The Loake company was founded in 1880 in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Three brothers Thomas, William & John stated the business in King Street, in 1894 the business moved to Wood Street where it is still flourishing today.
The factory now employs around 300 workers. To handcraft a pair of Goodyear Welted Loake shoes in their factory can take up to 8 weeks. Over 200 operations are involved in the manufacuring process.
At Shoes International we always relish the opportunity to visit the factory to see the manufacturing process first hand - we have had the pleasure of visiting them on several occasions over the years - we never tire of seeing the craftsmanship and devotion that goes into each pair of shoes. As well as the long established traditions there is also evidence of innovation - when we were last at Loake we were introduced to the Humidity Room.
In order to ensure the leather can be stretched into place over the last without being damaged, moisture is very important. Previous steaming methods didn’t penetrate the full depth of the leather leaving the uppers susceptible to developing flaws when being stretched over the last. The humidity room at Loake helps to ensure the full thickness of the leather is moist and significantly reduces the chance of problems when stretching the leather over lasts.
When the brothers began they had a vision of providing stylish, comfortable and hardwearing shoes. They would be happy today to see their aims being continually built upon. The company now have a fine reputation in providing footwear for the discerning gentleman not only in the UK but throughout the World.
Loake has received Royal approval for in 2007 they were granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM The Queen.
The Loake range of today can offer styles to complete a man's wardrobe of footwear, the vast majority of styles are still being produced in Wood Street, Kettering.
The highly acclaimed Loake 1880 range are all made in Kettering, Northampton and reflect Loake's highly respected heritage.
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A selection of this season's styles: