A timeless handmade shoe, the English brogue is a classic style worn throughout the years since originating in Ireland and Scotland. The brogue was made as an outdoor walking shoe from untanned hide and the hole punching allowed for water to drain from the shoes when worn in wet terrains such as a bog. Over its time the brogue has been seen as a Country shoe staple and the brogue punching became decorative perforation but modern interpretations have meant the classic brogue is worn less in the boglands and more in the office or at a wedding. Available as Oxford brogues or Derby brogues there is an extensive offering of styles available in the Barker collection.
Several variations of the brogue are available within the current Barker shoe collection with the obvious being the classic full brogue style which features in several Barker ranges including the Country, Creative, Professional and BarkerTech collections. For an iconic English Goodyear-welted full brogue, the Charles, Kelmarsh and Westfield from the Country collection are highly recommended. The Westfield is part of the Barker Icon Series which highlights shoe designs representative of Barker’s Northamptonshire village shoemaking history. Westfield has been in the Barker collection for over ten years and its last, the number 29 has been used at the Barker Earls Barton factory for over 30 years. Made from premium calf leather the Westfield features include a Goodyear Storm Welted construction, refined toe design and double leather sole.
Within the Professional collection, there are several notable full brogues including the Albert, Malton and Woodbridge shoes. An alternative to the Professional brogue is Turing, a full brogue that features the BarkerTech technology for added comfort.
The Creative collection offers an imaginative take on the classic brogue shoe with hand-painted styles such as Bailey, Grant and Valiant all standing out for the right reasons, not just for the multi-colour option. An iconic creative style by Barker is the McClean, made on the 443 last from premium calf leather with a choice of contrast suede or paisley laser inserts.
The recently launched Barker London collection is exclusive to Barker online and the London flagship stores include the Chancery and Covent Garden full brogues available in polished leather and Castagnia suede.
An elegant but refined brogue option that features in the Handcrafted and Professional collections, in particular, is the semi brogue, an uncomplicated yet classic shoe design that offers a relaxed look and works well with either a suit or jeans. A handcrafted style that features in the Barker Icon Series is Lerwick, made on the 464 last from premium calf leather and features medallion punching on the toe cap and a single leather script sole. Other semi brogues by Barker include the Alfred, Charterhouse and Newchurch styles.
Several quarter brogues also feature in the Barker shoe collection and include the Marcus, Marvin, and Newmarket styles which offer a refined brogue option with subtle brogue punching along the toe cap edge but not on the toe cap itself.
The final brogue design is the Longwing brogue, a variation of the full brogue characterised by the wingtip cap extending to the back of the shoe. Popular Barker Longwing brogues include the Calvay, Morpeth and Woody shoes.