Frequently asked questions
Please explain the differences between Goodyear Welted Leather Soles, Rubber Soles etc...
Goodyear welted leather sole
Goodyear welted is the method of shoe construction that has made Northamptonshire's traditional shoemakers famous throughout the world. All of our UK made shoes feature Goodyear Welted soles. The stitched construction gives great comfort & excellent shape retention. Leather, being a natural material, allows the wearer's foot to breathe.
One of the best features of the Goodyear welted construction however is that the shoes are designed to be repairable. When they need repairing (preferably just before the soles actually wear through), Loake offers a full factory repair service. Please see here for details of our repair service.
Welted Rubber soles
Loake also produce shoes with rubber soles, rubber soles tends to be harder wearing, and is more appropriate for damp conditions, giving better grip on slippery or uneven surfaces etc.
Leather Sole with a rubber insert
Some of our welted shoes feature a leather sole with a rubber insert. This type of sole provides the benefits of leather, with the added grip and wear properties of rubber.
Shoes of this type feature a sole which is bonded to the upper using adhesives, rather than stitching. Cemented shoes generally have a more lightweight appearance than their welted counterparts, and are not as robust.
Blake Sewn Construction
A method of shoe construction in which the upper is directly attached to sole. The upper is lasted to the insole and the sole is then attached by vertical chain or lock stitching.
Moccasin construction provides a soft, lightweight and naturally flexible shoe. The upper of the shoe is wrapped around to also form the insole. The sole can be cemented or stitched to the upper. Moccasins are supremely comfortable, but by the very nature of their construction they have very little resistance to water and should not be worn in wet conditions, when stouter more robust footwear is appropriate.
Can I add a rubber sole to my leather shoes?
Although LIGHTWEIGHT stick-on-soles can be added to Goodyear welted shoes if made properly, (NEVER to either moccasins or cements), we cannot recommend doing so; because the balance of the shoes can be affected and lead to premature failure. We cannot accept responsibility for premature wear if modifications have been made to our product. Please see our Authorized Repair Shops
What are the different upper materials?
Calf or full grain leather has not been sanded or corrected to remove blemishes etc. it is a naturally soft and flexible material, and has excellent breathability. Properly looked after, this type of leather will develop an attractive patina with age.
Polished or 'corrected grain' leather has the natural leather finish corrected and a top coat added to provide the final highly polished appearance. This type of leather is more resistance to water and staining, but will not develop the same patina as with calf or full grain leather. It is also initially a stiffer material, and the shoes may require a short period of breaking in when new.
How can I look after my shoes?
Here you can find some general shoe care advice.
If you have more specific questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
Always use a shoe horn when putting on your shoes. This will keep the backs strong and sturdy.
Always use shoetrees to help the shoes maintain their shape.
Try to wear your shoes in dry conditions.
Fine leather shoes can require a full day to dry out from natural perspiration. Try to give them at least twenty-four hours between wears. Try to avoid excessive wetting, should this occur always let the shoes dry out away from sources of direct heat. Newspaper can be used within the shoes to help draw out moisture.
Before polishing your shoes always wipe them over with a dry cloth to get rid of surface dirt.
What is a Last?
A shoe last is the approximation of the shape of a foot, which the upper of the shoe is drawn over during the manufacturing process. It is the last which gives the shoe its shape and fitting properties. Loake use many different last shapes and alternative width fittings to try and cater for the various needs of our customers.
The last number or name and its width fitting are shown within the product details for each shoe.