NOTE: If you’re a GAP inc. card holder? The code BRCARD should knock an extra 10% off at checkout, and thus, drop them to $220.50 when combined with this current sale price.
Well this certainly seems to be a departure in terms of Banana Republic’s footwear strategy.
A few years back, Banana Republic’s shoes were… not good. But they started sourcing their leathers from Italy, and while the construction was still cemented and the shoes were almost always made in China, the quality, durability and designs got real good real quick. (That said, some of us might be less than impressed when it comes to the looks of their main-line, basic, current warm weather crop, but I digress.)
These Spanish made loafers? These are a big, noticeable step up. And you gotta wonder if they’re a sign that an oxford and or a monk strap of similar quality is in the works. Maybe.
Made in Spain with a Goodyear welt. That’s new for BR shoes.
Built with a Goodyear welt, these are loafers that you can have re-soled time and time again once the wear becomes too much. And the uppers are made from a leather that you’ll want to keep around. That leather is soft but still substantial. Not boot-leather thick, but not wimpy thin either. Just right for a loafer that will see plenty of use in the upcoming warmer weather.
Sleek. Not dumpy. But not over extended either.
The last that these are built on was well chosen. These aren’t your Grandpa’s stumpy Weejuns. The toe has a perfect, almond point to it, and while decently sleek they don’t drift into silly foot-spear territory. The shape is timeless, and should do great with multiple levels of outfits in terms of formality.
BR’s description is off. That is not a crepe sole.
Quality is nice, as would be expected for a shoe that lists at $350. Stitching is even, they’re leather lined, and quite comfortable out of the box. The packaging that these things arrive in is even noticeably nicer, and BR was kind enough to provide a dust bag with each pair.
Goodyear welt. Nice leather. Finishing is quite good.
Fit feels a half size large. My normally 10.5D feet has noticeable heel slippage during a quick try on, and I was even wearing socks (thin, wool dress socks, but still…) Strongly consider sizing down a half size since these seem to run a touch long, and they’re loafers. You won’t be able to cinch down laces to tighten them up.
Banana Republic’s website, for some reason, claims these have a “genuine crepe sole.” That, obviously, is not the case. It’s leather, and unlike crepe, slick as hell. So be careful on smooth surfaces (like office carpet) when you take them for their first couple of spins.
$350 is Allen Edmonds territory, but it looks like Banana Republic doesn’t mind putting these things on sale… for now. Who knows if they’ll get excluded from future codes and promotions, but at present? They’re just over 30% off during this current select items sale. A 40% off code would drop them to $210, and the rare half-off F&F deal would knock em’ clear down to $175. At that point, they’d be quite the steal.