The “Barker vs Loake” shoe comparison is one of the most common comparisons you find on the internet as people seek to find which is better and which best suits them.
What you must know, however, is; that your preference isn’t always the best, and the best may not always be your preference.
Again, I have also noticed that footwear newbies who wish to make shoe choices do not have the luxury of the knowledge of the differences between these two shoes. Hence, they do this research too.
This article will serve as an easy guide to help you understand these two shoe brands better. Before I go into an in-depth analysis, firstly, here is what you know about these brands;
Loake shoes are designed with two types of leather; corrected grain side leather and full-grain leather. They are warm, comfortable, and flexible. Loake shoes are true to size, albeit some iterations run small.
Meanwhile, Barker shoes on the other hand are designed with calf leather with a touch of natural finishing. They have Goodyear welt construction, leather sole, and premium craftsmanship.
What does the first glance say about Barker vs Loake?
Outer features of shoes, like in every product, are the first thing that meets the eyes before getting to know how the product works.
Aesthetics goes a long way in determining the probability of a shoe getting picked. How well have Barker and Loake shoes done in this regard?
- Goodyear welt construction
- Padded comfort tongue
- Hand-stitched detailing
- Fine finishing
- Leather sole
- Antibacterial insole (removable)
- Flexible three parts insole
At a first glance, Barker’s shoes are indeed cool to behold. They have fine construction that proves attention is very much paid to every detail (See price on Amazon).
The leather sole looks pretty authentic and comes with an aura of confidence. The round toe is fine too. You’d notice the hand–stitching and the padded comfort tongue catching your attention all up at a go.
- Goodyear welt construction
- Full-grain leather/corrected grain leather
- Lace-up fastening
- Wider fit
Depending on the letter type used on Loake shoes, the iterations of Loake shoes made from corrected side grain are a tad glossier than those made with full grain; nonetheless, both are cool.
Without holding them, their looks tell of their flexibility.
- Fashion Quality
- Overall Quality
|Leather||Full-grain and corrected grain.||Calf leather.|
|Sole||Durable Full-grain leather.||Goodyear welted leather sole|
|Durability||Barker Shoes are quite durable. More durable than the corrected grain Loake shoe models. Less durable than the full-grain leather Loake shoe models.||The full-grain leather shoe models of Loake are the most durable.|
|Price||$264, 350, or $425. Depending on the model.||$322 to $303, depending on the model.|
|Fit||True to size depending on the last used.||Largely true to size.|
|Fashion Quality||Barker Shoes wins here.||Loake shoes are quite fashionable, albeit not as much as Barker.|
|Overall Quality||Barker shoes take the lead for overall quality.||This depends on their varying models of both where Loake wins in some aspects.|
The leather of every shoe construction is the determining factor of the shoe’s aesthetics and durability. This is the reason some footwear is a tad glossier than others.
And some are more durable. All of these are traced down to the processes involved in obtaining these varying leather types.
Loake shoes are made with two leather types; corrected grain leather and full-grain leather. These are durable leathers.
Full-grain leather, unlike most leather types that are either obtained from the outer or inner part of the animal hide, full-grain makes use of both. Hence its toughness and durability.
Meanwhile, corrected grain on the other hand is made from animal hide too, but has been buffed and sanded for the removal of imperfections from the material surface.
Shoes made from corrected grain are very glossy and a blessing to behold.
Barker Shoes are made from calf leather. This leather type is usually fine, although not as glossy as corrected grain leather, but an intermediary between the fineness of corrected grain and full-grain.
It is more durable than a corrected grain but less durable than a full grain. Calf leather comes with a touch of class.
From experience, my shoes with better soles have lasted longer than those with inferior soles, even though their materials are of the same qualities and they are subjected to the same usage intensity.
The soles of Barker Shoes are made with durable leather. This gives it better traction control and a good ground feel that allows for balance and betterment of gait.
This sole seldom wears out as it has gone through tanning and other processes that have increased its toughness. They’re flexible too, this way, your feet are not kept in some stiff position. Cool, yeah?
The soles of Loake shoes are made with Goodyear welted leather soles. This gives them awesome shape retention and comfort. The soles, although durable, are designed to be repairable.
While it is good that shoes should have great features, we also want them to last longer. The materials used for their designs and the construction pattern determine this.
Although, this is not to rule out the fact that maintenance plays a major role in the extent to which shoes last.
Loake shoes are quite durable. Why? The leather types used for their designs are long-lasting; especially the full-grain leather.
The full grain lasts longer because it is a combination of two different sides of the animal hide. The corrected grain on the other hand goes through an intense tanning process that makes it less susceptible to damage.
Barker Shoes are made with calf leather. This calf leather is durable, albeit not as durable as full-grain leather shoes, but more durable than corrected grain leather.
