It is great to see there are many different contributors to the Herring blog. There is so much diversity now, which has created complexity and depth to the body of work that is being compiled. Many of the contributors are simply customers who continue their journey to learn more about themselves, and the opportunity to contribute is indeed a privilege.
The diversity is complimented by the authors’ passion for all things style, including shoes. Like many things in nature and life, the process of cultivating your style is a continually evolving one. I encourage you to spend time going through the archives and reading some of the older blogs. There is a lot of variety in the content and preferences, which are certain to assist and encourage you to think and reflect about your style with the view to enrich it.
Similar to the variety and diversity of the blog’s contributors, the Herring range is also complex and diverse. The range caters for every purpose and activity, from beautiful dress shoes for work and formal events, to country boots, casual sneakers and even slippers. There is also a variety of price echelons for the different styles. This gives every customer the opportunity to afford a well crafted pair of shoes that will last many years. Herring has achieved this by partnering with many of the most venerable shoe manufacturers in the world. They have worked together to design and create beautiful shoes and boots for the Herring band, using the different manufacturers’ style cues that are steeped in a long and rich history.
In this blog I will provide an overview of the different brands that Herring are partnering with. These partnerships provide consumers with access to more model and style options so they can select the perfect shoe for every event and any occasion.
Wildsmith was a recent addition to the Herring stable. They were founded in 1847 by Matthew and Rebecca Wildsmith who began by making boots for two regiments in the British Army. In time, they established a reputation for luxury shoe manufacturing with customers including the royal family, many A-Listers and dignitaries. In more recent times, Wildsmith was adopted by the Herring family and continues the heritage of beautiful shoe design. There are two levels in the range and the shoes are made by both Joseph Cheaney and Barker. The Wildsmith brand will be reinvented with a new product offering, so if you look at the Wildsmith page you will note that there are some excellent deals to be had. I have mentioned several times that it is imperative to be quick and secure what you want because if you wait, it could be gone and you will be disappointed. This is most certainly the case in this instance.
Loake has developed into a ubiquitous brand with a significant worldwide following. It was established in 1880 in Kettering, Northamptonshire by three brothers, William, John and Thomas. They are beautiful and well made shoes and represent excellent value for money. The 1880 range are their top of the line offering. In fact, my first pair of English goodyear welted shoes was the Loake Buckingham in dark brown followed by the Chester Country brogue in chestnut. The Chester is a shoe that I wear often and has developed a beautiful patina, especially as I periodically use a burgundy polish on them. Consequently, they have become unique. They are well broken in and so comfortable.
Similarly, Barker shoes were established in 1880 in Northamptonshire in Earls Barton. I love their shoes. They offer all the styles and variants that you would expect from a venerable English brand, however the range that I am drawn to is the Barker Creative. The styles in the Barker Creative are fabulous. Barker have taken classic designs and styles and have reinvented them with a modern flair. The use of different colours, materials and textures have created a very modern and, in some instances a quirky offering. I have the first iteration of the Butcher boot. It is a country brogue boot but has been redesigned and is now more at home in the city. It is bold, has a very thick triple leather sole with minimum broguing. It is effectively an austerity brogue boot. Another pair that I like is the Nicholas. It is a recent addition to the Creative range. The only offering is in Cherry calf complimented with burgundy suede. The Nicholas is fabulous and I just had to get a pair.
Barker manufacture many of the Herring shoes in the Classic range. They include the Carnaby, which is a stunning and contemporary full brogue shoe and is a best seller. The Mayfair oxfords, the Belgravia and Burlington are other examples of Barker manufactured shoes for Herring. All are Made in England, beautiful, goodyear welted and will last a lifetime.
Probably one of the most famous shoe companies in the world is Church’s. The brand is a household name and everyone knows (even if you are not a shoe aficionado) that the brand is synonymous with quality and luxury footwear. The Church’s styles offered by Herring are the quintessential English gentleman’s shoe. You cannot go wrong with any of their designs as they will always be a style statement. My favourite Church’s style has to be the Grafton brogues in Sandlewood Polished Binder. It is a majestic shoe. It has a triple sole that you cannot ignore and the toe is a blend of the classic round but is tapered to create a softer presence.
