There are many English traditions such as Afternoon tea, fish and chips or the great British pubs but when it comes to footwear the Northamptonshire shoe industry is appreciated around the world, in particular the brogue.
A leather shoe style steeped in British history having been originally worn by Scottish and Irish farmers as an outdoor shoe for removing bog water when crossing wetlands, the brogue signature hole punching design is more for decoration than function today but the shoe itself remains unchanged. The name brogue comes from the Irish word brog meaning ‘a rough or stout shoe ’and the term supposedly originated from the perception that the Irish spoke as if they had 'a shoe in their mouths'.
There are several types of brogue shoes including the full brogue (also known as a wingtip), semi brogue, quarter brogue and the longwing brogue which can come in the form of Oxford, Derby, Wholecut or Monk strap shoe styles. Every variation and/or style of men's leather brogue can offer a completely different style as seen in the Barker ranges, the Handcrafted and Professional collections offer a formal dress shoes generally made from premium calf or polished leather whereas the Country and limited edition ‘Barker of Earls Barton’ Archive collection includes outdoor brogue staples made from grain and suede leather on durable rubber soles such as British Dainite or Vibram soles.
For the classic English Country brogue, the Barker Charles and Westfield styles are ideal for wearing with formal attire and suiting but will look just as good with a pair of denim jeans, chino trousers or cords. Several Barker Country brogues are made on the durable Dainite rubber soles which are ideal for the ever-unpredictable British weather and include the Calvay and Kelmarsh Derby brogues.
A recent addition to the Barker collection is the BOEB Station full brogue, inspired by the Barker Westfield, Station is made from a choice of premium fine grain and suede leathers on a Dainite rubber sole and is named after the village street the Barker Earls Barton factory can be located today.
The Professional collection hosts an extensive range of brogues including the Albert, Coleman, Hampstead and Malton full brogues along with the Alfred, Mirfield and St Ives semi brogues. Additional brogues in the Professional range include the Midhurst quarter brogue and the Morpeth longwing brogue in several colourways.
For black-tie events, a polished Professional Oxford is recommended such as the Alfred, Albert and Hampstead Oxford brogue or the Woodbridge Derby brogue available in Black Hi-Shine.
If comfort is the key factor then look no further than the BarkerTech collection. The latest development in fitting by Barker, the BarkerTech technology combines traditional craftsmanship and padded comfort whilst maintaining an elegant aesthetic. Turing is a beautiful FX fitting full brogue from BarkerTech collection, made on 493 last from premium leather on a leather sole (rubber forepart) and is available in Antique Rosewood and Black Calf.
For a brogue that will stand out in the crowd, the Creative collection is the best range of mens brogues to explore. In the Creative collection, the Barker design team are allowed to be most imaginative and includes iconic Barker styles such as the Bailey, Grant, McClean and Valiant brogue styles in various colours with eye-catching suede and paisley laser detailing. Several of the Creative collection brogues are made from unfinished crusted leather which is then painted by hand at the Barker factory with the most colourful men's brogue being the Valiant Multi-colour.
Explore the full range of Barker brogues for men and women online.