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My First Pair Of Premium Shoes – Loake 1880 Aldwych Oxford

Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

Loake 1880 Aldwych Shoe Review

It’s a new year, and for me, that means new shoes. When it comes to shoes I now have quite a collection, and have really got into shoes in recent years. I love all of the shoes I own, they are all from great high street brands and have served me proud. However for this year, I decided to treat myself, and go for something more high end, and went for the Aldwych shoes from the Loake 1880 range.

When it comes to a gentleman’s style, I think there’s a few essentials a guy should have. There’s a good watch, a well-fitted suit, a good winter coat and then there’s a good pair of shoes which you need.

This is my first foray into premium footwear, so I have been looking around for quite a few months. I’ve been soaking in all the information, checking out all the brands, styles and shoemakers out there, and one of the stand out decided on getting a pair of Loake shoes.

Oxford Toe Cap Aldwych shoes by Loake

Loake have been around for over 130 years, and are a well known shoe maker from England, and are from the hotbed of shoe making, Northamptonshire. Northamptonshire could be considered the UK’s home to premium footwear, and possibly the world, with a tremendous heritage of footwear in the county, with other brands such as Church’s, Crockett And Jones, John Lobb, Cheaney and Barker to name just a few.

I am definitely not an expert in shoes, but I have been slowly learning and picking things up. A couple of the things I was looking for when getting a new pair were:

  • Quality shoes from a traditional shoe brand with heritage
  • Smart shoes, either Oxford or Derby shoes
  • Made In England, Italy or France
  • Reasonably priced

Loake do a few ranges of shoes at different price-points, but the reason I was going for them is because I wanted some proper Made In England shoes, handmade, and the 1880 range is their premium line up of shoes which they have (They’ve also just released a new 1880 legacy range, read more about their story here.).

Loake 1880 Aldwych

I went for the Aldwych Oxford shoes, and really like them. Here’s some things you may want to know about them.

The Aldwych is an Oxford shoe with a toe cap design. This has become my favourite design feature of smart shoes. I’ve owned my current black toe cap shoes for years, and even bought the exact same shoe in dark brown, because I love this style so much.

The toe cap just breaks up the front so well with a clean straight edge, I think this looks better than a plain toe cap shoe.

As for the colour, I went for light brown, or what Loake call mahogany. There’s no doubt that black is far more classic, but in recent times I have really got into wearing other colour footwear, and since most of my style is smart casual, this colour will suit most of my outfits well. It also leaves me with some scope to get another pair of premium heritage shoes in black in the future.

Goodyear Welted Shoes

The construction is Goodyear Welted, and these have a leather sole. The construction is important is something seen in premium footwear, and is how the out sole is attached to the upper and insole. (There’s also Blake Stitch, if you’re interested in learning more on shoe construction, this article is good.)

First Impressions

My first impressions were that these are fantastic. I am really happy with these shoes, not only do they look the part, they feel like a high quality shoe too. Before even getting into the shoes, they’re presented in a nice box, along with shoe bags for each shoe, which is a really nice touch. An extra pair of laces is also found in the box.

I was worried about the sizing, since I seem to wear all different sizes of footwear depending on the brand, but most of my shoes are 9 (43), so that’s the size I went for, and I’m happy to say they fit as expected.

I am looking forward to wearing these this year, and for a long time to come, and should be a good investment which will last.

No doubt you’ll be seeing these in my outfit posts this year.

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Michael Adams

Written By: Michael

Founder and editor of Michael 84, A UK men's blog covering everything in fashion, style, tech, grooming, fragrances and lifestyle.


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