Barker Shoes specializes in traditional footwear for men and women. Its collection of oxfords, boots, loafers, and other classic styles are made from high-quality leather by skilled craftsmen.
Having been in operation for over 140 years, Barker’s commitment to quality and its use of traditional shoe-making practices are some of the reasons why it has remained one of the best. In fact, the brand is so trusted that the British army relied on its shoes during WWI.
Today, the company continues to offer classic shoe designs with modern features and twists. On Facebook, Barker shares new designs and behind-the-scenes videos to its 26k followers.
So, how has this brand been in business for so long? And, how has it remained so successful? Well, keep reading this Barker Shoes review to find out.
In the following sections, we’ll take a look at the brand’s history and collection, provide customer testimonials, reveal promotions, answer FAQs, and more to help you decide if Barker’s shoes are worth adding to your closet.
Overview of Barker
Arthur Barker, a boot-maker with a vision, founded the brand back in 1880. Early in his career, Arthur had innovated the boot game with his waterproof peg-soles. The demand for these soles was so high that he had to employ increasing amounts of shoemakers to keep up.
This early success paved the way for Barker’s current collection of innovative yet classic shoes. Today, the brand’s primary factory is in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire—very close to its roots.
Barker has withstood the test of time because of the care, attention, and expertise that go into each and every shoe. Its highly skilled craftsmen and women perform most tasks by hand and carefully inspect each product for imperfections—each one must pass the brand’s strict standards before it is sent to customers.
If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes of how each shoe is created, the company details everything from the design stage to the finishing room on the Craftsmanship page of its website.
Before we dive into the brand’s shoe collection, this Barker Shoes review will provide a quick overview of the pros and cons:
- Wide variety of shoes for men and women in classic styles, like oxfords and brogues
- Also offers accessories to care for your shoes in addition to resources to help
- Size guide and shoe guide both provided
- Refurbishment service
- 28-day return policy
- International shipping
- Various payment options like Amazon Pay and PayPal
- There is a flat $40 fee on standard shipping orders
- Customers are responsible for customs fees
On Barker’s website, you’ll find traditional shoe styles, such as oxfords, loafers, derbys, brogues, and Chelsea boots. There are classic pairs offered in camel and black colors, but there are also more unique options with vibrant hand-painted leathers and fun punched detailing.
Up next, this Barker Shoes review will introduce you to the shoes that customers are loving the most. In terms of sizing, most women’s options are available in 4.5-9.5, while men’s shoes come in 7-13.
The brand also sells must-have accessories like shoe trees, brushes, and creams. Barker handmade leather shoes are an investment, so you’ll want to ensure you take pristine care of them. On each product page, there is a list of recommended accessories and tools that will help you do just that.
Barker also tries to make the payment process as easy as possible. Customers can pay for their orders with Google Pay, PayPal, and Amazon Pay, in addition to the more traditional methods.
Barker Shoes Review
This Barker Shoes review rounded up the eight top-selling shoes from the brand’s site. In this section, we’ll cover all of the high-quality materials, smart features, and customizable options that you can expect with each pair. Let’s start with the men’s shoes.
Barker Mansfield – Walnut Calf Review
The Barker Mansfield – Walnut Calf boot is sleek enough to wear to work or on a date, yet can be dressed down for casual walks in the park. This versatile shoe is perfect for chill Autumn weather—simply pair them with a leather jacket and a blanket scarf to finish the look.
Featuring a slim Chelsea-boot design, these shoes are made from premium quality calf leather with “hand-stitched detailing” for durability and longevity. The slightly curved, slightly squared chisel toe provides comfort while still looking luxurious.
Depending on your preferred thickness and what sorts of weather you’ll be wearing this boot in, you can choose between 7mm and 10mm soles. The former is leather, while the latter is Dainite rubber.
If this reddish-brown hue and leather material doesn’t fit your desired aesthetic, choose from one of the five other colors, such as black calf or brown suede. Upgrade your wardrobe with the Mansfield – Walnut Calf boot for $440.
Barker Wright – Black Calf Oxford Shoe Review
For work, events, or special occasions, an oxford is a classic staple for any man’s wardrobe. The Barker Wright – Black Calf Oxford Shoe fuses modern technology with a traditional style for a fit that is sleek, classy, and, perhaps most importantly, comfortable.
As part of the brand’s BarkerTech collection, this shoe is light and flexible with padded lining. In fact, Barker boasts that, thanks to the Goodyear Welted construction, it has the “flexibility and comfort of a sneaker.” Though, with a lot more pizazz than a sneaker.
Other key features include the antibacterial insock (removable) and the leather sole. But, the dark calf leather and hand-stitched detailing truly steal the show, making this an oxford you’ll want to show off.
If black isn’t your preference, opt for antique rosewood or walnut. The Wright – Black Calf Oxford Shoe retails for $360.
Barker Ledley – Black Deerskin Loafer Review
Nothing is considered more timeless and elegant than a good pair of loafers that can be styled with just about anything. The Barker Ledley – Black Deerskin Loafer has most of the brand’s iconic features, including a contoured leather insole and a leather sole.
