J. Crew Suede Kenton Pacer Boots – $69.99 FINAL w/ SWEETSALE ($248)
When these debuted on J. Crew’s website, a lot of mouse pointers (or fingers, what’s up tablet users) hovered over the “add to bag” button. They’re a pretty obvious homage to the Alden Indy boot, which J. Crew also carries, cut from rich looking suede, and Goodyear welted. So they should be durable, and easier-than-most to resole in the future.
But hover over “add to cart” was as far as it got for most. If the massive price drops are any indication, not many seemed to actually buy the boots. But if you held off, that patience has quite possibly worked in your favor. The boots are now down to $69.99 (w/ the code SWEETSALE, final sale, so no returns), and their construction and materials far out run that price.
The ‘acorn’ color is a light brown tone with some rusty orange hues keeping the uppers rich and warm. The suede is soft to the touch, but not in a way where it feels flimsy. Not saying these boots will have the durability of Redwings or Wolverines, but they’ll do fine for most of us.
If you compare the quality of this suede to that of suede shoes normally in the $70 – $100 price range, it’s noticeably superior. Put up against these double monks from Nordstrom’s 1901 line, and the J. Crew boots feel like when you got Coco Puffs instead of Kix on Friday morning before school; a sincere feeling of accomplishment and understanding of the better things in life.
When you scope the boots online, the sole is an unexpectedly bright laffy taffy pink. In person however, the sole (brick EVA sole) is much more subdued (hallelujah). The sole still looks like it was hijacked from a summer buck, but at least it’s not trying to duplicate a pink crayon. And since they’re boots, you’re gonna dirty em’ up. That sole starts to fade into the background after some miles are put on them.
The size shown here is a 9H (9.5) and it fits true to size. The insole is comfortable, and when walking your feet feel secure enough to step on any surface comfortably. They feel a little stiff initially, specifically around the top of the foot; but should loosen up after a few wears.
The biggest negative is the boot’s tongue. It feels fairly loose and it was constantly falling to the side during review; WAY to the side. That wasn’t uncomfortable, just annoying. Tightening the laces did help, but for the tongue to stay in its place for a solid period of time, they needed to be tied a stupid amount tighter than necessary. Maybe it’s just a bum pair. Maybe my ankles and these boots just don’t get along. But It’s an unfortunate downside in an extremely solid boot. It could be nitpicking, but that tongue sliding off to the side is gonna bug some guys.
Better looking in person than on the J. Crew website. Quality materials and construction. But there are a few points of contention (final sale, the potential tongue issue, and that sole…) that even now at $70, there’s still going to be a lot of hovering over “add to cart” instead of clicking.