What are Fitting Codes?

Our English shoe manufacturers traditionally make their shoes in Narrow to Extra Wide fittings. Different shoemakers can use different codes to describe their fittings. Below is a small guide for your information:

The majority of the brands, styles and sizes we stock are made in the most popular and statistically appropriate ‘F’ fitting however we also offer a good selection of ‘G’ fitting shoes and can order specific fittings on request.

Usually you can expect approximately ¼” difference in girth measurement between fittings in the same show size.

There is no industry standard for shoe fittings from one shoemaker to the next and therefore you may find that one particular fitting from one brand maybe different to that from a different brand.

What Sole Types are available?

Welted Leather Soles

All of our UK manufactured shoes feature Welted soles. Their stitched construction gives great comfort and excellent shape retention whilst being produced using leather allows your foot to breathe.

In addition, the Welted construction is designed to be repairable. When they require repairing (ideally just before the soles wear through), our convenient repair service will return your shoes back to their original manufacturer for repair. Charges apply.

Welted Rubber Soles

A rubber sole is usually harder wearing. Rubber Soles are more appropriate for damp conditions, giving better grip on slippery or uneven surfaces.

Leather Soles with a Rubber Insert

A leather sole with a rubber insert provides the benefits of leather with the added grip and wear properties of rubber.

Cemented Sole

Rather than using stitching, cemented soles use adhesive to bond the upper to the sole of the shoe. With a more lightweight appearance, cemented sole shoes are not as robust as their welted sole counterparts.

Blake Sewn

Blake Sewn is a method of shoe construction where the upper is directly attached to the sole. The upper is lasted to the insole before being attached to the sole by vertical chain or lock stitching.


Moccasins provide a soft, lightweight and naturally flexible shoe. By wrapping the upper of the shoe around it also forms the insole. From this point, the sole can either be cemented or stitched to the upper. Moccasins offer the ultimate in comfort, but by the nature of their construction they have very little resistance to water and should not be worn in wet conditions.

What Upper Materials are available?

Calf or Full Grain Leather

Our shoemaker’s choice of calf or full grain leathers have not been sanded or corrected to remove blemishes and natural markings. This type of leather is naturally soft and flexible and provides excellent breathability. If properly maintained and cared for this type of leather develop an attractive patina with age.

Polished or ‘Corrected Grain’ Leather

This type of natural leather finish is corrected and a top coat applied to provide the final highly polished appearance. This type of leather is more resistance to water and staining but will not develop the same natural patina as with calf or full grain leathers. Initially you find these types of shoes to be stiffer and may require a short period of breaking in when new.

What is a Last?

A last can be thought as a mold that takes the approximate shape of a foot and gives the shoe its shape and fitting properties. During the manufacturing process the upper of the shoe is drawn over the last to create this shape.

Our range of manufacturer’s use many different last shapes and alternative width fittings to cater for the various needs of our customers.

Where possible we have included the name and width fitting specific to each shoe within its product description. If you have any queries regarding a particular brand or model of shoe, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How do I care for my new shoes?

For general shoe care:

  • Always use a shoe horn when putting on your shoes.
    This will ensure the shoe backs stay strong and sturdy.
  • Always use cedar wood shoe trees.
    Cedarwood shoe trees will absorb moisture, acid and salts left in the shoes and will reduce cracking and deterioration of the uppers, keeping your shoes in pristine condition and prolonging the life of the upper
  • Initially try to wear your new shoes in dry conditions.
    For the first few outings try to keep them dry as the fine grit collected by dry leather soles assists water resistance.
  • Allow drying time for natural perspiration.
    Fine leather shoes can require a full day to dry. Try to give them at least 24 hours between outings.
  • Try to avoid excessive moisture and wet.
    Should this occur, always let the shoes dry out away from sources of direct heat. You can use newspaper within the shoes to help draw out moisture.
  • Prepare before polishing.
    Use a dry cloth to gently wipe over the surface of the shoes to remove dirt before polishing.
  • Polish regularly.
    Your shoes will benefit from regular applications of our quality wax polish. This will help to moisturize the leather, keeping it supple and helping to prevent cracking.

Can I add rubber soles to my leather shoes?

Lightweight rubber stick-on soles can be added to Welted Leather shoes but at The Brogue Trader we do NOT recommend doing so as the balance of the shoes can be affected leading to premature failure. In addition, the majority of our shoemakers will not warrant or be held responsible for premature wear to modified shoes.

You should NEVER apply rubber soles to moccasin or cemented sole shoes!