About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
It has been a minute since we’ve talked about Suitsupply’s shoes and boots in detail. We reviewed their “Classic Line” Oxford dress shoes early last year, right before the whole global pandemic thing kicked off, and I wasn’t a huge fan of that pair. I ran into some sizing issues, as well as subpar construction and materials at the price point. However, it’s been over a year and half since then and our entire world has been turned upside down. Let’s review these brogued cap toe dress boots and find out if they’ve updated anything.
Espresso brogued captoe with just a hint of shine.
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 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.
- Brand: Suitsupply
- Style: Brogued Cap Toe Boot
- Size: 11M (44 EU)
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Blake Stitched
- Upper: Calf Leather
- Sole: Studded rubber
- Details: Hidden metal eyelets, waxed cotton laces
- Extras: Two shoe bags and a care manual
- Country of Origin: Portugal
- Price: $349
A fairly flat leather that lacks depth.
Suit Supply sent two pairs in different sizes for review, shipping out on a Friday via UPS Ground and arriving on Tuesday, just a few days later. That seems to be typical with Suit Supply, even now in a world where production delays and material shortages are the norm.
FYI: Suit Supply offers a 30-day return policy on all unworn merchandise. Returns are free, too, which is no longer the norm for a lot of companies. Note that US holiday purchases made between November 20th and December 23rd activate an extended 60 day return policy.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Online ordering is simple, shipping is fast, and returns are free. Great!
This pair arrived in their classic navy blue shoe box with the metal finger hole at the front. The boots were shipped inside of their individual cotton flannel shoe bags and were also protected with a few layers of tissue paper. Also included was a little tri-fold manual explaining Blake stitching and describing typical shoe care, which was a nice little surprise. One weird quirk – my size 11 pair came with soft, cotton flannel shoe bags, but the size 10 pair came with rough, textured twill shoe bags. Neither were horrible, but one would think that it would be cheaper to buy one style in bulk over multiple styles. Unfortunately, no spare shoe laces were packed inside this box. At this price point, there’s a lot of competition from the likes of Grant Stone and Allen Edmonds, both of which tend to have slightly better unboxing experiences. However, Suitsupply still comes out ahead of mall brands like Nordstrom and J.Crew most of the time.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Not bad! Great shoe bags and shoe care guide, but no spare laces.
Nice box. Shoe bags provided. No spare laces. Ships and returns for free.
Fresh out of the box, I really like the overall aesthetic. The brogued cap toe style looks great in this dark brown shade that I’d call espresso. Under the right lighting conditions, a little bit of reddish brown pops out, but overall, it’s a very even and dark coating with a slight gloss shine.
The upper is supposedly made from a calf leather, but no other information is given on the source or quality grade. From my limited experience buying leather, I’d say this is a low to mid-tier grade of calf based on the thinness and lack of depth or character. There is a very fine grain or texture present, but overall it’s a very flat surface that may have been corrected. It’s not quite bookbinder leather, but it’s a long way from something that Horween would put out.
A copy of the infamous Dainite sole, but in a harder, less durable material.
The four eyelets at the bottom of the shaft are blind with metal reinforcements around back. The three speed hooks at the top are finished in a dark bronze color and their backings are hidden with a layer of leather. This is a neat little detail that you rarely see on boots. If the rear of the speed hooks aren’t covered, the exposed metal will chew through the tongue. I have this exact issue happening on a pair of Alden Indy boots and it’s a bit disheartening at that price. Around back, these boots have a fabric pull loop that’s sewn into the lining at the top of the achilles area. You shouldn’t feel this, though, as it’s stitched into a little slot in the leather lining.
Made in Portugal. Blake Stitched. Lined in (thin?) leather.
The interior is fully lined in calf leather, but it’s a rather thin layer that feels about as thick as a credit card. The insole is a leather-topped, open cell foam unit that feels thin, too. Walking around the house will let you know that there’s not a ton of cushioning built into these boots. You can also see and feel the Blake stitches running around the perimeter of the insole unit. Interestingly, the website claims the insoles are removable and breathable. This would be quite the feat, considering they are stitched completely through the boot and outsole! My two pairs have insoles and leather-topped heel pads that are glued down very well. Unfortunately, I can’t see what’s underneath the half-length heel pad without some creative destruction, but I’d wager there’s a bit more foam and nothing else of interest.
Stacked heel may be wood or wood fiberboard.
The sole unit is a copy of the infamous Dainite studded rubber sole, except Suit Supply’s manufacturing team chose a harder, less durable sole. It’s neatly Blake stitched to the upper; you can tell this was done mostly by a machine as it’s too clean to be done by human hands. Finally, the heel stack may be wood or wood fiberboard with the rubber heel topper glued on.
Score: 3/5 Stars – The boots look nice, but they just feel “cheap” in hand.
Comfort, Fit, and Sizing
In terms of fit and sizing, I recommend trying a half-size larger than your Brannock measurement. I tried this pair in my Brannock size of 10.5, but they felt too short and narrow. Sizing up to an 11 US solved both issues and they feel about right for me. The overall last shape is more Euro focused; longer, narrower, and pointier than most lasts designed for the U.S. audience. After sizing up a half-size, the widest part of my foot meets the widest part of the boot and I have little to no heel slip. In addition, the larger size tends to lace up easier and I don’t notice any pressure on my instep areas, like I did with the 10.5s.
Last shape is more euro focused (narrow). Try a half size up.
Comfort is always subjective, but these are just OK. These boots aren’t necessarily uncomfortable, but they’re a notable step down from other boots in my usual rotation. At this price point, I’d expect higher quality components – thicker leather insoles, cork filling, denser foam at the heel, etc. – which would increase short and long term comfort.
Not a ton of cushioning built in.
For size reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most roomy 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 Converse/Vans and an 11 in most Adidas/Nike/Jordan/Yeezy sneakers. Have a size question? Email us!
Score: 3/5 Stars – These fit small, so size up. Comfort is just so-so compared to others.
These boots from Suit Supply are the physical manifestation of the phrase “lipstick on a pig.” That is, they look nice but there are underlying issues that the shiny leather and alluring style can’t cover up. For this price tier, you’re better off investing in something from a well-known manufacturer that can deliver higher quality boots at a more reasonable price point. I’d highly recommend Thursday Boots, Grant Stone, or Allen Edmonds above this pair from Suitsupply.
With that said, if these boots were priced under $200 USD, I could see their value in that space. Stylish dress boots like this are a rare find in that price tier, and these would be among the best looking on the block. I’m a big fan of Suitsupply suiting; their jackets, outerwear, and tailored pieces are great. However, their footwear collection still needs some work.
Avg. Score: 3.75/5 Stars – These are average boots at an above average price. Pass!