The Loake Mitchum Chelsea Boot – $175 to $238 w/ GOBIG16 ($280)
NOTE: Code above works at East Dane for 15% off, and thus, the $238 price. But read on for the $175 price point details.
Chelsea boots have gained popularity over the past year, in part due to the rise of streetwear fashion. And with the British Pound taking a beating at the moment I decided now was a great opportunity to purchase a pair from the British brand Loake. The above pair are the “Mitchum” model in brown suede.
I’m typically a size US 10 and a UK 9.5 in almost all brands, but with these I sized down to a 9UK. Because there are no laces you’ll want a snug fit to avoid heel slippage and unnecessary creasing due to volume. Also, suede is usually more forgiving than leather and over time will stretch if need be.
A snug fit is key with chelseas.
Construction and Build Quality
Immediately out of the box you can really tell these were built to handle the tough terrain of town and country cobblestones. Thick leather sole and plush suede mean these should be able to take a beating all year round. The boots are Goodyear welted so when the leather soles wear out, or if you prefer a rubber sole, a cobbler will have no problem resoling them.
Goodyear welted. Leather sole. Sleek, Classic Chelsea Silhouette.
Styling and Color
Truth be told, black smooth leather is arguably the quintessential type of Chelsea boot to own. However, for my needs and wardrobe I decided to forego that color in favor of brown. Brown suede in my opinion will be more versatile because it can be worn with practically any color. This even includes black if worn in a fashion forward approach (yes indeed, plenty will balk, but its being done.) Overall the shape has a great balance between classic and sleek, so you can dress them down with jeans or wear them with a tweed sportcoat.
Brown suede and a great toe shape.
Here’s where things get a little tricky. About a year ago Loake restricted export to the US and Canada which meant the folks on this side of the pond could no longer take advantage of the sweet exchange rate. However, Stuarts London is still shipping Loake to US customers (confirmed with their customer service) so the boots can be had for $175 plus $15 shipping and no VAT. Yes, you ARE on the hook for returns. But if your conscience is bothered by a loophole, East Dane here in the states sells the same boots for $280 with free 3-day shipping and free returns.
How long will the Chelsea boot trend last? No one really knows. But when you consider they’ve been around since the 1960’s I doubt they will be going out of style anytime soon. Especially for the classic man.
About the author: Patrick L.is a Chicago-based Information Technology administrator by day. On the weekend he shifts gears to wedding photographer, and makes his contributions to the world of style bloggers anytime in-between. Check out his photography site here.