In the world of menswear there are wardrobe essentials that sit aside from the ever changing fashion trends that continue to fickle season after season. Despite the cyclical trends in fashion, the importance of style is evident and there are timeless classics that will never find themselves thrown to the back of the wardrobe including the classic button down shirt, selvage denim jeans and the white tennis shoes. Focusing on men’s leather shoes the Oxford is seen as a timeless classic that can be worn at many occasions whereas the men’s Loafer is a Spring / Summer must have that can still be styled well in the colder months.
After the men’s Oxford shoe the Derby is the shoe rack must have in our eyes and is one of the most popular styles across the Barker range including the BarkerTech, Country and Creative collections. Whether they are referred to as a Derby, Gibson or Blucher shoe, this style is characterised by an open lacing system and fits a large variety of foot shapes. Originally a sporting and hunting boot in the 1850’s, the Derby became appropriate to wear around the city but has always remained an outdoor staple.
The construction of a Derby consists of the closing panels being sewn on top of the vamp to give the shoe a solid appearance and more room for a higher instep when compared to an Oxford. The Derby shoe is a versatile silhouette that is often associated with rugged styles but as increasingly became a formal style depending on the choice of leather. The Barker Country collection features several Derby shoe designs including plain toe and brogue options.
The plain toe Derby is a Country classic with the Barker Nairn and Skye Goodyear welted styles being highly recommended. The Nairn is one of Barker’s longest running styles in the current collection, made on the 29 last last from premium calf and grain leather on a British Dainite rubber sole. The Skye is similar to Nairn in style but made on the 464 last for a slimmer fit. The Search for a Barker Derby brogue would lead you to the kelmarsh, a timeless full brogue made on the 460 last from grain leather on a Dainite rubber sole.
Although the Barker Professional collection features an extensive range of Oxford shoes there are several men’s formal Derby shoes including the Darlington, Lyle, Morden and St Austell styles. For Professional Derby brogues the Larry and Woodbridge styles are highly recommended.
The BarkerTech collection offers enhanced comfort due to the Goodyear welted technology that features a three part flexible insole and removable in-sock which provides arch support, shock absorption and antibacterial properties. Part of the BarkerTech collection includes the Ellon Derby which is made on 493 last from calf and suede leather on a leather sole with a rubber forepart.
The Creative collection includes the Antony, Bailey, Haig, Hawk, Jackson and Woody Goodyear welted styles which are made from a variety of leathers including unfinished crust leather that is painted by hand at the Earls Barton factory.
The Barker Of Earls Barton Archive collection was introduced as part of Barker’s 140th anniversary and includes several Derby styles inspired by archival shoe designs reinterpreted for the modern day. The Berry, Milbury and Wilson Derby shoes have been made in seasonal suedes for Spring / Summer 2021 on a Dainite rubber sole.