A few years ago, maybe five or six, there was a hole in the men’s shoe market. You had either cheap, department or discount store shoes, or high end luxury shoes that were out of the price range for most. Allen Edmonds filled this hole with sales and their Factory Outlets, but for a long while there, finding a quality shoe, with a stitched sole, made from decent quality leather, for the high $100s to low $200s was darn near impossible.
That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
Seems like that hole has been plugged and then some. There are more than a few companies now making shoes in that price range, and getting the work done in Spain or Portugal (say, Jack Erwin), China (J. Crew… wait for sales), South America, or India. And to reasonable levels of success too. So when Sabir from Men’s Style Pro reached out with another one of these new companies to possibly take a look at (they’re based about 15 minutes from his house), we said sure.
Nice shape. Sleek, simple, soft leather.
Blake Stitched, Made in India, and the leathers are super soft and supple. That’s the bottom line for Cobble & Hyde. Now, some of their designs are a little funky… and some of the verbiage on their site can be a little odd. (They call these chukkas their “lace leather boot for the ages.” THE AGES PEOPLE!) But they feel like quality shoes for what was once a rare, mid-point of a price.
Blake Stitched. Not as beefy as a Goodyear welt, but, that helps keep the sole looking anything but clunky.
This “Baron” Chukka is sleek without being pointy, not nearly as heavily burnished in person as it appears on their site, and a 10.5 fits like a 10.5 out of the box (standard, D width). Again, the leather is very soft. More elegant than rough and tumble. Unlike some of my other boots, I don’t think I’d want to wear these out in crappy weather. Far from it. BUT… not everyone is looking for that kind of versatility. That’s why many of us have a pair of JC Penney boots on standby.
Pretty dressy for a boot, but could do some duty with dark, solid denim.
Just a couple of concerns. One… they seem to not want to say where these things are made. Not on the site, and… not anywhere on the shoe or the box from what I can tell? Two… to start a return, you have to send an email. It’s not a quick and easy form to click and print, and there’s no pre-paid label in the box. It’s a small hurdle to leap to return, but it’s another sign that these guys appear to be young and growing.
Left: Cobble & Hyde’s Baron. Right: an old, well loved, Allen Edmonds Bleeker Street.
Cobble & Hyde is a little softer & sleeker, but the AEs are Goodyear welted and more robust. And more expensive.
They don’t feel as borderline bullet proof as my Allen Edmonds (I have really beat the hell out of those Bleeker Streets). But that’s not to be expected. What they do look and feel like is a well designed, style-forward pair of shoes, from a company trying to carve out a spot in the market. So, if one of their models catches your eye? There doesn’t seem to be any harm in giving them a shot.
Enter here to win a pair of Cobble & Hyde Baron Chukkas in your chosen size (sorry, just regular/medium width available). One entry per person. Deadline for entry is 11:59 pm ET 2/1/17. Many thanks to Cobble & Hyde, as well as Sabir, for lining up the review and giveaway!
UPDATE: Congrats to B. Reilly who won the drawing for the Cobble & Hyde Baron Chukkas!