About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Boot Season. As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, most of us start putting our favorite pairs of boots back into the daily rotation. Once a year, I like to take stock of which boots I’m enjoying wearing, which pairs no longer spark joy, and which pairs I might be missing in my collection. During Spring and Summer this year I was wearing my favorite pairs of loafers and handsewn boat mocs a ton, but as I look through the boot collection, I don’t have that many options that are as soft and as comfortable as my favorite unlined loafers. Enter Grant Stone’s new Field Boots, which launched at the end of September.
Grant Stone is one of my favorite boot brands as they offer unparalleled value for your money. Their boots are well made with great materials and their boot lasts tend to fit me pretty well. Traditionally, I haven’t always been a fan of handsewn boots from brands like Rancourt or Quoddy as they don’t always look great with polos and chinos in a “smart casual” workplace. However, these new Field Boots from Grant Stone have piqued my interest as they look like a vintage pair of leather hunting boots from a brand like Red Wing or Irish Setter, but with the fit and finish of a nicer pair of modern made boots. Let’s take a look and see how they stack up.
Workwear inspired upscale boots.
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: Grant Stone
- Style: Field boots
- Size: 10 D
- Last: Floyd
- Construction: Goodyear welted
- Upper: Genuine Bison leather by Seidel Tanning
- Sole: Bespoke EVA wedge sole
- Details: Full grain cow leather lining, brass eyelets and D-rings, vegetable tanned insoles/welts, cork filler, steel shank
- Extras: Shoe bags, spare laces, and mini metal shoe horn
- Country of Origin: Xiamen Island, China
- Price: $380 USD
This warm shade of “walnut” brown is especially versatile and will pair well with other Earth tones.
My pair was ordered through Grant Stone on a Friday after business hours. They shipped out on the following Tuesday via UPS Ground and were delivered on Thursday afternoon. Grant Stone has always impressed me with their quick turnaround times and this one is no exception. Their small team of people are located in Michigan, and you couldn’t ask for nicer folks.
FYI: Grant Stone offers free outbound shipping and free exchanges within 15 days of the order. That’s a tight window for most people as shipping and delivery can take a few days here and there and life is always busy with work, family, and friends. Direct returns within that 15 day window will set you back $15 when you use their prepaid shipping label, but this makes sense as boots are heavy and someone has to pay for the return shipping back to their Michigan HQ.
As an “Average Joe” consumer, I do wish the return policy was longer or at least based on package delivery date instead of order date. As I said above, life gets busy sometimes and we forget about packages that need to be returned. I believe Grant Stone’s Customer Service team will be flexible, but I’d like to see that policy get an update some day as the company grows.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Easy ordering, quick shipping, but a tight (non-free) return policy.
As per usual with Grant Stone, the unboxing experience matched the price point of the boots.
This pair of Field Boots arrived in Grant Stone’s fantastic packaging. The unboxing experience is a pleasure and, compared to some other brands at this price point, they knock it out of the park. Inside the understated and lightly branded box, my boots arrived with two large, super soft flannel boot bags, a spare set of waxed laces, a metal mini shoe horn, and a large twill fabric wrap (that I’d use on my desk as a shoe polishing pad) used to line the box. The cherry on top is the hand signed thank you note. For the price you pay, the value is off the charts.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Grant Stone always delivers a superb unboxing experience. A++
Fresh out of the box, you’ll notice that the Field Boots are way different from anything else Grant Stone has made to date. They’re somewhat of an amalgam of a work boot and a handsewn boot; they’re a full inch taller than other boots in the collection and have a padded collar like a work boot, but the leather is softer and more casual than many other options. Style is, as they say, subjective. This silhouette may not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of classic Red Wing and Irish Setter work boots and wished there was a more unique version, you’ll probably like these a lot. This warm shade of “walnut” brown is especially versatile and will pair well with other Earth tones like khaki tans, olive greens, mid-blues, and stone grays.
Buttery soft bison leather is stronger, and more breathable, than cowhide.
The upper is crafted from buttery soft, full-grain American Bison leather from Seidel Tanning, a fourth-generation, family-owned business out of Milwaukee, WI with over 75 years of experience. They manufacture leathers for other bootmakers like WesCo, White’s, Nick’s, Danner, etc., so it’s no surprise that Wyatt at Grant Stone found this hearty ~2.2-2.5mm leather in their sample archive. The hides are all natural, not embossed with a grain pattern, so each pair of boots will be a little different as each side of leather has a unique heavy grain character.
Bison leather is known for its toughness, thanks in part to its thicker, longer fiber structure. However, it also has a looser grain structure and larger pores, which allow the leather to be softer and breathe better than an equivalent cowhide product like Chromexcel. You can think of bison leather as duct tape while typical cowhide is clear packing tape. If you’re counting on one of those to keep two things stuck together, you know duct tape is tougher and better.
This grain is the real deal.
The padded collar feels nice against the lower calf and the contrasting shade is a nice change of pace. The antique brass eyelets, D-rings, and studs continue that trend of warm tones and pair well with the thin laces, brown pebbled grain leather, 360° tan leather welt from Barbour, and cream wedge sole. The contrasting stitching is neatly done and is a nice touch to highlight the various design pieces and panels used to construct the boot. While I’m not personally a fan of the “wing” panel that wraps around the lower front half of the boot, tying into the tip of the toe, it’s a heritage detail of similar field boots and fits the overall “outdoorsy” aesthetic well.
