I found myself asking that question 2 years. It wasn’t so much what was better, more why was one so much more money. Could it really be worth twice the price of the other.
On the net the photos were ok, but neither pair of the oxblood brogues had anything more than the technical data, i.e made of leather. There was no background, no reviews and certainly no comparisons. Hence why I started the website, but that’s another story.
What’s better ? Well in the video you can see there are differences, the Loake Royal is a more wide fitting shoe, and certainly the widest shoe we do. The DJ is narrow, and very snug on my wide feet.
The DJ is much almost chisel toed, and certainly has more of a skin, 70’s look about it. The DJ is advertised with yellow laces and again I feel this has a terrace skin feel.
The Loake Oxblood Brogue in comparison is a much more conservative shoe, and I would say better for more occasions. I have mentioned before that it works well with jeans and a suit. I have seen a guy dressed up very smart for Remembrance Day here in the UK with a pair.
The sole on the DJ upsetter was only leather till recently, DJ have now upgraded to Goodyear welted sole and changed the name slightly to the Royale. Both shoes have a very sturdy pair of soles. The Loake are worn by a business colleague and show very little form of wear, despite being worn every day.
The Loake has a slightly better looking leather and I would concede more consistent shoe, meaning the stiching and cut of the shoe is better. BUT is it £75 more better !
Well that’s for you to judge, I personally have a pair of Loakes, but would happily wear the DJ’s.
What I would suggest is how often you going to wear them? What you going to wear them with. What’s your budget. Once you have worked that out then choose a pair.
If you are young or cash is tight, then buy the DJs. They are half the price, which means you could then buy a pair of loafers another day. Meaning you get 2 pairs of decent shoes, for the same price as the Loakes.
On the other hand!
Buy the Loakes once, look after them and you are going to have a really decent pair of shoes for literally years, long after the thrill of a bargain has faded.
Brogues come in many colours and many shades, not to mention styles, but I wanted to concentrate on colours.
When buying a shoe you should consider ‘what I am going to wear them with‘, and that will help you to consider the most appropriate colour.
So, are the shoes mainly to go with jeans for a casual look, or suited and booted? I think about where I am going to be wearing the shoes. So for instance, I go to at least one Northern Soul do a month, where I may be wearing jeans or trousers. I am not likely to have a suit on at this kind of event. During the day though, I am more formal at work, and I tend to stick with classic business Black and Greys, and on occasion a dark blue pin stripe suit.
A brown brogue is a very versatile colour, and possibly goes with any other colour of trouser including blue jeans. The one time i would say it doesn’t work is with black trousers or a black suit.
‘Black and brown makes a frown’
Aside from black, brown will go with every colour under the sun. From navy to grey and green to burgundy, the deeper, richer, tones of brown and tan shoes will much better compliment a wider variety of colours than black shoes – making them much more versatile.
A light brown (Tan) brogue is very popular with the Smart Skin. Oxford Paul ,who lives around here, has several pairs which he combines with light faded jeans and a classic ‘Twisted Ben Sherman’. Worn with confidence it is a good striking look.
One style that DNA Groove do, is the brown suede brogues. I love some of DNA’s designs, think they are really good, especially the basket weavers. All DNA Grooves design are very MOD. The dark browns ones I like the most, the brogue fits well with the colour and styling.
Again shading plays a part, because the darker the shoe, the easier it sits with other trouser colour.
So if you are thinking of buying a brogue, perhaps brown is the best option?
Black brogues are still a worthy contender though. Black goes with everything, but in my opinion can sometimes look a little stark. Meaning black is more for formal occasions. I wear black loafers with dark blue jeans, but have never liked the faded jeans with black shoe look, too 80’s for me!
For work, I have a pair of Half Brogue Loakes in black. The lacing style is an Oxford, which give the shoe a more formal office look. I wouldn’t wear these with jeans, they just dont sit right. The front is more pointed. I wear this make of brogue because I want something tough which will last.
I have seen the Oxford style black shoes at a Northern Soul do only this weekend, but whilst great for dancing and functional, I dont think it is a great looker!
