A heritage to be proud of

My family has been making traditional English shoes for longer than anyone can remember. My great-grandfather John opened the first Loake factory with his brothers, Thomas and William, back in 1880. Today, five generations and more than 130 years later, the Loake association with fine, handmade shoes lives on.

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.

The Goodyear welted construction for which Loake is renowned is an intricate process with origins going back over 300 years. Only the very highest quality materials are used. Each pair takes eight weeks to make and we still believe there is no finer way to make a gentleman's shoe.

Of course, things move on. Alongside our English Goodyear welted footwear we now design and produce a range of shoes outside the UK, using a variety of constructions. This enables us to offer a complete wardrobe of shoes suitable for every occasion. We estimate Loake has made over 50 million pairs of Goodyear welted shoes since it began.

We now export to more than 50 countries and have become a favourite with discerning customers worldwide. Our aim is to uphold this tradition and continue making the most handsome, comfortable and durable shoes we can.

Andrew Loake
Managing Director
1880 en tradition tar sin början...

Loake grundas i Kettering, Northamptonshire av de tre bröderna, Thomas, John och William. Företaget ligger initialt i anslutning till Thomas Loake’s eget hus på 62 King Street.

1894 Loake hittar hem

Loake flyttar till Wood Street, där det ligger än idag. Fabriken kallas i början för "The Unique Boot Factory". Med en golvyta på 20,000 sq ft och över 300 arbetare anses den vara en av de finaste och mest avancerade skofabrikerna i landet.

1914-1918 krigstiden

Loake's bidrag till kriget består bland annat av tillverkningen av olika typer av kängor, så som "Terrain boots" och ”Despatch Riders boots", åt den brittiska armen. Stora mängder Kosack-kängor tillverkas även åt den ryska armen.

1939-1945 mer åt trupperna

Samtliga brittiska företag måste understödja till ännu ett krig, och Loake fortsätter att producera kängor åt de brittiska trupperna – både åt marinen, armen och luftvapnet. När krigsproduktionen är som störst tillverkar Loake över 2,500 kängor i veckan.

1945 varumärket Loake

Direkt efter krigets slut börjar företaget lagerföra olika skomodeller, och varumärket Loake registreras officiellt (även om det använts tidigare).

2007 kungligt godkännande

Loake tilldelas en så kallad "Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM The Queen".

2007 bästa möjliga service

Loake anskaffar sig nya lagerlokaler för att kunna möta den ökade efterfrågan och erbjuda bästa möjliga service.

2011 öppnar den första butiken

Vår allra första butik slår upp dörrarna i hjärtat av London.

The processes

1. Clicking (Cutting)

This is the name given to the process of cutting the leather sections of the shoe uppers. The name "clicking" is derived from the noise that is made when the blade of the knife is removed from the leather when this is done by hand.

2. Closing

"Closing" is where the various sections of the shoe upper are stitched together. There are many operations carried out at this stage. For example, the thickness of the leather is "skived" (reduced) to avoid bulkiness and the edges of the leather are stained, seared or folded to improve appearance.

3. Lasting

The shoe upper is pulled over the "last" and attached to the insole at the toe, sides and seat. Before lasting, the uppers are "mulled" (conditioned) in a special room in order to impart sufficient moisture to allow the leather to mould to the shape of the last.

4. Welt Sewing

The "welt" is a strip of leather that is stitched to the upper and the insole, and to which the sole will also be stitched. Because welted shoes are sewn together, rather than glued, skilled craftsmen can dismantle and repair them.

5. Sole Stitching

This operation stitches the soles to the welts. The soles are lockstitched, using two separate threads, for maximum strength.

6. Edge Trimming

The edges of the soles are trimmed to shape before they can be stained. This is a highly skilled operation which is performed “freehand”. Later they will be waxed, ironed and polished.

7. Sole Staining

The sole bottoms are also stained and polished. These will be stamped and wheeled to add extra detail at a later stage.

8. Burnishing/Dressing

The final burnishing, dressing and polishing operations are very time consuming and have to be done entirely by hand.