Padded collars add comfort and contrast to these taller than average boots.
Peering inside, you’ll notice the unlined upper half and unlined, gusseted tongue. I said it was buttery soft earlier and I meant that! The tongue molds to your foot well and the gusseted sides help keep water or debris out of your boots, just in case you manage to step in a deep puddle. The bottom half of the boot is lined in full-grain kip leather that feels fantastic. It’s incredibly soft and feels almost like a pair of handsewn loafers. The vegetable-tanned leather insole is the proper foundation to a good pair of boots; it will break-in and mold to your feet in time, adding another layer of comfort. Underneath that is a layer of cork footbed filler and a triple-ribbed steel shank, adding even more cushioning, stability, support, and rigidity to the package. A vegetable-tanned leather midsole acts like the pizza’s crust to lock all that goodness together and creates a smooth surface onto which you can install the outsole.
Contrast stitching is tidy and highlights the multiple panels used to construct these boots.
The outsole on the Field Boots is a bespoke EVA wedge sole with an embedded leather Grant Stone patch. This is a notable departure from the Vibram cavity wedge sole that Grant Stone sources for their Diesel boots, but I like this new outsole and its more aggressive tread pattern. EVA soles are known for being lightweight, super comfortable, and easy to wear at the expense of long term durability. The softer material tends to wear down faster, especially in the high impact areas at the heel and ball of the foot, but from personal experience these EVA soles can still last multiple years of regular wear and tear. I’ve been wearing a pair of tan suede Diesel boots a few times a week for well over a year and I’m just starting to notice a bit of heel drag thanks to aggregate and concrete warehouse floors. Best of all, these soles can easily be replaced by a competent local cobbler should you wear through them faster than normal.
Soft bison leather, kip leather lining, and a cork insole all conspire to ensure these boots mold to your feet with wear.
Style wise, these are a bit of an odd duck in that they’re too casual to pair with a traditional navy blazer and pressed chinos, but they’re way too nice to pair with a slouchy hoodie and old sweatpants for knocking around on the weekends. I believe these Field Boots will find a loving home with those of us who enjoy the niche “upscale rugged smart casual” style, or what I like to call the “Division Road” aesthetic. Warm and well-designed outerwear, finely-knitted sweaters, tailored flannel or Oxford cloth button-down shirts, hand finished artisanal denim, etc. For those of us on a tighter style budget, these can still work for you, too. Jenny from the Block once said that Love Don’t Cost a Thing, and good style doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Pair these stunning boots around a well-tailored outfit featuring a vintage U.S. Navy wool peacoat, UNIQLO merino wool crewneck sweater, J.Crew Oxford cloth button-down shirt, and a pair of dark denim from Gap. All of that for less than your typical rent/mortgage payment, too!
Score: 5/5 Stars – Fantastic leather, made very well, and looks great with casual wear.
In terms of fit and sizing, I recommend trying a half-size down from your Brannock measurement. I tried this pair in size 10 D and the Floyd last feels generous and voluminous. There’s ample room in this last to wear thicker boot socks, but it’s not so loose that you need to size down more than half a size. Your heel still gets locked in and you’ll have a bit of room in front of your toes for expansion. If you generally prefer a looser fit or always wished there was a D+ width, these boots are for you. Note that if you need a wider width, Grant Stone offers this style in an E and EEE width as well!
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 athletic sneakers from Adidas or Nike. Have a size question? Email us!
The cream EVA outsold has a more aggressive tread and more squish for comfort.
Comfort is always subjective, but I find these boots to be extremely comfortable out of the box. The bison leather has a soft to medium temper, allowing it to flex, bend, and mold around your feet. The padded ankle collar is a nice touch that adds both comfort and visual character. The leather insole, cork filling, and Vibram-like foam wedge outsole work together to add a ton of cushioning and custom comfort. I haven’t had the chance to walk a thousand miles in these yet, but I can assure you that they will be comfortable in the office or out amongst the trees.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Runs a touch roomy, but size is right and they’re very comfortable.
Grant Stone’s field boots are an interesting mix of outdoor heritage and modern day bootmaking. This style might not be for everyone, but if they speak to you, I highly encourage you to check them out. They’re made well, they feel super comfortable right out of the box, and the bison leather is an interesting departure from cowhide that will add a ton of character to your day to day routine. They look great with a mix of rugged smart casual outfits, too.
If you can see yourself trudging through the Upper Peninsula’s backwoods with your buddies in search of legendary white tails (or a box of White Claws), you’ll definitely need a solid pair of boots to get you there and back. If you’re the person trudging through TPS reports and boring Zoom meetings, Grant Stone has you covered with these fantastic “field” boots, too. As Grant Stone rightly says, these boots were made for walking, working, and long weekend adventures.
Avg. Score: 4.75/5 – Well-made and interesting take on a vintage outdoorsy field boot. A+
Rugged AND handsome, the perfect boots for “upscale rugged smart casual” looks.