Made from deerskin, these Barker handmade men’s shoes have a pebbled effect that adds some visual interest to the classic black hue. This leather is supple and soft, but also light, forming a breathable shoe that will get you through warmer days.
Customers can also choose one of the five other colors and finishes, such as pacific blue suede for a pop of color. Get the Ledley – Black Deerskin Loafer for $255.
Barker Plymouth – Chestnut Calf Oxford Review
If you’re a gentleman who wants to feel extra fancy for a special event, then the Barker Plymouth – Chestnut Calf Oxford shoes are a must-have. Unlike the Wright pair we covered earlier, the Plymouth is all about the suit and tie life.
With a smaller throat, the laces of these shoes are simple but elegant. The detailing on the toe box and along the shoe quarter really brings out the smooth finish of the shoe. But, what makes the Plymouth unique is the engraved script inscription found on the sole. Think of this lasered-on detail as the men’s equivalent of the classic red-soled Louboutins.
The chestnut calf leather finish ensures a versatile oxford that’ll pair perfectly with your favorite navy or black suit, adding a sophisticated pop of color. Of course, the Plymouth is also offered in black. Pick your favorite hue for $525.
Barker Calvay – Cherry Grain Longwing Brogue Review
A shoe style that’s equated with classic masculinity, the Barker Calvay – Cherry Grain Longwing Brogues is timeless and iconic, meant to be worn over and over again. Made of calf leather, you’ll find an eye-catching hand-stitched pattern across the toe.
The Calvay is the type of brogue that you can wear on a trip that requires some walking. Why? Well, what makes this shoe outdoors-proof is the dainite sole—made of rubber, it is reinforced with studs to withstand poor weather (snow, rain, puddles, etc.) while providing maximum comfort.
It’s as if class, durability, and comfort had a child. Also available in cedar grain, these Barker men’s brogue shoes retail for $420.
Barker Woody – Cedar Calf Derby Review
For the gents who like to make a statement, let us introduce you to the Barker Woody – Cedar Calf Derby shoes. Made to stand out—this pair certainly fits the bill in terms of design and appearance.
With an elongated toe box and “long wing design,” the Woody is made of calf leather and features a leather sole and lining. The stitching forms a loop or crescent on the waist and quarter of the shoe, as well as on the stiffener, which is the back of the shoe where your lower ankle rests.
For the full effect, the brand recommends wearing these derby shoes with tapered pants to really show them off. In addition to the gorgeous cedar hue, customers can also grab the Woody in black. Add them to your weekend wardrobe for $365.
Barker Freya – Walnut Calf/ Brown Tweed Women Wingtip Shoe Review
Don’t worry ladies—Barker didn’t forget about you. Oxfords are just as much a wardrobe staple for women as they are for men, and this unique pair definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Fusing masculine prints with a feminine touch, the Barker Freya – Walnut Calf/ Brown Tweed Women Wingtip Shoe is a piece of art. The medium reddish-toned walnut calf leather body is complemented by a strip of tweed on the outer side of each shoe. Coupled with the punch detailing in an almost heart-like shape, this pair exudes elegance.
The Freya shoes are rustic but pristine—they make a statement no matter what you’re wearing. This design is also available in a suede version if you’re not interested in smooth leather, which is paired with a contrasting heel. There are four color and material combos available.
Upgrade your wardrobe with Freya for $280. Some color options are currently on sale for $195-$235.
Barker Valiant Multi-Colored Oxford Brogue Review
For the woman who likes to stand out, the Barker Valiant Multi-Colored Oxford Brogue is calling your name. Expertly coupling a traditional shoe style with an out-of-this-world color scheme, these oxfords are the attention-grabbers that you never knew you needed.
Though it’s a multi-colored leather shoe, the Valiant is still on the subtle side despite all the color. The patchwork-style blue, green, orange, yellow, and magenta hues are fairly muted. In other words, these oxford brogues have just the right amount of ‘pop’ to make heads turn while still remaining work-appropriate.
Another feature that balances out the pattern is how the punched detailing acts as a border, helping one color ease into the next. The rounded toes feature a punched swirl design to finish these Barker women’s brogue shoes off in style.
With three other color options to choose from, stand out with the $540 Valiant Multi-Colored Oxford Brogues.
Who Is Barker For?
Barker offers high-quality shoes for both men and women. With a selection of classic styles that feature luxurious leathers and hand-crafted designs, its collection is for those that want to invest in shoes that will last season after season.
Though its shoes are designed to be comfortable, you won’t find ultra-casual pairs like sneakers. Instead, you’ll find loafers, oxfords, boots, and other work-friendly, event-friendly, and special occasion-friendly options. Most pairs come in traditional colors like brown and black, but some shoes are offered in vibrant hues for people who like to make a statement.
Comparison: Barker vs. Loakes
There’s no shortage of shoe shops today. But, ones that use traditional craftsmanship to create high-quality and classic styles? Those aren’t quite as common. To see how our featured brand compares to others on the market, this Barker Shoes review will do a quick comparison with Loake.