Which brings me on neatly to Oxblood Brogues. This is my fav colour of Brogue. I don’t think all styles of Brogues suit Oxblood and I don’t think it is for every occasion. What i do like though, is that it stands out enough to say ‘This is a going out shoe’.
Oxblood isn’t everyone’s first choice of colour by any stretch of the imagination, but they are in fact one of the more versatile colours that you can wear. Oxbloods are compatible with all shades of grey, most navy hues and are perhaps a little bit more suitable when worn with black. Not dissimilar to brown brogues, they work with pretty much every colour you could think of.
When we were in Brighton recently, it was Remembrance Sunday, a guy walked past in Black Crombie, Dark Grey Trousers and Oxblood Loake Royal Loafers. The look was very smart and worked well. The same shoe could then be worn with jeans.
One style of oxblood brogue I have seen that looks very good, is combined with a Tassel Loafer. Not two styles you would immediately put together. The shoe is not a heavy shoe, but has a light sole. Terry my friend who owns them wears them with 16inch bottom blue trousers. The loafer part stops to show just the right amount of sock. The shoe is not an obvious choice and not one you see lots, but worn in the right way, which terry does, is very MOD.
I would go so far to say that should you wish to make an easy, simple statement, Oxblood is the way to go. Oxblood can be utilised in a near identical fashion as brown but the colour is bolder, more interesting and definitely more individual.
I have seen the style work well with a suit and also with jeans at Northern Soul do’s.
The oxblood colour lends itself well to being that little bit smarter than the Light Brown Brogue.
One issue you might have is that they are an unquestionable step in a new direction for most of the population, so you will have to wear them with a great deal of confidence to pull them off convincingly. But in the main you are buying these shoes to go out in, so why not stand out and wear them with pride!
I thought I would put this piece together to look at why I think some two tone colour shoes (and the ‘Co-respondent’ shoes) look good, and others, well dont !
So, where to start; well I think the first mention in MOD terms, is the Roger Daltrey shoe that he wears in The High Numbers. There may have been others before, but this is the first photographic evidence I can see. As you can see in the pic, the shoe is white on the front and down to the sole. The lace is a derby style with 2 hole eyelets for the lace. The back part of the shoe is black.
I think the style is a play on a pair I have seen Gene Vincent wear, and there are some very similar ones worn by The Shadows. I think I am right in assuming that Pete Meadenchoose the outfits, and certainly the one Roger is wearing, is his part of making Roger of the band the ACE face.
The style of the shoe has a slight point to the front and I assume was a fashion shoe at the time. Would love to know where the shoe was brought! And why it has never really been seen since. Was it bespoke ?
As you can tell I like this shoe.
The next two tone shoe to enter, is the Regency look that the Stones adapted in I think around 65-66. I recall them in semi gangster look blue striped suits with quite wide lapels.
In terms of MOD I think it is the dandy look that came in the later sixties, as some mods went ‘dandy’ pre hippy look, whilst the rest went Hard Mod / Skinhead.
Pete Townsend said that a lot of the groups followed the audience rather than the other way round, so I suspect the look was very Carnaby Street . Bands like The Troggs and The Creation have elements of the sixties look that suits the Two Tone shoe.
The ‘Co-respondent shoe‘ is also known as a ‘Spectator‘, the name referring to its use in sports, you can a pair on Mick Jagger above. Lobb claims to have designed the first ‘spectator’ as a cricket shoe in 1868. The most usual styles are a brogue or a half brogue, in black or brown leather against the white buckskin. The white should not be leather, but often is these days.
I can hear someone at the back saying, surely you are forgetting Mr Marriott?
Not forgotten at all and why we see the shoe today. Steve can be seen on the ‘colour me pop’ show wearing a very distinct pair of brown and white , I think, brogue shoes. He also is wearing late 60’s classic rock look, red velvet pants and waistcoat. The look is a mess of colours, but is held together well and shoes add to the effect.
My thoughts on this look, great on Steve, but I don’t know that it has aged well.
Status Quo and numerous others stole the look going into the seventies, and when I see it now, it just reminds me of Rock Covers band in your local pub!
Weller wears this style of two tone brogue well, he normally sets it off with a nice double breasted suit. Another that does that look well is Suggs from Madness.
