* Prices may differ from that shown
I splashed out several years ago on a pair of Design Loake shoes. They were tough, well made, comfortable and looked great. I wore them almost every day to the office and around town at lunchtime and they lasted about 7 years (with regular heel and stick-on sole replacement). I liked them so much I then bought a second pair exactly the same, and they lasted over 5 years of almost daily use (eventually both pairs developed a split in the uppers where they bend across the toes).
When the second pair wore out, i found the style had been discontinued so I bought some Loake L1's. The difference is obvious. Thinner soles, poorer quality leather, and now made in INDIA! Still good looking shoes and quite comfortable but no way will they last as long as the Design Loake shoes I had previously.
So if you want good Loakes you will have to pay around £150. At about £90 the L1's are ok but not in the same league. Obviously Loake are having to cut corners on some ranges to keep prices down. Most people, like me, seem ok about spending a bit of money on shoes, but once the price goes over £100, it is hard to justify the expense unless you have money to burn.
Very dissapointed. I bought a pair of Loake black "Blackfriars" (monk type shoe).
1. I am glad I did not spend more than the £160 (the official retail price for this shoe now is £195).
2. I have never had such an uncomfortable shoe in my entire life. There is zero cushion in the heel. It is like walking on a pair of steel heeled shoes (wouldn't be surprised that there is real steel in the heel).
3. By comparison putting on one of my other "Made in England" the likes of Cheaneys (or even the cheaper Barkers) is like walking on clouds. (If one has back problems and needs to walk a lot he should stay away from the 1880 Loake shoes; I think all their heels are of similar cheap construction).
What a disgrace for the English guild of shoe makers. You pay a premium for a pair of junk with the slogan "Made in England".
I purchased a pair of Loake Ashby Brogues, considered to be top-of-the-range for £170 from an Official Loake Stockist. I was dissapointed after a 10 days when one of the eyelets popped out.
I returned them to the stockist who sent them back to Loake to be repaired. 3 weeks later I received my shoes back whith all the eyelets replaced by cheap looking, smaller eyelets. Some of the new eyelets were not fixed properly and some were hanging out.
I showed these to the Loake Stockist, who expressed dissapointment and made me aware that this was not the first problem they had had from Loake repairs.
I am now seeking a refund on my shoes, which I expected to be sturdy as well as stylish.
I am love the look of The Loake Ashby, but now feel that I can't trust the workmanship of these shoes anymore.
I am Very dissapointed with Loake.
I am a long standing customer whom contacted Loake Shoes with an issue with very clear photographs showing both laces broken and both heals split after only a couple of months use. I was pretty much told I should buy another pair of work shoes so that I could wear them whilst I sent these shoes back to them to examine. Given I have been purchasing their shoes for over 15 years, I would have expected a replacement pair to be sent, I would have then been happy to send the faulty pair for them to examine as I dont have another pair of work shoes. They said they wouldn't do anything other than send some replacement laces with 'their compliments'.
They even said that one should not wear their shoes two days in a row as they should be 'given an least every other day off to recover'.
Like another reviewer, I noticed that the Loake Shoes I purchassed are now made in India when they were previously made in England - this may be a reason for their decline in quality, which is a great shame. I'm off to find a new manufacturer whom produces quality shoes in the UK.
FYI, this is the e-mail I sent:
I have been a loyal customer of Loake for over 15 years, purchasing your shoes because of the style, quality and durability. I have purchased the same model of shoes three times in the past few years. I am writing to you because I want to make you aware of the significant decline in the quality of the recent pair I have purchased. I purchased these only several months ago and within this time both shoe laces have broken and the heals on both pairs are splitting. I am aware that shoes do not last for ever and after a period of time will need laces and heals/soles replaced to keep the shoe in top condition. However one would expect a longer durability than just several months and indeed I have always had such durability in your other shoes, including the last two pairs of the same model. I have tried to identify the model on your website but it is not there and this pair does not have the model code in the shoe like the previous two pairs had - I remember it being a number rather than a name as I used it to search online to find a retailer. Maybe you have stopped selling this shoe because of the quality issues that have become apparent?
I have attached pictures of said shoes and will be waiting to see how you deal with this issue with one of your long standing and up until now, very satisfied brand customers.
I spend a lot of time on my feet and like to be comfortable. I had heard others praise Loake as a good brand for smart business shoes, so when I got the chance to buy a pair of Loakes for half price, I decided to buy some and try them for myself.
I just wanted a plain but shiny pair for work and there was no shortage of styles to choose from. I decided on a pair of Loake Poseidon lace-ups. They were ordered from our work supplier and arrived quite quickly.
I was immediately impressed by the smart look and even more impressed by the comfortable fit. I was very pleased with them.
However, I was a little disappointed when the shoes got a bit scratched and the particular shiny finish on the upper leather made any marks difficult to disguise. However, with regular polishing they did hold their shine and general appearance well.
