A nicely designed penny loafer with a slightly narrower and longer toe than what you might get from American manufacturers. I like sleeker loafers with sport coats, personally.
- Pimlico: Loake’s best selling chukka. I prefer chukkas with a bit of texture, so I like the suede version better than the calf, but both would look great with either jeans or grey flannel trousers.
- Kempton: A slightly more casual chukka made on the rounder 026 last. Slightly less sleek than the Pimlico, which makes it a bit more natural for casual wear. Available in suede and calf.
For what it’s worth, I find Loake fits a full size down from my Brannock size. So while I take a 9D in most US-made dress shoes, I wear an 8 in Loake. You can browse a list of the company’s lasts here, and search StyleForum for sizing advice.
(photo of Loake’s factory via Menswear Style)