The major difference between the Allen Edmonds and the 1880 Loakes is just that Allen Edmonds has better construction and is generally more stylish in terms of style and make.
However, when it comes to durability, materials used in production, and comfort, the Loake 1880 comes top.
Without any stereotypes or prejudice, and with a file full of facts from my honest review alongside informative web pages and videos, Loake is better than Allen Edmonds.
Of course, there will be, but let me take a minute to explain. We have taken time to source get our information from thousands of websites, reviews, comments, pictures, and videos.
Here are a few reasons why Loake is better than Allen Edmonds
- Loake shoes have wider widths
- Loake has better materials used
- Loake shoes have better soles for comfortability
Loake shoes have wider widths
Loake shoes are generally wider than Allen Edmonds. There have been reviews complaining that Allen Edmonds rub on their toes slightly. Not badly though maybe just the pinky but it rubs, it rubs.
Now, this doesn’t seem like a valid point since you can stretch the Allen Edmonds out but let’s talk about the upper. The upper of Loake shoes are higher than the upper of Allen Edmonds.
Why is this significant? If you have a high instep or arches or maybe both, you will notice the difference. You will feel a bit of pressure when wearing the Allen Edmonds.
This will not allow your feet flexible, free movement as it wouldn’t in Loake. And let’s keep in mind that you can stretch the shoes breadthwise but there is little you can do about the upper.
Loake has better materials used
Allen Edmonds uses calfskin in the production of most of its shoes. For some, it uses suede material and a few shell cordovan. For Loake, aside from leather, it has some shoes made of suede material.
The suede materials that both use are at par but Loake uses the best leather in the production of its shoes making it more durable than the full-grain calfskin from Europe that Allen Edmonds employs.
Allen Edmonds enthusiasts can argue that the calfskin leather is an unblemished hand-selected sort with a better texture than mist leathers but beauty is not durability and that makes Loake one more point better.
Loake has better soles for comfortability
Loake soles come in two types. Aside from the ones made of leather, there are the Danite soles that are made of rubber.
I am a fan of leather and it was hard to convince me to get these Danite soles until I heard the reason. Danite is a company producing soles, so what Loake does is that it manufactures its brand of Danite soles made of rubber too.
While we are assured of the quality, these rubber soles are great if you stay in a place that is often damp. These have more traction than leather and will depend on the type of rubber will just as long as leather soles.
My point? Allen Edmonds offers you leather soles only, while Loake offers you bother leather and rubber. You now have options.
Differences between Allen Edmonds and Loake
Starting from the location of production and manufacture to the shoemaking process to even the styles, designs, material, and distribution, these two have some significant differences. Let’s check them out:
Leather thickness and break-in period
Let me first mention that the break-in period is affected by many factors. Many people have complained of shoes being stiff or taking too long to break in.
One thing that affects the break-in period of shoes is the leather thickness. So your shoes may be broken in, they just feel like they are not because of how thick the leather is. Most high-end quality shoes are made of thick leather.
While some will not consider Allen Edmonds high-end (more of entry-level), they are of great quality and made with leather and that has a break-in period of at 10 wears. Loake is thicker than Allen Edmonds and it would take a couple of weeks to break in.
For Loake you just have to find the right size, which is your regular size. As long as the last is right, you can’t pick the wrong size in Loakes, they run true its size. For Allen Edmonds, you will have to size down by a half. And don’t worry, this is pretty common for some dress shoes.
If you wear a size 11 for sneakers, get your Allen Edmonds in size 9.5. And yes, half sizes are available. Half sizes for Loake? Yes, and they are indicated by ‘X’.
Their lasts run from E (narrow) to H (extra wide). F is a medium so a half-size F will be depicted FX. Allen Edmonds are sized according to US measurements. It’s a lot easier to pick a size.
Derby vs Oxford shoes
This is not half as important as the shoes themselves but I will like to point out that to a gentleman who knows his shoes, this is a deciding factor.
The Derby and Oxford shoes. What are they? For some shoes, the part where the laces are is on a different material that is then sown to the shoes. Shoes that use this method are called derby shoes.
Oxford is the older, more traditional method. Here, part of the laces are still part of the main upper, it is just stitched for design and effect.
Here are pictures to understand. Take note that no matter the type, the tongue of the shoes still goes under the laces. Allen Edmonds mostly uses the oxford method while Loake uses both. Honestly, I am a fan of the Derby. It is more stylish.
Similarities between Allen Edmonds and Loake
And yet after all these differences, They are still shoes, right? Dress shoes to be precise, beautiful ones that do have some things in common. Looking at them from a very wide perspective, you will just grip them into English and American shoes.
