Earlier this month, I posted a little 140-character rant on Twitter regarding a certain style of boot.
Someone burn the factories that make fake Ugg boots. Real Uggs are bad enough; ersatz footwear not necessary for survival of species. #rant
2:45 PM Oct 8th from web
You know the kind I’m talking about– stocky, suede slip-on things with outward-facing stitching and the personality of a paper grocery bag… There’s no shortage of companies making them. Celebs wear them. Every social demographic wears them. They’re the boot equivalent to Crocs. They are lazy footwear and seem to go hand in hand for what I think is a generation of people who buy expensive clothes but still look like they dress in the dark. (Yeah, I know that’s what was probably said about my generation in the 80’s…)
A week after that tweet, I got an email. I am a part of a blog network that has branched into product reviews. I don’t have to tell you what was on the list, do I.
A little backstory… A couple of summers ago, I thought I wanted Crocs. This was before they went mental and now you can’t avoid seeing several pairs a day in a rainbow of colours that only look appropriate on circus performers. I tried them on. I tried a few styles and sizes. They were awful. I reckon my feet are between the sizes they manufacture, and so I never bought any. Best decision ever.
These suede boot things are not cheap if you want a pair that will last more than a season. I have plenty of other things I’d rather spend the cash on, and comfortable in my smug opinion, I never bothered to try any on. But that email… I suddenly had a no-cost opportunity to dislike these boots and be able to back it up with experience.
I jumped at the chance.
So yes, this is a product review where I’m allowed to be honest and I got a free pair of boots (retail price £79.95) out of it. No other compensation or trickery. Just my honest opinion in exchange for a pair of boots.
Without further delay, here’s my review of EMU Bronte boots in Chocolate.
— No zips in this kind of boot, but they slip on easy enough. No wrestling.
— I chose the ‘High’ top boots, as I typically see more cheap knock-offs of the shorter (less flattering) ones. The snug uppers come up just over the mid-calf (in this ‘High’ model) and don’t make my legs look too thick. Probably optically enhanced by the exaggerated foot portion.
— My feet felt almost immediately cosy.
— Very cushy bottoms.
— Plenty of toe room. Can wiggle my toes happily but the shoe portion doesn’t feel too loose down there either.
— Stitching is neat and tidy. Doesn’t look cheap.
— The seam across the top of the foot (near where the foot joins the leg) is noticeable almost as if there is a thin strap there. Probably necessary to keep the roomy foot portion from feeling floppy. It’s not uncomfortable.
— The longer you wear them, the more comfortable they get.
— Initially, the boots bunch up at the achilles area and although not as stiff as rigid leather, the suede upper still creases and presses inward. Could possibly cause a blister. However, after a few hours of wearing the EMUs, they get softer so this may not be a problem for long.
— The whole heel area is loose and causes my foot to swim around back there too much. I wouldn’t be able to wear them walking for long.
— Not sure what the faint stain on the interior Merino wool is, but there’s some chocolate brown stuff (possibly glue?) in there and it looks sloppy. I would expect more quality control for the money.
— I still think they’re ugly and not my style. I typically wear a variety of boots and shoes from Doc Marten’s with bootcut jeans. EMU’s are more of a skinny jeans/leggings kind of boots. Maybe skirts.
I tell you what though– these are going to be the most rugged and warm house slippers I’ve ever had. I get really cold feet and hands when I sit at my computer desk all day, and these are going to make all the difference this winter. And as for answering the question about eating my words? I still think of them as a lazy fashion choice and that they’re not for me, but I can’t fault the craftsmanship or the fact that they are generally pretty comfortable. Most definitely not to be lumped in with what I tweeted about.
EMU boots provided for the purpose of review by FitnessFootwear.com.