Meermin Mallorca Chukka – $200 + $35 Shipping
Every year when we do the best shoes under $200 post, the same question comes pouring in over email and social media…
Meermin Mallorca are a favorite of the style forward, but still budget conscious menswear community. Based in Spain and Goodyear welted, their dress shoes start at $175 (shipping not included, but we’ll get to that), and offer plenty of good looks for the cash. Compared to Allen Edmonds, Meermin offers more contemporary designs. And while we have reviewed Meermin in the past, it’s been a while. So, we took em’ for a spin again.
The conclusions are still the same. Nice shoes, good price, but for many (perhaps most), catching a big sale at Allen Edmonds, or, going the 2nds route with AE, is still a much better and safer bet.
Nice shape. Not clunky or bulbous in the least.
These chukkas are built on the popular “Hiro” last. And (and get used to this word) they’re… nice. But if it wasn’t for the spendy return shipping to Spain (international return shipping is the responsibility of the buyer) I would send them back.
Allegedly made in both the far East (China? Somewhere else?) and then finished in Spain, the overall quality is, wait for it, “nice.” Stitching is fine, the welt looks good, and everything appears to be even and symmetrical. But I wouldn’t call em’ comfortable out of the box. The leather is stiff. Pretty rigid in fact, and whereas I can wear thinner dress socks with a pair of Allen Edmonds out of the box (boots or dress shoes), I knew immediately that these were gonna require thicker socks to break in for more than a couple of wears. This is not the same country grain leather that AE used on their First Avenue boots. Far from it.
The studded rubber sole, standard, is a fine touch. Goodyear welted too.
My relatively average, normally 10.5 D foot isn’t a great match for the Hiro last, which is one of Meermin’s most popular. There’s some heel slippage on the UK size 10 for these chukkas, and the widest part of my foot feels a little cramped. Also, that rigid leather is doing a number on my lateral malleolus out of the box. I’d say the Hiro is a little longer and leaner than an Allen Edmonds 65 (Strands) or 511 (Dalton) last.
Good looking grained leather. Nice toe. But it’s stiff for sure.
The comfort of the insoles, or lack thereof, is pretty disappointing. There’s really no cushioning to these things. The interior is lined in leather, but for the sole, there’s a strip of leather that runs from the heel to about halfway to the toe. And then? Notta. The ball of your foot isn’t getting much love down there.
Look, they look quite… wait for it again… nice. And the grain of the leather, plus the shape of the boot means they can be worn with everything from cords to jeans to thicker flannel trousers. So this isn’t some hit job against Meermin.
The insole is… not cushioned well.
But what you get, for the price, isn’t mind-bending. When compared to the competition (say, Allen Edmonds on sale / Factory 2nds) the materials just aren’t as nice, the comfort isn’t nearly as good out of the box, and the shipping is steep. Especially if you want to send them back, since in addition to whatever it’ll cost you to ship them back to Spain, you’d also be out the original $35 to get em’ to the states. Thus, they really can’t get included in the Under $200 shoes post.
Meermin has plenty of fans. No doubt. But if you’re thinking about becoming a new customer? Know that when it comes to Meermin vs. Allen Edmonds, while Meermin might save you $20 – $60 compared to AE (on sale or 2nds) there are plenty of risks involved.