Meermin Vs. Loake: Battle of The Affordable Dress Shoes

When it comes to affordable men’s dress shoes, two brands stand out: Meermin and Loake. Both offer high-quality leather shoes at prices that won’t break the bank. But which one is better?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Meermin and Loake shoes on quality, price, comfort, sizing, and style to help you decide which brand is right for you.

A Brief Comparison Table

Leather QualityFrench/Italian calfskin, suedeEnglish calfskin, suede
ConstructionGoodyear welt and Blake stitchGoodyear welt
Price Range$180 – $350$250 – $400
StylesOxfords, monks, loafers, bootsOxfords, derbys, loafers, boots
SizingRuns large, size downRuns true to size
FitSlimmer with tapered toeWider toe box
Break-in PeriodSignificantMedium
Ordering ProcessOnline onlyOnline and in-store
Customer ServiceEmail supportRetail stores for easy exchange

Overview of Meermin


Meermin was founded in 2001 in Majorca, Spain and has grown into one of the most popular affordable shoe brands among menswear enthusiasts.

Meermin uses premium materials like calfskin and shell cordovan leather sourced from reputable tanneries in France and Italy.

Their shoes are handcrafted using traditional shoemaking techniques like Goodyear welting.

Some key things to know about Meermin:

  • Direct-to-consumer pricing, cutting out the retail markup
  • Prices range from $180-$350
  • Free shipping and returns within EU
  • Shoes made in their own Spanish and Chinese factories
  • Large variety of oxford, monkstrap, loafer, chelsea boot styles
  • Linea Maestro line offers shell cordovan models

Also Read: Alternatives To Paraboot Michael Shoes.

Overview of Loake

Loake was founded in 1880 in Kettering, England and has supplied shoes to the British military and royal family. Like Meermin, Loake focuses on classic men’s shoes like oxfords and derbys.

Here are some quick facts about Loake:

  • Prices range from $250-$400
  • Shoes made in their own UK factory
  • Use English leathers from Charles F. Stead tannery
  • Goodyear-welted construction
  • Classic styles like brogue derbys and Chelsea boots
  • 1880 line offers upgraded leathers and details

Key Differences Between Meermin And Loake Shoes

Now that you know the basics about each brand, let’s compare them in detail across a few key factors.

Leather Quality

Both Meermin and Loake use full grain leathers from reputable tanneries. Meermin sources leather from Annonay, Du Puy, and Santa Croce. Loake uses English leather from CF Stead.

Meermin uses these leathers across their regular line:

  • Calfskin – Classic smooth leather for formal shoes
  • Suede – Nappy texture for casual shoes
  • Nubuck – Smooth nubuck for derbys and boots
  • Exotics – Eel, stingray, ostrich (Linea Maestro line)

Loake uses these leathers:

loake shoes
Loake shoes
  • Calfskin – Smooth, hard-wearing leather
  • Suede – Softer nubuck and suedes
  • Exotics – Crocodile and ostrich (1880 line)

Both brands use quality thick leather for the uppers that takes a great shine and ages well.

The leathers used are comparable between the two brands in terms of durability, texture, and feel.

The one advantage Loake has is their use of English CF Stead leathers, which some consider a bit more premium than Meermin’s sourced French/Italian leathers.

Construction Techniques

The most important part of a quality dress shoe is the construction. Both Meermin and Loake use traditional shoemaking techniques:

Goodyear welted

This is the gold standard for dress shoes. The upper is stitched to the welt, which is attached to the insole. This creates a durable shoe that can be resoled many times.

Blake stitched

A more budget-friendly method where the upper is stitched directly to the outsole. Not as long-lasting as a Goodyear welt but cheaper to make.

Here’s how each brand compares:

  • Meermin – Primarily Goodyear welted shoes, with some Blake stitched models at lower price points. Welting and finishing is neat and clean.
  • Loake – Goodyear welting used across all models. Finishing is excellent. Shoes display excellent craftsmanship.

While Meermin uses both methods, their Goodyear welted models compete directly with Loake’s quality. Both brands produce shoes with neatly stitched uppers and outsoles made to last.

Loake finishes may be a tad more refined, but Meermin is no slouch either.

Styles Offered

Meermin and Loake both stick to classic men’s shoe styles, with a few key differences:


  • Oxfords – Wide range of black and brown formal oxfords
  • Monk straps – Single and double straps, decorative buckles
  • Loafers – Penny and tassel loafers, woven leather
  • Chelseas – Sleek Chelsea boots with elastic gores
  • Boots – Chukkas, wingtip boots, jodhpur boots


  • Oxfords – More variety in brogueing/medallion toe designs
  • Derbys – Both sleek and bold brogue derbys
  • Loafers – Tassel and penny loafers
  • Chelseas – Classic Chelsea boots in brown and black
  • Boots – Chukkas, jodhpur, desert boots

The styles are very similar, with Meermin having a wider range of monk straps while Loake does more brogue styles. Both cover the main dress shoe bases.