Now the MOD revival had lots of two tone varieties, The Jam shoe, The Jam Stage Shoe sometimes known as Badgers and of course bowling shoes. But let’s go back to Jam Shoes. I swear blind Weller was just ripping the style from the original by Roger Daltrey. He has said on many occasions early Jam tunes were rewrites of Who numbers, so it seems logical to borrow the style as well.
The shoe is still available now, Ikon make one and there are others on the net. The Ikon is pretty close to the Jam shoe, but not quite the same, the white carries around the shoe.
What I have always liked about the shoe, is that it firmly states “I am a MOD“. Now a lot would argue it is not MOD at all, but let’s not get into that. When you were 15, it was the uniform you needed with very clear boundries. Green Parka, Sta Prest , Fred Perry and pair of Jam shoes.
No different to a Skin with his 14 hole Air Wears or a Metal fan’s first leather jacket.
Followed on by the badgers and the bowling shoes, the multi colour shoe epitomized the MOD revival. This though, is where I think this style hasn’t aged well.
You see some lads on rallies in the shoes today. I dont have a problem with it, but some turn their noses up at them. I am not sure we are going to see a revival of red white and blue jam shoes any time soon. But as we all know MOD is built on snobbery!
There are also some Tassel Loafers in two tone, which some of The Specials wear. Again I think this is a dated look.
So maybe you are starting to think that I just think everything looks dated, well I suppose most of them do, there is a but coming though.
Why do we have going out shoes?
Meaning that we have different shoes for work, the pub and proper going out. So are you going to be wearing a pair of dowdy black shoes or are you going to be wearing ‘look at these, these are my going out shoes’?
When you are deciding what to wear, you want a range of good looking shoes. As you are getting dressed and slipping on your shoes you look in the mirror and think yep these are cool. You walk down the street, thinking these feel great.
When you dance to your favourite soul tune you want to slide across the floor.
What I am trying to say is that there are many reasons why we buy and wear shoes, and making a statement is maybe just one of them.
So does a two colour shoe work, yes I think it does, DNA groove do some really cool shoes with a leather and suede combination, so the effect is more subtle.
The Bowling shoe looks great with jeans out and about on a sunny afternoon . I have always liked the look the Smart Skins did in the 80’s with Cherry Reds, of mixing a little black polish to go in the cracks to give shade to the boot, make it look older.
The Rudeboy loafer we sell has the Oxblood effect of black and cherry colour combined and looks great. It goes really well with jeans or a suit. Also Delicious Junction sell a two colour brogue, white/black and the very cool, Tan/White.
Had the above picture done because I wanted to talk about the strains within the MOD spectrum.
So to my way of thinking it is split up like this;
Suited and booted MOD, Dandy MOD, Indie MOD, Scooter MOD & Hard MOD.
Each of the styles has a different shoe style as well.
The Suited and Booted mod to me, is the classic look. 3 button suit, ticket pocket, nice fabric, tie with tie pin and on the feet smart looking leather shoes. The shoe will have a thin sole and be a two, three at most, laced affair. Sometimes a slip on, and sometimes a different shade. So not always black.
The Dandy Mod, will have exaggerated Chelsea boot look, possibly in white, or maybe a two colour brogue. The look is very regency, and Brian Jones of the Stones pulled it off to a T.
The next one along is the Britpop MOD, taking their cue slightly from 80’s casual, amalgamated with Damien from Blur. This look was everywhere in the 90’s and to a certain extent hasn’t faded. Rare Adidas and Fred Perry. Personally I think it is a “trendy dad” look now. Saying that I love getting new trainers!
The Scooter Mod, is more a throw back to the MOD Revival and defo born agains. This look combines lots of shoe types and mingles in with the scooterist. So sometimes even DM’s are seen. But again classics are worn here, desert boots etc. But also the look has the Jam Shoe and Bowling Shoes. At the bigger scooter rallies you always someone kicking around in Jam Shoes.
And lastly the Hard MOD look. To me this borders Skinhead and Suedehead. Certainly around Peterborough at the moment this look is popular. As you would expect Tassel Loafers and Brogues. And very popular ‘red socks’.