If you have seen the movie or the musical ‘Kinky Boots’, you will be familiar with the façade of the factory that manufactured the Kinky Boots. That famous façade belongs to the Tricker’s factory. The movie Kinky Boots was filmed in the Ticker’s factory and some of the staff played extras in the movie. Tricker’s were established in 1829 by Joseph Tricker. They are based in Northampton. Tricker’s are best known for their country brogue boots and shoes, but also make beautiful and exceptional dress shoes. Check out their 1829 Collection. In my opinion a Tricker’s country brogue has no peer, they are simply the best. And, two of their country brogue styles have become iconic, very recognisable and highly sought after worldwide. They are the Stow brogue boot and Bourton brogue shoe. I fell in love immediately and voila, I have two pairs of the Stow boot. One is in the classic acorn calf and the other in espresso calf. No other country brogue comes close. The calf leather is soft like butter but tough as nails.
Carlos Santos are a relatively new addition to Herring. They were only established in 1942 and the shoes are made in Portugal. Carlos Santos shoes have a very European style aesthetic. They are finer and slimmer than some of the English Made shoes. Another distinctive feature is that many of the styles are hand coloured, so no two pairs are the same. Carlos Santos also make shoes for Herring and they feature in the Herring Classic range. The Faversham double monk is a very stylish shoe in chestnut calf and navy suede. This shoe is ideal for a summer evening walk along the boardwalk and of course for many other occasions too. The Dickens oxford is also smashing. Sporting the same long and slim last as the Faversham, the Dickens is a navy calf oxford in a toe cap design. They are hand painted and look breathtaking.
Stemar is an Italian brand that Herring have brought into the family. The brand was founded in 1969 by the Moreschi family in Vivegano, Italy. Like Carlos Santos, Stemar shoes have classic European design and style cues. They are hand made and are best known for their comfort and flexibility. In some of their designs, Stemar use deer skin. Deer skin is very flexible and has a bold grain texture. Which projects a definitive Italian look.
In the heat of summer, we start to think of more casual styles. Sebago are best known for their loafers, boat shoes and driving shoes. There is a huge range to choose from. Some are very casual and others quite smart and stylish.
I have purposefully left my favourite brand until last. It is Joseph Cheaney & Sons. Cheaney was founded in 1886 by Joseph Cheaney in Desborough, Northampton. In 1964 Cheaney was absorbed and became part of the Church’s group. In 2009, however, Jonathan and William Church bought back the brand and, in my opinion, have created a brand with the best styles, range and offering.
Many of the styles in the Herring Premier range are manufactured by Cheaney. There is a strong relationship between the two companies which explains the beautiful designs in the Premier range. Some of the styles like the Attlee, Exmoor, Coniston, Henley and many others are best sellers and have already been reviewed in previous blogs. So, as I mentioned earlier, do yourself a favour and check out the archives in the blog.
Cheaney continuously develop and refresh their range and have a wonderful and eclectic offering. The Arthur III brogue is a Cheaney classic and magnificent. I am also very partial to the Edwin spectators in chestnut calf and French navy suede. They are striking. The Cambridge is a contemporary half brogue with a chisel toe. It is fashioned on the 205 last. It is long, slender and exquisite. Whilst the Cambridge in black calf has a commanding presence, my pick is the dark leaf. There is a depth and complexity to the Cambridge in dark leaf that just cannot be beaten.
I encourage you to explore all the different brand offerings. You may find that that definitive style or colour that has eluded you is just a simple click away. Moreover, the partnership that Herring has with all these manufacturers means that if a particular style or colour is not part of the Herring catalogue, it can easily be brought in just for you. The Cheaney Hanover Balmoral boot and the Lancaster Punch Capped oxford are both examples of this.
Both Cheaney and Barker offer some exciting shoes for women too. Check them out on their respective websites. The team at Herring will gladly bring in that special pair for your best friend. This is clearly an opportunity for you to get in the good books.
Be daring … be dashing.