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, raw denim, and being a dad!
If you’ve been a Dappered reader for any length of time, or just a menswear enthusiast, you are probably very familiar with Suit Supply. They’re one of the few go-to menswear brands that excel in budget friendly suits, sport coats, and upscale casual clothing. SuSu has also offered dress shoes for a few years now, separated into three distinct categories – Classic Line ($249), Seasonal Line ($249-$399), and Premium Line ($349-$449). Like their suiting lines, each grouping offers something different in terms of styling and level of materials, construction, details, and finishing. Sadly, real-world hands-on reviews of these shoes are few and far between, so let’s take a look at their entry level Classic Line’s dark brown Oxford shoes.
The Cap-toe Brogued Oxfords from their Classic line.
- Brand: Suit Supply
- Style: Cap-toe brogued Oxfords
- Size: 10 US (43 EU)
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Blake stitched
- Leather: Italian calf
- Sole: Leather and rubber combo sole and heel
- Details: Punched brogue cap toes, blind eyelets
- Extras: Flannel cotton shoe bags, spare laces
- Country of Origin: Italy
- Price: $249 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.
My pair of Oxfords was ordered on a Monday and arrived sometime that weekend. I’d consider this a normal delivery time frame for most of us, even if some of us are used to the “new normal” Prime free two-day shipping. That’s the exception, not the rule.
FYI: Suit Supply offers a 30-day return on all unworn and unaltered attire, with return shipping included.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Easy ordering, fast shipping, and simple returns.
The box shot. You know it, you love it.
Inside the nicely detailed, navy cardboard shoe box, you’ll find TWO flannel cotton shoe bags and a spare set of round, waxed laces. This is what you *should* expect when you start spending more than two bills. Bravo, Suit Supply design team. Also included is a card explaining basic shoe care and some information about the vegetable tanned leather and Blake stitch construction. Neat!
Score: 5/5 Stars – At this price point, no complaints!
Design wise, the Suit Supply Oxfords are a cap-toe balmoral with some perforated brogue styling, very similar to the Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue but with some added punching and pinking along the top vamp to quarter seam. The toe shape is a more aggressively tapered almond – more of a Euro flair than the rounded almond commonly found on the Americanized Allen Edmonds and Alden shoes. The waist is quite aggressively tapered, too, and I think it looks great. The dark brown shade on the calf leather is pretty evenly dyed with an ever-so-slight burnishing at the toe and an overall slight glossy sheen. Style wise, I give them a ten out of ten.
Toe is a little more tapered than Allen Edmonds. “Waist” is noticeably more tapered too.
When it comes to the materials used, I have to dock them a few points. Overall, they just feel kinda cheap. The supposedly vegetable tanned calf leather is thinner than most other dress shoes in this price range and feels almost like plastic, almost as if it’s bookbinder leather or corrected grain (it’s not). Supple is a word that I would not use to describe it. For reference, the upper leather and full leather lining together are about as thick as my Vans canvas sneakers are.
Leather for the uppers is thin and not very supple.
Speaking of the lining, the paper-thin leather does feel nice and it runs the full length of the interior. The non-removable insole is leather wrapped as well, but there’s little to no cushioning beneath it aside from some lightweight foam underneath the heel. I CAN feel the Blake stitches running underneath the thin insole, so that may bother some people.
Leather for the interior is pretty thin.
Some will be able to feel the blake stitches running underneath the thin sole.
In terms of construction, the upper stitching is very clean with no noticeably crooked or missed stitches. The leather and rubber composite outsole is cemented and Blake stitched to the upper assembly with roughly 180 degrees of stitching. Unlike higher end Blake or Goodyear stitched shoes where the stitches meet or run under the heel, these stitches end about an inch short missing the last two or three holes. A fair number of stitches are rough and exposed, protruding out from the stitching channel.
Slim rubber for grip. Blake stitch got a little rough in some parts.
While it might not be a huge quality concern at this stage, it just looks haphazardly done with little to no attention to detail in finishing. The leather and rubber combo heel is glued and nailed into place with just five nails. Of note, the wheeled leather welt is a fake welt. It’s simply glued to the outsole assembly without any Blake Rapid stitching (because this shoe is Blake stitched, not Blake Rapid or Goodyear Welted).
Score: 3/5 Stars – Average materials and “meh” construction. No major issues, but not great.
Fit, Comfort, and Sizing
These Oxfords fit SMALL. This pair was ordered as a 10 US (43 EU) per the size chart online and that’s what arrived, but they feel extremely tight. Wearing my normal mid-weight Darn Tough socks, I could barely fit my piggies into these without using a shoehorn. That’s quite unusual for me. Once on foot, the aggressively tapered toe and waist feel very constricting. I suggest sizing up a half-size from your normal dress shoe size. If you normally take a wide width, you’re probably out of luck here.
These fit small. Size up a half size. If you’re a wide foot? Forget it.
Comfort is always subjective but, in my opinion, these Oxfords are not that comfortable. Granted, they’re the wrong size, I’ve only worn them around the house for a few evenings, and haven’t broken them in, but they are in no way as comfortable as Alden, Allen Edmonds, or Spier and Mackay shoes.
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: 2/5 Stars – Fit and sizing are off for me, comfort is below average.
Like a lot of fancy sports cars, they look great.
But getting in and out of them can be troublesome.
In all honesty, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Suit Supply Oxfords, but in the hand and on the foot, I just wasn’t impressed with the shoes. They look GREAT but they just feel cheap and uncomfortable. At the end of the day, I think you would be better off investing your money in something nicer from Spier and Mackay, Grant Stone, or Allen Edmonds on sale. The AE Fifth Ave and Strand models regularly fall to under $300 through AE or Nordstrom and seconds sometimes pop up for under $200. Plus, you’ll get higher quality uppers that you’ll actually want to keep with a resole!
Avg. Score: 3.75/5 Stars – Sizing issues, cheaper materials, and so-so construction lower their value.