EVERYONE has their ‘kryptonite’. It is the one thing that – despite all your efforts to avoid it – ‘calls your name’, leaving you almost unable to resist.
In my case, it is shoes.
People tend to be drawn to watches, bags, or whatever it may be; but shoes, I believe, are a game changer. And this game wouldn’t be complete without the Loake Experience.
At Loake, they don’t just sell shoes, they provide an experience. After buying shoes from this provider, finding shoes elsewhere is underwhelming.
Loake shoes are handmade by specialist cobblers who have often spent years honing their craft. These cobblers have essentially dedicated their lives to producing this beautiful product. You can hear this in the way they speak about and treat the shoes they make. You can tell they have been in business since 1880. Perhaps this is the reason the royal family (well, at the least the men) have their shoes made here).
Each shoe, according to Lily – who works at one of the Loake outlets in the UK – is a product of 200 hours of labour! This shows you the time, effort and care that has gone into each and every piece.
Walking into Loake you are not only met by Lily, but you’re welcomed by the fresh smell of leather – one of the best textures on earth. And while you scan the store for something to try on, Lily simply looks at your feet and says, “Ah yes, I’ll be back with your size”. She does this without asking what size you wear, but always gets it correct. This is someone who knows her craft.
And if that is not enough, right next door to the sales room is the workshop where all repairs are done on Loake products. These repairs and refurbishments are done by Dave. He is one of the best cobblers in the world (they actually have competitions to determine this).
Dave reminds you that if ever you have a problem with your Loake product, you can bring it back at any time and they will sort it out for you.
Once you have selected the product that best suits you, like a pair of brogue lace up boots, the packaging is also a process.
Each shoe is given its own cotton bag, and they are both placed in a box. Before the box is closed, however, some Loake show wax is thrown in for good measure.
This helps preserve the shoe and brings it to life when you need it to look sharper than usual.
And just in case you thought you bought an average shoe, try walking in the rain with them: they’re completely waterproof. This is freedom!
Having gone through this experience I guess the one thing you would tell anyone looking to get a pair of these shoes, is that they are an investment, not a pair of shoes.
These are shoes for LIFE.
Check out their website: http://www.loake.co.uk/