Ludlow Suede Cap Toe Boots – $209.30 w/ THEBEST ($368)
NOTE: Code is good for an extra 30% off through Sunday 4/19. They have dropped to as low as $179.40 during the last extra 40% off sale items code. Doesn’t appear these are final sale yet either.
Mid April is not prime boot buying season. Which means it’s also the time when a lot of boots go on sale.
It took forever, but J. Crew’s Goodyear Welted “Ludlow” cap toe boots have finally joined the ranks of their sale section. And with the frequent extra 30% – 40% off codes, they’ll dip to $200 or even under.
At that price, they’re a steal.
A lot of guys were understandably scared off by the steep asking price when these first came out. Sure, J. Crew championed the materials (English suede, American leather linings, Vibram sole) and the Goodyear welt, but the country of origin was that mysterious land of “imported”. And yes, they are made in China, but they are are not some fast-fashion kicks that are no more durable than the box they came in. They are the real deal.
The suede is terrific. Sourced from the Charles F. Stead & Co. in Leeds, England, this stuff is like velvet without the shine. Flexible but not wimpy, the uppers have a shorter nap to them. More luxurious than nubuck, but not wildly fuzzy either. That means the color is more uniform, and therefor should be easier to dress up.
Dressier than a workboot, but still has a classic boot toe-shape.
But the boot itself is pretty casual in shape. The toe certainly isn’t elongated, and instead has a familiar, classic shape. The Goodyear welt has some beef to it, and while the quarter-brogue cap toe is nice, these wouldn’t look right with a suit. Yet these things are probably too nice for just a t-shirt and old jeans (unlike traditional work boots like Wolverine’s or Red Wings). These boots appear to be best suited for the 70% – 80% of wardrobe in-between.
All of the stitching and details appear to be uniform and well executed. The hardware is secure, and the speed hooks aren’t flimsy (read: you won’t bend them out of shape while lacing up). The Vibram sole has some good traction to it, while the studs are recessed and barely noticeable.
Was stuck at $368 for the longest time. Has dipped to as low as $179.40
For fit, unlike a lot of boots, they DON’T run large. If anything, they might run a half-size small in terms of width. Most won’t be able to wear thicker wool socks with these. Not that you’d want to go out and shovel the walk in them. They might require a little bit of break in time, but that’s because they’ve got some solid structure to them. The suede sure is soft, but floppy they are not.
They aren’t Aldens. But they’re a noticeable step up from their (also Goodyear welted) Kenton line. That stuck-in-the-middle factor might be one reason why they’ve gone for so long seemingly unpurchased. But now that they’re on sale and dipping to $200 or under, they’re absolutely worth a good long look.
Even if they might not get much use for the next 5 months.