I finally had the time to break out my new Herring Boots for a stroll in the park and weekend excursion to be able to road test the fit, feel and durability of these bad boys. And in doing so, I was thoroughly impressed with what I discovered.
It’s no wonder that Herring Shoes does so well. Not only do they have a vast offering but have done a great job at sourcing not only unique models but also have a great value for money offering that is hard to beat. Couple that with worldwide shipment and great customer service and you get one great shoe supplier!
Here you will read my thoughts on this pair of Dockland boots. They are a very British looking country brogue style boot. But with that added flair of mixing the grain and suede. That’s what I really loved about them. Priced at $325 and built to last. So now let’s break it down.
For most British shoes, I take a UK6.5 in size which is quite a snug fit. The boots are listed as a UK6.5 F. For many British makers in the lower price range category, the F is the standard width, whereas for the upper range of price points, F is usually the ‘wide’ option. The length was perfect. I was right at the end there. Not touching but not with any real elongation either. The width in the heel/ankle was good and snug. The forefoot had some space though as this is a fuller cut last in terms of broadness (at least that is what I felt). Overall the size was good. I could not have gone shorter and a half size up would have been big. My true size is a UK7 narrow but failing that option, the 6.5 is usually spot on. For those with a broad foot, this last should work just fine.
This range of shoes/boots for Herring is made by Carlos Santos. It would appear to be their benchgrade line (i.e. open channels and straight waists). The leather was Grain from Du Puy (the largest and most famous of the French tanneries) and what I believe was Charles F Stead (the largest and most famous suede tannery in England). Both very reputable tanneries offering a great product. The lining was top notch and everything felt good. Not cheap at all. The quality of the making/materials was as good as one could expect at this price point. Actually, even better. I really have nothing to flaw here. And they felt very sturdy. I am talking ‘pass-these-down-to-your-kids-no-problem’ sturdy.
As you can see in the pictures, everything was done extremely well. There are no issues to gripe about. If one really wanted to be picky one could point out that there was a smudge of brush wheel polish on the suede between the wing cap and heel counter. A very small and inconsequential thing to gripe out but I know that it has been done by others so I will mention it. I will say that at $325 though, it’s not something anyone should be complaining about. Again, when judging shoes and their quality/value/finishing one has to take into account their price scale as this is what dictates the end result. Time spent in the detail/finishing etc. is money added to the final price. The finishing, for me, at this price point was perfect!
Carlos Santos production is always impressive, to say the least. The price tag of $325 makes these a no brainer. Some people will talk bad about Portuguese making but that is pure ignorance to do so as when done well, it as good as some of the best European factories. The best sneakers I have seen came from Portugal, not Italy and Carlos Santos stands at the top of the food chain for welted shoes. These boots featured will stand next to many British makers at equal and ever higher price points and be better than them in reality. The value is there, almost to the point where I do not know how they make money on such a low retail price with the leathers used as I know the cost of them. So for the value proposition, the customer is getting a good deal here.
Often times, I do not have anything bad to say about the shoes that I review. Some might think it is because I get paid to say nice things. Well that is a mistake as no one dictates what I write about. The real truth is that I reject many poor quality shoe propositions that I get so that I am never reviewing anything that I don’t believe deserves to be talked about for lack of quality and/or inflated prices. That way, I don’t waste time and effort simply writing a post cutting some brand down into shreds. No point there. And if there were flaws, I would mention them.
The fact is that this boot was bang on. A true winner in every category with only one minor issue, if even worth mentioning. Other than that. At $325 these boots are a steal.
One thing to note is that the last shape was more robust than what I found in the pictures so do be aware of that. The picture above of me wearing them, top down gives a pretty accurate take on their shape.