I have been thinking about changing the direction of this blog for quite some time now. Simply because it is more practical and sensible to focus on working with South African brands as opposed to international ones; or rather brands that have a great presence in and on the South African market. I decided, therefore, to highlight a brand that has been in this country for many decades, Barker. Ask any old school South African sartorialist and they will have something to say about venerable shoe brands, and Barker will be one of them. For this post I will focus on my very first pair of Barker shoes; a cap-toe oxford with broguing.
Apart from the label stating so, this is a genuine leather shoe. Soft and very durable, I have found that it is quite easy on the foot but hard wearing at the same time. So far I have really enjoyed wearing it. It is constructed with a leather sole and it is welt-stitched, with a white thread, all the way to the beginning of the heel. When I had the first polish I had the white stitching covered in black polish because it just looked too old school like white walls. However, I’m really fond of their versatility; as I've worn them with a suit and jeans, and they have fit in well. The light broguing on the toe cap and the sides make the shoes also appropriate for business, although they can never surpass the formality of a plain-toe oxford. What also impressed me about the leather is that it is waterproof. I happened to get caught in a rain storm and walking in the rain didn't result in wet socks which was testament to the quality of the leather.
I definitely recommend it as an entry level shoe especially considering its R700 price point; it's incredibly affordable and will be serviceable for a long time.
PG: Man to man, generation to generation.