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Epaulet Saffiano Leather Chelsea Boot

Epaulet is a unique brand. Although they do carry basic “essential” clothing items, what separates them is the unique clothing projects they design for each season. Epaulet’s strength is offering great products at lower prices. They do this by limiting the amount of items they sell, ensuring they always clear inventory.

The seasonal project I am reviewing is the Saffiano Leather Project Spring 2017.  The project allowed customers to purchase five footwear styles in three colors of genuine Italian Saffiano calfskin leather. I chose the Chelsea boot in a rich mocha color.

To purchase an Epaulet item, the customer must first place a deposit to secure their order – for the Saffiano Chelsea boot, it was $110. After some time, the customer is then prompted to make the final payment (in my case $150), and they then receive the item within a few months. Although this is definitely not a short purchasing process, the quality is definitely worth it.

The boot itself is constructed in a family-run, Portuguese factory. Their Saffiano leather, however, is a full-grain calfskin tanned in Northern Italy.  The leather is laid out, hot-pressed with a metal dye to yield the signature cross-hatch pattern, and then a multi-layer, permanent hard wax coating is applied on top. The site claims that this extensive process yields a product that has water, stain, and scratch resistance. After wearing the shoes a few times, and encountering quite a few water and wine spillages, the boots appear to make good on their claim of water, stain, and scratch resistance.

One down side of the Epaulet boot is that it has a blake-stitch construction, which makes it harder to find cobblers that can resole the boot. Blake stitching is a process in which the stitching is done on the inside of the shoe. This means it is impossible to do by hand and must be done by a machine. In contrast, Goodyear welting requires the cobbler to stitch the outsole, insole, and welt together – this allows for much easier repair and a longer lasting boot. Blake stitching does have some benefits, however. It is entirely possible that the designers chose blake stitching because it maintains the flexibility and thus, the comfortability of the shoe. Goodyear welting has more layers, thus making it more resistant to water.

Overall, this is an incredibly well-fitting boot. The leather itself is very pliable and soft, and the outsole has an extra rubber outsole. These two factors make the Chelsea boots extremely comfortable.

By Lawrence Gatchalian