For the past few years we have seen the online-only market for suits, shirts, ties and accessories blossom. The lagging category has been shoes; until recently Meermin was the most prominent name. Over the past year there have been a few brands of note that have entered the online market place; Awl & Sundry, Jack Erwin, Paul Evans, Jay Butler and Cobbler Union. For the purposes of this post, we are ignoring the first 4 and focusing on the last name, Cobbler Union. I suppose it was around a year ago that I first heard of Cobbler Union. Shortly thereafter the founder of the brand, Daniel Porcelli, reached out to me (he co-founded the brand with Santiago Periero). After speaking on the phone with Daniel I was able to get a much better picture of the brand.
In short, Daniel wanted to (and for what my opinion matters he has) create an online shoe brand that provides men’s dress shoes of exceptional quality. That is not to say that Cobbler Union may not go into physical sales in the future, but in the beginning the brand will focus on online sales. What it does mean is that ideally the $395-475 you will pay for a pair of Cobbler Union shoes will buy you a lot more than the same amount of money would from other brands. Although Daniel did not say it, I believe he strives to have his shoes compared to the Alfred Sargents, Crockett & Jones and Carminas of the world. The brand is based in Atlanta, but the shoes are made in Spain. For what it matters, I generally prefer the Spanish style of Good Year welted shoe over the English and American equivalents or the Italian Blake stitched soles; at least for dress shoes.
So how do the shoes stack up in terms of quality, style and fit? The look of the shoes is excellent. Any man would do well with a pair on his feet. The materials used for the shoes are exceptional; the leather on the upper is nice and supple and the rubber soles are Vibram and the leather soles are also of good make. I can say this for both the pair of boots that Daniel provided me to review, the Louis model as well as the Guillame II that he provided Sabir at Men’s Style Pro; whom I know is also very happy with his boots. Confidently, I can say that I believe this will hold true for the rest of the collection.
These boots are great. In fact, they are excellent. They are one of my favorite items that I have reviewed in the past 3.5 years here on FYG. The look equally as home with a suit as they do with chinos; which is often hard to pull off. Admittedly, I will be wearing them more with the latter than the former. If it was not made clear before, the shoes are made very well. The construction is very clean and very crisp. I observed no stray stitches or glue. But for $475, that is all to be expected. The materials used are also excellent, again, at a level that one would expect for this price.
The only check against the shoes is the price. Which although is a very good price for the boots, it is still too high for many men, which I understand. Even $395 for a pair of dress shoes is a lot for most men. At the level of Aldens and slightly more expensive than Allen Edmonds. I think you get much more for your money with Cobbler Union. Either way, the price leaves Cobbler Union’s shoes out of range of many men. But for those whom it is either within their budget or a slight stretch I would strongly advise that you take a hard look at what Cobbler Union has to offer. If you have any questions, comments or experience of your own with Cobbler Union please feel free to sound off in the comments.
Note: FYG blog did receive the product reviewed for purposes of review. The utmost effort has been taken to maintain an unbiased perspective on the brand and product at hand.