After 2 months or so, I noticed that the heel was becoming detached from the sole at the back and even though these were cheap at half price, this wasn't acceptable. They were sent back and an apology was forthcoming. Within a fortnight the shoes had been repaired and returned. It seems that there had been a manufacturing fault.
Loake is a traditional British company, now 130 years old. I have heard that some of their production has been transferred to India. Whether this was the case with my shoes and whether there are issues with quality, I don't know. Either way, the company will need to be careful that they continue to prioritise quality and customer service in a competitive market.
I still have the shoes but no longer wear them on a day to day basis. I keep them for important meeting days or funerals or the like.
Although I like the shoes and they are comfortable, I have a lingering concern at the quality of construction of these shoes and can therefore only give them 3 out of 5.
I have bought loake shoes for years always well satisfied that is until the most recent pair, one shoe was faulty, take a guess what country they were hand crafted, in England that's what you would think by all the company pr but no they were hand crafted in India.Sadly some things do change I won't be buying any more,what a disappointment.
My husband never spends lots of money on clothes but always loves a bargain so when we saw a pair of normally £110+ Loakes for sale at £60 he was really tempted and eventually gave in and purchased them.
Loakes are well known as being a brand of extremely well made shoes ideal for work or other formal occasions. They come in several designs - full brogues, half brogues and fairly plain styles which will appeal to all age groups. They are not trendy shoes but not old fashioned either.
My husband chose a pair of fairly plain black lace up shoes. The quality of the leather was amazing. Really thick and permanently shiny. He hardly ever polished them and yet they still looked new. The sole is also made of leather which looks fabulous. However this was probably the only downside. As he does lots of walking it was these that wore out before the upper. In hindsight we should of kept an eye on them or put a rubber sole on the bottom to protect them.
Anyway after several years wear we replaced them with yet another very similar pair of Loakes. Although expensive, they last so long that it is worth it. Like the last pair these are just as well made and look fabulous.
Although expensive they are worth it. You won't be disappointed
First of all, I would like to point out that I am not a big buyer of named clothing items, and up until recently I had never even heard of this company. I used to buy my shoes at cheaper stores like Barrets and places like that, you know the type of shop where you can get a decent pair of shoes for £20 and they will last for about 6 months if you are lucky.
That was true up until 6 months ago, at which point I was bought a pair of Loake shoes as a present, and they are the best pair of shoes I have ever bought.
I would like to start by telling you about the company. Loake Shoemakers began over 125 years ago in Northamptonshire where three brothers wanted to make handsome, comfortable and durable shoes, that was a quote from their website. However, right up to today this company remains a family run business.
While the style of shoes would have once been considered old fashioned, the company have moved with the times and, while still producing an old fashioned style shoe, now have added to the range some very contempory designs, while still focusing on comfort.
Prices range from £65 to £145, this is from the companies website, so other bargains might be out there, so these shoes are by no means a cheap brand. The pair that I own are from the L1 range and retail at £89.99.
Now as I said, I was not one for spending large sums on my shoes, however, I can honestly say that when it comes to shoes you really do get what you pay for. The company has a specialist knowledge and the shoes I own are the most comfortable shoes that I have ever owned. From the first moment that I put them on, there was not a period where the shoes needed wearing in, they are a perfect fit. I wear shoes almost every day all day and I work in offices and I have had my fair share of painful shoes but these have never given me a problem.
Loake also advise on shoecare as well, and this can be found on the website, and I can honestly say that with a little bit of care and regular polish, my shoes look as good today as they did when I first got them. In fact if anything they actually improve the look the more you wear them.
Dont get me wrong, if you are looking for an ultra trendy shoe, something that maybe Top Man or Burtons would sell, then this comapany might not be the one for you, but if you are looking for a comfortable shoe that will last you then in my opinion look no further that Loake.
If you are looking to find a Loake supplier near you then the website has addresses that you can find them, many being in the south of the UK and many in London, which does let the company down a little. I live in Lancashire and I couldn't find one shop near by. However, the Loake website also offers a buy online service which is vvery handy.
If you are someone that likes to buy clothes based on celebrity endorsements then you are still in quite good company as apparently Kevin Spacey, Bill Nighy, Andrew Flintoff, David Morrisey, Adam Ficek, James Haskell and the Manchester United team all wear these shoes.
A final nice little touch on the website is that if you sign up to receive the Loake Newsletter you will be automatically entered into a prosse draw to win a pair of loake shoes, which I think is a good marketing tool.
In summary, this is a quality, high class company, that is not ashamed to make a good product and charge accordingly. The style of shoes may not be extremely modern, however, in my opinion this is not a problem as the shoes are comfortable and durable and have a style that is unique. If the Loake shoe fits then go and buy a pair.
Website address - http://www.loake.co.uk/
Maker of mens shoes.