Goodyear welt construction
Both Allen Edmonds and Loake are made with the Goodyear welted method.
The Goodyear welt construction is simply a strip of material, it can be leather, fabric, or even plastic that is sewn together with the sole and the other parts of the shoes and made to run the perimeter of the shoes.
This method of adding that extra material gives you comfort and adds more years to the life of your shoes i.e increases durability.
Another importance is that with the Goodyear welted method, you can replace a bad sole they are heir won without changing the upper or getting a whole new pair.
Both of them are made with 360° Goodyear welt construction meaning it runs around the perimeter of the entire shoe, not just the forefoot.
Material used in production
Calfskin, lambskin, full-grain leather… who cares? They are all leather, durable and comfortable ready for any weather, and most times waterproof.
Also, both Allen Edmonds and Loake use suede for their shoes. For example Allen Edmonds Malvern and Loake Kempton. Looking at them, there seem to be very few differences between the two. In fact, with a little bit of shoe dye, you will have them looking like a pair.
Left: Allen Edmonds, right: Loake
Speaking of material, both Allen Edmonds and Loake shoes have soles that are made of leather. This makes sense. Leather is durable and will last you 5 years.
Normally, leather will conform to the shape of your feet so leather soles will crease and wear according to your walking style.
These two brands are interestingly old. And by old I mean they have been around for a very long time. Allen Edmonds and Loake are produced in different countries and have different origins.
Loake started in Kettering, Northamptonshire in England. They have been around since 1880 (now you understand why they use the year in the name of their shoes) and are made in the traditional style of English dress shoes.
The same is for Allen Edmonds except they are American traditional dress shoes and they started producing in 1922. While Loake served English and Russian soldiers through two world wars, Allen Edmonds is more of a luxury brand.
Although with a lot of labor, skilled hands, quality materials, and machinery, Allen Edmonds shoes are produced, they have some handmade products. Loake also produces some shoes by hand.
Although, it is advised that despite the quality, you should go for the factory shoes, not the handmade ones.
Value for money
Agreed Loake doesn’t have the value and reputation Allen Edmonds have but they are good shoes and worth every penny you spend to get them.
Here is a quick fact, Loake was quite difficult to get before. You see they were made in England and the producers had exports limited to the US. In fact, there was a time when Loake was for the Royal Air Force and Navy.
There was a production of at least 2000 pairs during its peak. They were a huge deal, these English shoes. Now you can even order them online and have them delivered to you.
If there was ever a moment that I doubted or wavered it is here. Looking at the designs on Allen Edmonds and Loake you can see true craftsmanship in every stitch. The lines on them are beautiful.
When it comes to picking which brand is better, there is hesitation. Allen Edmonds is designed to fit the traditional American dress shoes, classy and elegant.
Loake is English and stylish, more sophisticated than Allen Edmonds, for me though, I will go for the Allen Edmonds in terms of style and shoe design.
Why should you choose Allen Edmonds over Loake?
Here is a good reason: you get more value for your money. Allen Edmonds is basically a luxury high-end brand. With its popularity, style, design, and reputation, you get something you don’t get with Loake.
Another point of note is sizing. The usual conversion will be difficult because of the letters. Just 4 letters covering a range of sizes will be difficult to buy from.
Still keep in mind that Allen Edmonds is pricey, not unnecessarily but if you have little budget for shoes, get something else.
Why should you choose Loake over Allen Edmonds?
Honestly, Loake is a brand that lies between Meermin and Allen Edmonds. They have the class, design, style, and quality.
They are lovely shoes and are not as expensive as Allen Edmonds. I would also advise you to go for something that you go for Loake and not Allen Edmonds if you have wide feet.
Loake makes adequate provision for those with odd feet. They also have a sleeker look compared to Allen Edmonds’s chunky look.
If you are worried Loake isn’t classy enough, tell anyone who cares to listen that Loake holds a royal warrant, i.e. it is worn by those of the royal household, workers, and members alike.
And that’s all for today, everyone. Thank you for reading. Remember before getting any of the two brands, you should weigh the pros and cons, as well the needs of your feet.
Aside from all said on the brands, I am sure that you have learned a thing or two about the shoemaking process. You have right? Be sure to leave your comments and questions in the comment section below.
Till the next article, cheers.
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- Allen Edmonds vs Thursday Boots
- Meermin vs Allen Edmonds
- Timberland vs Sorell
- Glerups Leather vs Rubber Soles
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