Streamlined, sleek, and sophisticated, the Chelsea Boot from Shoe the Bear is probably one of the sexiest men’s dress boots you’ll find on the market. The slim design has gotten lots of attention since its release, so I took the opportunity to find out more about the boot and discover what the hype is all about.
Now, after reading countless reviews and scouring the web to learn more about the Shoe the Bear Chelsea Boot, it’s no surprise why they’ve gotten so much patronage. The sleek boots are unbelievably good-looking and comfortable, so they make the ideal everyday dress boot for office workers or even just dapper dressers.
But based on what I’ve learned, there are a few downsides to the Chelsea Boot that might make it a bit of a risky choice for a few more rugged users. Want to find out the scoop on this ever popular design? Keep on reading to discover what I learned during my research.
Designed for the Fashion-Forward User
The Chelsea boot silhouette is something we’re all familiar with. Lots of different brands have their own versions of this specific boot template, so it’s really not too much of a surprise to anyone. But what the Chelsea Boot from Shoe the Bear offers is a much sleeker, slimmer, and sexier silhouette that gives your feet a long and lean appearance, making it ideal for dressier outfits.
For instance, comparing the Shoe the Bear Chelsea Boot to choices like the 1883 Chelsea Fashion Boot from Wolverine, it’s easy to see the subtle differences in the overall design that makes the Shoe the Bear variation more sophisticated and classy.
The silhouette is generally leaner, featuring a pointier toe box and a lower heel. The shaft along the front of the upper rises slightly higher, curving upwards to create a longer appearance. The Shoe the Bear Chelsea Boot also doesn’t have any stitching along the border of the uppers and soles, so it has a much more elongated aesthetic that looks great with shorter pant leg lengths.
The Chelsea Boot uses one of two different upper materials – suede or leather. The suede variation comes in a greater number of colorways and, in my personal opinion, is a little more stylish than the leather. Differences in durability and comfort also put the suede choice at a bit of an advantage over the leather counterpart.
Comfort That’ll Take You Through the Daily Grind
Most dress boots tend to be tight and uncomfortable, digging into parts of your foot and causing aches and pains because of their stiff construction. Based on what I’ve learned about this boot though, it seems that isn’t a problem – especially with the suede uppers.
Pliable and smooth, the uppers give little resistance to foot movements, allowing you to walk as you naturally would minus the restriction of tight and unforgiving boot materials. Inside, the boot is just as seamless as it is on the outside. With very few stitches, there’s really nothing along the interior that could dig into your skin or cause blisters.
With the leather Chelsea boot option however, there is a minor discrepancy. First off, the boot doesn’t offer the same soft, pliable comfort that the suede variation provides. Nonetheless, they are relatively more comfortable than other leather designs like the Ted Baker brand Chelsea boots.
If you’re looking for a really comfortable pair of boots though, I would suggest that you go for the suede variation instead of the leather ones. They’re a lot easier on the feet straight out of the box, and they’re a lot more natural to walk in.
A Disparity Between Price and Durability
This is where the design slightly goes a little downhill for me. Of course, with a pretty steep price tag, you would expect that the Shoe the Bear Chelsea Boot should last you several years before they start to wear out on you. The problem is that with its sleek and seamless design, that becomes something of a challenge.
While the boot can hold up against daily wear and tear for a few years, signs of usage can make it look a lot less appealing after just a few months of use. Creases and scuffs develop pretty easily, which can be particularly noticeable with the suede uppers.
What’s more, some of the boots have whitish marks around the areas where the uppers meet the sole – indication of some adhesive used to connect the two together. Of course, this was done to reduce the need for stitching, but with darker colored suede materials, they can be significantly noticeable.
The best way to preserve the appearance of the boot would be to polish the leather version regularly and to spray the suede in suede protector. This should keep the uppers from looking too damaged too soon, so you can enjoy that same, fresh, stylish, and clean aesthetic for longer.
A Slightly Upgraded Outsole
Typical dress boots use nothing more than a polished leather outsole to complete their construction. Of course, these are super good looking, but the lack of any sort of pattern makes them a bit of a hazard even in office spaces and busy sidewalks.
The Chelsea Boot seems to take that into consideration by adding a little more texture and grip to an otherwise seamless and streamlined outsole. Underneath the shoe, you’ll find shallow diamond shaped engravings on a tunit material. While it does look a lot like leather, it’s actually a special kind of rubber that gives the boot significantly more traction.
Along the heels, the boot uses a traditional rubber material that adds even more grip to the dress shoe’s sole. All in all, it’s much safer than any other dress boot you might find on the market. Plus, the rubber soles last relatively longer without the need for repairs and replacements.
A Better Fit on Narrow Feet
Probably the only other flaw with the Chelsea Boot from Shoe the Bear is the fact that it fits narrow feet much better. The slim design kind of limits the amount of space in the boot if your feet are wider, so you may find some parts of the upper pressing against your skin especially at the base of the toes.
Another thing I need to mention is the fact that the shoe runs a full size bigger, so it’s best to make sure you consider your actually foot size and step down a size to get the best fit. I’ve also found that the suede variation can run as much as a size and a half too big, so it would be in your best interest to reach out to the company’s support to find out the actual measurements in inches to help you find the best possible fit.
When it comes to wearing the shoes, there really isn’t a problem. Even with their narrow design, they’re really easy to slip on and off. That’s mainly thanks to the boots’ elastic sides which can help the shaft expand significantly to give you more room to wiggle your foot into the boot. The back strap is also a nice and subtle touch that helps make donning and doffing even more hassle-free.
Pros of the Shoe the Bear Chelsea Boot
- Undeniably one of the best looking dress boots on the market today.
- Comfortable uppers – especially the suede variation! The boots are easy to walk in and require zero break-in.
- Upgraded outsoles make the boot more resistant to slipping on different surfaces. The material used for the soles are also much longer lasting.
- Elastic bands allow users to slip the boot on and off effortlessly for fast donning and doffing.
- Durable in that the design doesn’t exactly easily fall apart.
Cons of the Shoe the Bear Chelsea Boot
- The boot does show pronounced signs of wear and tear over just a few months of use.
- The design may be a better fit for people with narrow feet.
- Not exactly the most affordable boot out there.
The Bottom Line
With a beautiful silhouette, high-quality materials, and a comfortable design uncommon to most dress boots, the Chelsea Boot from Shoe the Bear might seem like just the right choice for those who want to look dapper on a daily basis. Sure, some minor design flaws like the easily scuffed up uppers or the narrow size might deter some buyers, but all in all, there’s no denying that it is a great boot.
So would I recommend that you buy a pair? Of course! The boots prove to be an investment, and promise to give you your money’s worth in the form of a reliable and stylish everyday boot that you can be proud to wear on any occasion. If you’re trying to stay within a budget though, I recommend that you check out the Dr. Scholl’s Credence Chelsea Boot which may just be a budget-friendly contender against the Shoe the Bear brand’s Chelsea Boot.