Calf leather is very comfortable and flexible too. The Goodyear welt adds to the durability too because it betters the alignment of the shoe’s major components; the upper and the sole. Perfect!
The insole of every shoe is the core determinant factor of comfort. Why is it so? This is because the insole has direct contact with the user’s foot.
This is the reason people often opt for a change of insole, whether orthotic or normal insoles when they are not comfortable with the insole that comes with their shoes.
Do Barker and Loake shoes have better insoles?
The material used for the design of Barker insoles is comfortable leather insoles. Although the leather material used for the shoe body and the insole is the same. But they undergo different tanning intensities.
This is why Barker insoles are soft and comfortable to serve the purpose; to deliver comfort. They offer good cushioning and have a tilted design that gives arch support too.
I very much love the Barker insoles because they have flexible three parts. Comparatively, Barker insoles are more comfortable than Loake insoles.
The insole material for Loake shoes is genuine durable leather; they are cushioned and perforated for easy access to air for good breathability.
This way, the foot is kept in moderate dryness and better comfort. The insole is soft and mild underneath the foot. It has a good depth of cushioning and is not very big on arch support.
Do you talk about the features of any shoe and neglect its fitting? Definitely not. Getting the right fitting of a shoe is one great factor.
While it is undeniably true that good shoe features and durability are cool factors that shoes should have, when the firing is not right, it all ends in futility. How are Loake and Barker Shoes doing in terms of fitting?
Loake shoes are largely true to size. However, it is also important that you check the fitting guide for the shoes.
This is because some of the iterations run small. Nonetheless, they’re pretty comfortable and have a good extent of heel support.
The toe area is a tad round and allows for toe wiggling. There’s a good alignment between the heel and toe area too that helps with foot balance. This is one major reason it is loved by most users.
The sizing of Barker shoes depends on their last use for the varying shoe models the brand makes.
For example, the 443 lasts is particularly true to size, unlike other lasts like the 446 F last which has a rounded toe and has more height. This means you would have to size down by half to cover up for the extra dimension.
You’ll need to size down by half for the 460 F last too, except you’re going to wear it with thicker socks.
Pricing is a delicate deal when it comes to product sales. There is the need to strike a healthy balance between the price and quality of the product that is ON for sale.
While genuine products are mostly costly, it is erroneous to always associate product quality with price.
The reason is that an inferior brand might place a huge price on their low-quality products to drive an untrue sense of quality.
Barker Shoes are quite expensive. The price is influenced by the type of leather material and the construction for each Barker shoe model. For example:
- The Valiant Multi Barker shoe model costs $625
- The Albert model cost $350
- While the Ellon iteration cost $425
Barker Shoes are worth their price. This is true. What I love most about the brand is the fact that there are many shoe models to choose from
And the price of each is determined by the complexity of the construction and the intensity of the tanning process of the respective leather types for each model.
Loake shoes are not as pricey as Barker shoes. But like Barker, it also has variations in prices according to models.
- Gable model of Loake Shoe is $322
- Pembroke model is $303
7. Fashion Quality
Fashion Quality among wearables is one of the utmost qualities that people look out for.
A product can be durable and not get many people looking that way if it does not have the right dose of aesthetic appeal to get buyers glued to it.
With the recent vicissitudes of trends and fashion, fashion quality is gradually becoming more prioritized above durability.
There is a high contention of the fashion quality of Barker and Loake shoes. Although Barker shoes lead on this end, the margin is nearly insignificant. Both shoes make quite attractive shoes that have been making waves in the world of footwear.
For the comparative overall quality of both shoes, it is important to spell it out factually.
As mentioned earlier, Loake shoes are made with two materials types; full-grain leather and corrected grain leather.
The Loake shoe models that are made with full-grain leather have better overall quality than most Barker shoes.
However, Barker shoes have better overall quality than Loake Shoes made with corrected grain leather.
Why you should buy Loake shoes
- Goodyear welt construction
- Comfortable insole
Buy Loake shoes for Goodyear welt construction; This construction type gives better ground balance.
They are very affordable; Unlike Barker, Loake is pocket friendly. There are far lower-priced Loake shoes than the ones in the price section of this article.
Why you should buy Barker shoes
- They have comfortable Insoles
- Goodyear welt construction
- Barker Shoes have varieties
They have comfortable Insoles; This is the heart of every shoe; comfort. The three-layered insole allows for maximum comfort and mild feeling underneath the foot.
Goodyear welt construction; Like Loake Shoes, Barker too has the Goodyear welt construction which works for the alignment of the shoe’s major components.
Barker Shoes have varieties; Barker shoes give you options to choose from. And this option goes for both models and price to create a wide range of options that meets the varying budgets of different customers.