Amusingly enough, Loake was founded in 1880 from the same part of England as Barker. But, unlike the latter, the competitor offers a more diverse selection of contemporary styles for casual, everyday wear.
This expanded selection includes men’s styles though, as women’s are fairly limited, and definitely more limited than Barker. Loake offers accessories too, like handbags, small leather goods, and even socks to be worn with their shoes.
We decided to quickly compare a similar style from both shops. Loake’s Bloomsberry brogues are $250 and feature a polished leather finish and a “rubber studded sole.” This pair is made in India and there isn’t a lot of information about their construction.
On the other hand, Barker’s Albert brogues are $305 and made from calf leather with a “hi-shine finish” and hand-stitching. They’re made right in England, like all of the brand’s shoes.
Honestly, both companies seem to have a solid reputation across the web, but we appreciate the fact that Barker is so transparent about its manufacturing practices, and that its shoes are made right in England. But, Loake does offer a more extensive collection of casual styles, like trainers.
Barker Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
Though the company’s collection looks impressive, this wouldn’t be a thorough Barker Shoes review without hearing from customers. To learn more about the comfort and quality of the brand’s shoes, as well as its own practices, we sought out real testimonials to see what the buzz was about.
The brand’s website doesn’t include any customer testimonials, so the following section of this Barker Shoes review will include feedback from Trustpilot, Facebook, and Reddit. Let’s get into it.
On Trustpilot, Barker has a 4/5-star rating from 50 customers. Among the glowing comments are references to the brand’s “excellent shoes,” “exceptional service,” and the fantastic refurbishment program.
One shopper notes that the service was so helpful that they will definitely be ordering from the site again. Here’s what they had to say:
“Great shopping experience, I ordered some shoes on a Sunday and they were delivered on Tuesday. I had some questions after having placed my order…the CS team replied to me very quickly, and were super helpful as well. It’s not the first time I order Barker Shoes online, and it’s clearly not the last.”
To see how well these sentiments held up, we turned to Facebook, where Barker has a 3.8/5-star score from 16 shoppers. While most of the comments were positive, we did find a few complaints about an unreachable customer service team.
But, a representative from the company reached out to each of these commenters to make the situation right. It seems that the brand’s team is on the ball, after all!
One positive Barker Shoes review also confirms how helpful the company’s team can be: “I have just had the pleasure of talking shoe sizes and fitting with two fabulous ladies from the Barker Shoe team. They were incredibly helpful and I have confidently placed an online order with them. Looking forward to my new Barker Brogues!”
Finally, we turned to Reddit in search of more in-depth information on the actual shoes. And, we found just what we were looking for!
On the Windsor Oxfords, one Redditor writes: “Very comfortable, very well put together. I wear casually in work from time to time, and with a suit on rare occasions. I would recommend these; even the laces are good quality and overall the shoes are very stylish are lasting very well.”
Overall, Barker is thoroughly respected across the web. Its shoes are described as stylish, trendy, and comfortable, and its team is usually referred to as helpful and prompt. We were also happy to see that the brand makes an effort to respond to and resolve any complaints in order to maintain a glowing reputation.
Is Barker Worth It?
For classic styles, traditional and expert craftsmanship, and luxurious materials, this Barker Shoes review thinks that the brand is absolutely worth it. With more than a century of experience, the attention to detail and hand-crafted construction promise a well-made shoe that is worth the cost.
Speaking of cost, the vast majority of customer testimonials confirm that the brand’s prices are worth it. These shoes are meant to last. To help, Barker offers maintenance guides and accessories, as well as its own refurbishment service.
Designed with comfort in mind, too, Barker’s oxfords, loafers, and boots can support your feet during daily wear. Smart features, like rubber sole options, also ensure their longevity in rougher weather.
Barker Promotions & Discounts
The brand’s shoes are an investment, but it does offer ways for customers to save. Head to the Barker Shoes sale section for up to 50% off select pairs.
Where to Buy Barker
Head to BarkerShoes.com to shop for the brand’s collection. If you prefer to browse in-person, there are four shops in London and one in Moscow.
Where is Barker made?
Barker Shoes manufactures its products in its factory based in Northamptonshire, England.
Do Barker Shoes fit true to size?
Shoes, like clothes, are dependent on the style and material being used as well as the intention behind the shoe (is it meant to be more narrow or wide). So, not every shoe will fit the same. Barker Shoes offers an in-depth size chart and Last Guide to make the process easier.
What is Barker’s Shipping Policy?
Barker Shoes ships worldwide, with standard delivery taking roughly 14-21 business days. Shipping is free for orders over $250, but if your order is less than that amount, a flat $40 fee is applied upon checking out.
This Barker Shoes review learned that standard shipping is the only method of shipping. Express and expedited options are not available.
What is Barker’s Return Policy?
Barker provides 28 days for a refund or exchange from the day your order was delivered. But, return costs are the customers’ responsibility. Additionally, if you’re an international customer and forget to pay for customs charges, the brand will refuse your order upfront and not accept it.
How to Contact Barker
If you have any questions after reading this Barker Shoes review, you can contact the brand via:
- Phone: +441604810387
- Email: [email protected]
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