Now I wanted to draw attention to the styles because we call ourselves MOD Shoes. And I think that all the above styles fit in with the very “broad church” that we call MOD. We sell loads of loafers, which started making me think, in terms of numbers of people, are there more MODS of one type than another?
We ran a picture on Facebook recently to gauge reaction, and it was interesting that some thought the shoes were great and awesome, where as others didn’t, one saying they were ‘vile’ and only fit for pimps! Personally I though they looked great for a dandy MOD look. But the Dandy look is not especially widespread, whereas the Hard MOD look seems more popular, or has a broader reach.
What am I trying to get at here? My main aim is really just trying to think what should we be trying to find for our customers. It is ok for me to think they are smart and never sell a pair, whereas others sell loads!
Personally at the mo, MODSHOES are trying to find a decent weaver shoe and some cord boots, like desert boots. If you have any suggestions please get in contact.
What can be said about the Tassel Loafer, to me they are the Street MOD shoe. The tassel along with the feather exsudes MOD. Again, I think this is because so many people have had a pair. Other than the Desert Boot nothing signifies more of what the public think as MOD.
They go in and out of fashion and are definitely a throw back, but why not. They are a shoe for going out in! They are a shoe to dance in, all night. They can come with leather soles which means you slide around a dance floor.
They look excellent with jeans, and a suit. I think you get my drift.
Like the rest of the classics loads of people make them, and again buy the best you can afford. Cheap ones look cheap and fall apart. Looked after well and polish straight after an all-nighter, you don’t want the talc drying them out.
Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!
Tassel loafers came into being in the post-war period of the 1940s, right when tweed jackets, Shetland sweaters, and penny loafers dominated prep schools and Ivy League campuses. As college students graduated, they wanted something as comfortable as their slip-ons, but were a bit dressier and more sophisticated for their new life in the business world. It was around this time that an actor named Paul Lukas came back from Europe with a pair of oxfords. They had little tassels at the end of their laces, which Lukas thought made them look more lively. So he took them to a couple of New York shoemakers to see if they could make something similar, and they in turn took the job to Alden. The company’s president at the time, Arthur Tarlow, came up with tasseled loafers and they were an instant success. That makes Alden’s model the original, and Paul Lukas the first man to wear this style of footwear.
There are many different types of Brogues. The pair above perhaps are the classic look. The above pair are called ‘Wingtails’ in America.
The Brogue has a long history before getting to MOD. Many companies in the UK still produce handmade Brogues: Loake, Earl Barton, Chencery to name a few. Loake make an old style look called the Chester. At the time of writing these have become fashionable with boy bands like JLS.
In terms of 60’s MODS I saw this on the Modgeneration website.
In the 60’s I bought mine from Saxones and complemented them with fringed things that covered the laces. Back in those days good shoes lasted for anything up to 20 years if you looked after them and especially put them in trees to dry after use. The leather used for the uppers was dyed of course but only waxed and one never used polish on them, only wax. The wax hasn’t been made for I don’t know how long and the company went out of business as all shoe leather now has a plastic coating instead of wax which means they will crack well before 15 years have gone – I think after 8 or so.
Churches dropped their beautiful round last for much more pointy ones around 68 or 70 I think and the other British companies followed suit so real round toes probably don’t exist today.
I now have arthritis in a big toe and can’t wear good leather shoes anymore – except for my loafers – made by Barkers and they really are the originals and the best – if you examine the way the top is attached all the other brands join them edge to edge but Barkers are folded over – which means hand-stitched!
The later two tone style that Marriot wears on the ‘Colour Me Pop’ show are more late 60’s, and have an air of Dandiness about them. I like the look on Marriott.
I think Weller had some in The Style Council, and Madness have been known to wear them.
The Skins and Suedeheads adopted the Brogue for themsleves and today the shoe is still seen widely on the Northern Soul Scene.
I like them a lot, always have, they are a really good hard wearing shoe that, if you look after, last ages. I’m not sure if this happened all over the UK or was regional, but at our school we would add Blakeys which would cause the shoe to make a clicking noise as you walked around. This was done mainly to wind up the teachers.