Banana Republic Jarret Suede Lace-Up – $120 ($84 at 30% off)
Yes they’re worth $84. They might even be worth $120. And that’s going to come as a surprise to some, since Banana Republic’s shoes don’t have a good reputation when it comes to quality. But these are suede, and not a standard dress leather, and maybe that makes a big difference when it comes to manufacturing and keeping the costs down. Here’s what they’ve got going for them:
- The suede is soft and pliable: Some suede shoes (like my cheap pair of Florsheim single monks which I still really like) feel like there’s a paper thin layer of suede perhaps glued to some kind of stiff backing. These feel pliable, soft, and there’s a good “flop” / unstructured feel to them outside of the structured heel and toe.
- The color is deep and rich: Whatever they used to color the suede worked. It’s solid throughout.
- They’re comfortable out of the box: Size feels true, they’re neither too skinny, nor clunky, and the insoles have some nice spring to them. Sole is a rubber like man-made material.
- The contrast at the welt is nice: Almost certainly just for show, but points for that burnt orange.
The only issue is finding a code that doesn’t have “men’s shoes” listed as an exclusion. They do happen, but more often than not you can’t use BR codes on shoes. 20% off puts em’ at $96. 30% off puts them at $84. They’ll ship free at both prices. Wearable with everything from chinos to linen to shorts and even jeans on a cool night.
Made in China. They feel solid and well built. The eyelets are even reinforced. So unless there’s some hidden self destruct mechanism buried deep within these suckers, it’s reasonable to expect they’ll hold up with decent care. Yet… the one customer review of them online? He complains about the upper separating from the sole after, wait for it, five hours. Going to put these to the test over the summer. Expect monthly updates. Promise.
UPDATE 1: Been 5 hours. All’s quiet, blue, and good.