About the Author: Adam Terry is Dappered’s resident shoe expert. He’s a thirtysomething Technical Trainer in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, and raw denim. He’s also a new dad!
As we mentioned the last time we reviewed Huckberry’s in-house brand Rhodes, they’ve been, so far, absolutely killing it with their casual and rugged, yet polished line up of boots. Huckberry recently launched a new pair of Chelsea boots nicknamed the “Huxley” that’s available in two shades of smooth calf leather and two shades of roughout oiled suede. Let’s take a look at this pair in smooth “tan” leather.
This is the Tan option. Also available in Brown (which is really dark),
Copper Roughout, and Dark Brown Roughout
- Brand: Rhodes for Huckberry
- Style: Chelsea Boot
- Size: 10 D
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Blake stitched
- Leather: Tan calf leather
- Sole: Treaded rubber outsole
- Details: Elastic gores, leather-wrapped Texon insole is non-removable
- Extras: One cotton canvas shoe bag
- Country of Origin: Portugal
- Price: $220 USD
From above. Shape = a little more workwear, a little less rock and roll.
Huckberry shipped these Chelsea boots from their warehouse in Columbus, OH to my house outside of Nashville, TN via FedEx Ground within two days. Most of the US should be within a few business days delivery range.
FYI: Huckberry has free shipping and free returns on orders within 30 days of delivery.
Free shipping and free returns within 30 days of delivery for these boots.
The Huxley boots arrived in a heavyweight navy box with gold embossing. Inside, you’ll find one large cotton canvas shoe bag. Sadly, it’s a tight fit for both boots so a second shoe bag would have been a nice touch. As these are slip on Chelsea boots, no spare laces should be expected in the box.
Score: 4/5 – throw in another shoe bag, guys!
Chelsea boots have been a menswear highlight for decades, but they’ve really experienced a wave of popularity over the past few years with the resurgence of “Rockstar chic” looks from Saint Laurent and “PNW workwear” looks from Filson. The Huxley boots fall onto the workwear side of the scale – the tall, rounded toe and blocky heel looks more in tune with something from Red Wing or Grenson than something more elegant from RM Williams or Common Projects.
The tall, rounded toe box put these on the casual end of men’s boots.
The “tan” calf leather is more of a reddish burgundy brown than tan. I’d call it Dark Chili, not Walnut. This particular pair looked great out of the box, but upon closer inspection, both boots have some noticeable tiger striping (cow stretch marks) and loose grain. The left boot has some “baked brownie” looking hide at the backside of the elastic gore. The right boot has some running down the right side of the shaft. Look, leather is a natural material. I think we all understand that. Yet at this price point, I personally expect a bit better leather selection and clicking quality control. This is why cheaper suede or “roughout” oiled suede looks superior to cheaper leather. And I think, the copper or dark brown roughout options would look much better here.
“Baked Brownie” imperfections.
As I mentioned in the Rhodes Felix Chukka review, I normally shy away from Blake/Rapid stitched shoes because I can feel the stitching around the inside of the toe box when I’m walking. It feels like you’re walking around with sand in your shoes and you can’t shake it out. Huckberry’s manufacturing partner in Portugal nails the leather-wrapped Texon fiberboard insole and leather lining, because I can’t feel anything other than smooth, lush leather against my naked foot. Credit where credit is due!
Blake Stitched and done well. Treaded rubber sole for traction.
The dark brown welt and treaded rubber outsole add some visible weight below the upper. I’d like to think the treaded rubber sole is a budget version of the wavy Ridgeway sole. It should provide some serious traction in most environments while also keeping a lower profile. Last but not least, the boots have dual fabric pull tabs that are reinforced during stitching. I love the pop of blue and white color on the pull tabs.
Score: 3/5 – Would like to see less loose grain leather for this price point.
Selvedge and workwear inspired chelsea boots. A nice pairing.
Fit, Sizing, and Comfort:
The Huxley Chelsea boot fits about a half-size large, so take a half-size down from your “true to size” Brannock measurement. A size 10 fit me like a 10 in most dress shoes. Note: These do fit slightly wide, so unless you’re a 3E or larger, you should be fine in these boots.
For reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most dress shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take a 10.5 in Vans and an 11 in most Adidas or Nike sneakers.
In terms of comfort, it’s entirely subjective. For me, the leather-wrapped insole and leather lining felt pretty comfortable and the elastic gores held the boots close to the ankle. Overall fit was a hair loose, but nothing a thicker pair of socks can’t cure.
The backside. Blue tabs are a nice touch
If you’re in the market for a rugged, refined, and comfortable pair of leather Chelsea boots, then the Huckberry Rhodes “Huxley” is certainly worth consideration. Personally, I think the roughout suede options would look better due to their more workwear-inspired shape, and, with the roughout you’d avoid the potential leather imperfections which were noticeable on my particular pair in smooth calf. I still think the Rhodes are a pair of chelseas worth the investment, which at this price point, to me doesn’t happen that often. If you snag a pair, let us know what you think!
Avg. Score: 4.25/5