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!
We’ve covered Spier & Mackay’s Goodyear welted shoes before with a pair of their excellent Double Monks and their recently launched Jumper Boots. For 2020, the Canadian brand known for suiting, sportcoats, and dress shirts has also added some snazzy chukka boots to their Goodyear Welted lineup. Today we’re looking at these supple snuff suede chukkas that expertly balance on the line between dress and casual.
Available in snuff (shown) or a dark brown “Mocca”
- Brand: Spier & Mackay
- Style: Chukka Boot
- Size: 10 D
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Open Channel 360° Goodyear Welt
- Leather: Water repellent calf suede from Oehler (Germany)
- Sole: One-piece studded rubber sole and heel
- Details: Leather-covered foam heel pad, two blind eyelets
- Extras: One cotton flax-like shoe bag for storage and a plastic shoe horn
- Country of Origin: Portugal
- Price: $248 USD
About Adam’s Scoring System: The Adam Shoe Scale of Justice (A.S.S.J.) is as follows: 5 – Excellent! No issues and highly recommended. 4 – Good. Above average, but not perfect. 3 – Average. Minor issues, might be good at the right price. 2 – Fair. Below average due to defects, flaws, or imperfections. 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price.
Dress? Casual? Why not both?
This pair of chukkas left the S&M warehouse on a Friday and were delivered onto my doorstep three days later. After ordering three different pairs of boots/shoes from them over the years, I remain impressed at S&M’s shipping and delivery speed.
FYI: Spier & Mackay offers a 30 day return or exchange guarantee with free shipping and free return shipping on your first suit, sport coat, or shoe order.
Score: 5/5 Stars
Goodyear welted. Made in Portugal.
My pair arrived in a solid tan cardboard box with simple Spier & Mackay branding on the sides and lid. Inside, there’s one large branded cotton shoe bag for storage and a plastic tortoise shell shoe horn. While I’d prefer two storage bags – one for each boot – the one provided is large enough for both boots. There were no spare laces in my box but I’m not *that* disappointed.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Throw in some spare laces and/or an extra boot bag!
Unwrapping the silky snuff suede boots from the paper-lined box is a proper treat. I’m a huge fan of Alden’s snuff suede (sourced from C.F. Stead in the UK) and these are almost exactly the same shade – a deeply saturated reddish-brown hovering between rust and tobacco leaf brown. Looking over the boots, there are no major defects or causes for concern save for one small 2mm indentation, likely from shipping, and that is easily brushed back into form. I love the texture and weight of the water repellent hide used for these boots. You can easily brush the velvety nap back and forth with your fingers.
Supple, water repellent calf suede from Germany’s Oehler
The tan leather lining seems to be high quality and the leather-wrapped heel pad has some foam cushioning underneath. The non-removable leather insoles feel dense and durable enough to last years.
Nicely done on the lining front.
The two blind eyelets offer some structure and reinforcement to the quarters without being obvious from the outside. The small diameter round, waxed laces are dark brown and feel good in the hand – not too dainty, just the right width for the boots. They are too long by at least six inches, but that’s a minor complaint.
Dainite like sole. Lonnnng laces, but that’s a minor complaint.
The studded rubber sole and heel combo is essentially a knockoff of Dainite’s excellent design from 1894, but in a softer and bouncier execution. The soles are cleanly machine stitched without error. Of note, I believe the heels are simply glued on. I don’t see any nails in the molded nail hole locations.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Great! Well made from above average materials and construction.
Really nice materials. Great construction too.
Fit, Comfort, and Sizing
The “custom” S&M last runs long and lean as it’s a sleek dress shoe last. It features a snug heel, slightly wider toe box, and a subtly rounded “almond” toe similar to Allen Edmond’s 65 last used for their Strand and Park Avenue models. I recommend trying a half-size larger than your regular dress shoe size. This snuff suede pair in 10 D feels too snug with medium weight Darn Tough dress socks but a little better with thinner dress socks. They do soften up a bit and start molding to your feet after ~15 minutes or so, but those who prefer medium to thick socks or those with significantly wider fittings may feel cramped in these as they do run a little narrow. They’re currently only available in a standard D width fitting.
Comfort is entirely subjective. The suede upper and calf lining are properly soft, plush smooth. Assuming you get a pair that fits, comfort should be off the charts. Over time, the leather insole and cork filling will break in and mold to your feet. I would not hesitate to walk or stand all day in these spongy boys.
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.
Score: 5/5 Stars – They run long and lean, so you may need to size up if you’re a wide width.
Sleek. These aren’t clunkers.
I highly recommend the Spier & Mackay chukka boots (or their Jumper boots or double monks!) as they offer beautiful, well-made shoes at a solid price point. Sending the photo sample pairs back always brings a tear to this guy’s eye. If you end up trying these, let us know what you think! They’re probably best paired with a softly tailored sport coat, a beefy Oxford cloth button down shirt, and flannel trousers or dressy chinos – creating a perfect pairing for that upscale “smart casual” look.
Avg. Score: 4.75/5 Stars – Very good and highly recommended!