J. Crew Kenton Leather Pacer Boots – $150* – $248
*NOTE: This reflects a 40% off discount, which happens with some regularity. Just takes a little patience.
These were a big surprise. In a good way. Especially after last year’s Oar Stripe boots weren’t all that impressive.
I was immediately reminded of Horween’s Chromexcel leather when I pulled them out of the box. The leather looks a little like a slightly darker version of the Horween Natural CXL I’ve got on an older, no longer in production version of the Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill.
Everything looked and felt pretty top notch, especially considering the at-that-moment sale price of $148.80 (I don’t understand J. Crew’s sale strategy, at all). Stitching was attractive and clean, the thick thread used on the apron toe was a nice contrasting shade of oatmeal, the flat faxed laces tied great, the speed hooks were well anchored, and the toe box isn’t overly clunky.
That toe shape/height/lack of bulk is super appreciated, especially since they’re styled after a traditional “carpenter’s “boot. These are not bulky Red Wings (which are more than fine in their own right). They’re certainly not dress boots, but they’re not cinder blocks either. Goodyear welted too, so they can be resoled. Made in China. No surprise there.
The sole is a subtle lug, which is great for the upcoming season, but the color of the soles is, to me, the only drawback on these boots. J. Crew continues to insist on using a mauve, Grandma’s sewing room, playground kickball, inflamed taint shade of pink. These soles aren’t anything new. They’ve been around for awhile. But…
C’mon man. What we doin’ out there man?
Fit seemed pretty true. Maybe a little trim. A 10.5 on my normally 10.5 D feet felt nice and hugged. Maybe a touch snug through the front of the foot, but nothing that some break in time wouldn’t cure. Interiors are leather lined.
They are, basically, budget Alden Indy homages. Great boots when on mega sale. Would love a different colored sole though.