Sizing and Fit

Finding the right size is critical for comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Here’s how Meermin and Loake compare:


  • Runs large, size down 1⁄2 to one full size
  • Standard, wide, and extra wide lasts
  • Slim toe box on newer Hiro last
  • Rui last good for wider feet
  • Break-in period can be significant


  • Runs true-to-size for most styles
  • Standard F and H fittings (medium/wide)
  • Wider toe box than Meermin
  • Less break-in period required

Overall, Meermin seems to run larger and needs more break-in while Loake fits true-to-size for more men out of the box. Your foot shape matters too – some may find Meermin’s lasts more accommodating. Try before you buy if possible.

Also Read: Differences Between Florsheim And Johnston & Murphy Shoes.

Prices and Value

Now to the bottom line – how much are you paying for the quality you get?


  • Starts at $180 for basic line
  • $230-$280 for standard calf/suede
  • $350 for shell cordovan
  • Free shipping to EU, $35 to US
  • Excellent quality/price ratio


  • Starts at $250 for lower end lines
  • $325-$375 for main line
  • $425+ for 1880 premium line
  • Local retailers can offer sales/discounts
  • Good value for English-made shoes

Considering the quality of leathers and construction, both brands provide excellent value for money. Meermin’s direct-to-consumer model allows them to offer lower prices, especially for US customers.

Customer Experience

Buying shoes online presents challenges for fit, exchanges, and customer service. Here is how each brand stacks up.


  • Website ordering, returns by mail
  • Showroom stores in select cities
  • Virtual sizing advise available
  • Made-to-order program available
  • Medium responsiveness to issues


  • Wide range of online and brick-and-mortar retailers
  • Physical stores allow try-on
  • Established sizing history
  • Fast shipping from retailers
  • Good customer service response

Loake’s long history and retailer network gives them the advantage here for easier sizing and exchanges. Meermin’s direct online model may require more communication and exchanges to dial in sizing.

Pros and Cons Compared



  • Greater value for dollar
  • Large selection of styles
  • Linea Maestro exotic leathers
  • Custom MTO program


  • Limited retail presence
  • Extended break-in period
  • Sizing less standardized



  • Long reputation for quality
  • Easy try-on and exchanges
  • Well-fitting for most out of the box
  • Made in England


  • Slightly higher prices
  • Limited to classic styles
  • Less value shopping UK-made

To summarize:

  • Meermin offers greater value for dollar spent
  • Loake fits true-to-size for more people
  • Loake has better retail presence
  • Meermin requires longer break-in

So Meermin wins on price and modern style selection, while Loake is stronger for fit, reputation, and customer experience.

Also Read: Is Bruno Magli Better Than Magnanni Shoes?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Loake shoes good quality?

Yes, Loake is known for making high quality men’s shoes. They use fine English leathers from reputable tanneries and Goodyear welt construction for durability. Their shoes display excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Why is Meermin so cheap?

Meermin is able to offer lower prices than many competitors because:
1. They sell directly to consumers online without a retail markup
2. Labor costs are lower manufacturing in China and Spain vs England
3. Their leathers are quality but sourced from tanneries with lower prices than UK
4. Simple packaging and shopping experience reduce costs

Why are Loake shoes so expensive?

Loake shoes are more expensive than Meermin for a few reasons:
1. Made in England carries a premium for labor costs
2. Use expensive English leathers exclusively
3. Classic styling less efficient to produce than sleeker modern styles
4. Sold via retailers that markup pricing from MSRP
5. More quality details on finishing that increase production time

Are Loake shoes comfortable?

Loake shoes are known for having a comfortable fit once broken in. Their shoes are built on classic lasts that have a roomy toe box. The leather quality and construction promote good breathability. Using an insert can help maximize comfort.

Final Thoughts

Based on this comparison, is one shoe clearly better than the other? The short answer is: it depends.

Loake is the safer choice – you can likely buy your true size, break them in quicker, and exchange locally if needed. Their history and reputation for quality is proven.

Meermin provides outstanding value for the money. If you don’t mind handling returns internationally and breaking in the shoes, you get fantastic shoes for budget prices.

For shoppers in the US and other countries outside of Europe, Meermin delivers great value, exotic leathers, and modern style at an affordable price point.

Within the UK, Loake is easier to try and exchange in person. Their name also carries weight for an English made shoe.

Overall, choose Meermin for maximizing value and modern style or Loake for finding the right fit quickly and reliably. Either brand serves up quality leather dress shoes that will develop character over time.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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