Exploring the Barker shoe collection can be a time consuming task if you don’t start your search with direction and a type or style in mind. Even the most traditional of mens handmade shoe styles such as the classic Oxford shoe for men and women ends up with extensive choice when you take into account the construction, material, sole, fitting and last shape.
At the design stage of a pair of shoes a conscious decision has to be made about the type of shoe to be produced. The design team at the Earls Barton factory would select a last shape to design the shoe on as they continue to champion the traditional technique of masking a last and drawing directly onto the tape to ensure the proportions are perfect for each and every design.
In the Lasting Room where the anatomically shaped models finally meet the upper. This part of the shoemaking process involves the insole being temporarily stapled to the bottom of the last before the upper is firstly molded on the heel of the last, followed by toe lasting where the upper is pulled over the last by the lasting machine. Each shoe is then side lasted by hand which allows the upper to be accurately lasted to give the finished shoe its true shape. The last remains in place throughout the shoemaking process until it reaches the Finishing Room where the shoes are antiqued and mopped for a beautiful finish.
Barker’s most prestigious range of shoes and boots in the Handcrafted collection are made on the 396, 464 and 478 last shapes offering F, FX and G fitting. Some of the longest serving last shapes feature in the Country collection which is made up of traditional Oxford, Derbys and Brogue boots. The oldest last shape is the number 10 last and is still used in the Barker Earls Barton factory to make Caruso, a traditional Penny Loafer designed by Albert Barker in the early 1960s. A prominent last used in the Country collection is the number 29 which is used to make several durable Country classics including the Charles, Glencoe, Nairn and Westfield.
Within the Professional collection a popular last shape is the 386, used to make many business shoe staples including the Malton, Malvern, Mirfield, Morden and Tunstall. For the Creative collection several specific last shapes are used to give the shoe designs a contemporary aesthetic but the notable last shape is the 443 as its used to make some of the most popular Creative collections styles, like Haig, Johnny, McClean and Woody.
Understanding what fits your foot shape the best goes a long way in condensing the overwhelming selection you may find yourself having to choose between. Whether your curiosity leads you to Womens Brogues or Mens leather dress Boots you can rest assured the Barker customer service team will be able to offer sound advice on the Barker shoes collection. The Barker last guide is a great way to explore the Barker shoes seasonal collection by the last shape it styles are made on which will offer a different approach to finding a well fitting shoe suited to you. Furthermore, the Barker retail teams at our London, Paris and Moscow flagship stores are very knowledge when it comes to styling and fitting.