October 3, 2022

Grant Stone’s boots are a bargain — well, at least for what they are. Sure, most of their boots are over $300, but you’d be hard pressed to find similar styles for less. Their secret? Manufacturing their boots in China, not the U.S., Portugal or Italy. They have a long-standing (and positive) relationship with a factory there that makes Goodyear welt footwear exclusively, and mostly just for Grant Stone.

With the money saved from manufacturing overseas, they spend more on their raw materials, using higher quality hides like kangaroo, kudu and bison, but regular cow leather, too, albeit the finer stuff you won’t find from cheaper makers. And they get the rest of the components from top craftspeople from across the world: a hell of a lot of hides from San Miniato, Italy, leather outsoles from Pennsylvania, leather welts from Massachusetts and so on and so forth.

“We have found quality cannot be judged by a single aspect such as country of origin,” the brand states, “but instead derives from a collection of efforts starting with a principled mindset and commitment to nailing the fundamentals.”

You see it in how the brand has evolved — a steady spread into several different style categories. The Brass Boot, a lace-up Moc toe boot, is a best seller, but it isn’t all they make. The Ottawa, a lace-up split toe boot, is excellent, too — and I reviewed a kangaroo leather pair. These two are plenty similar, but it’s less about easy transitions than it is mastery of a certain style. Now, though, Grant Stone is deviating from it with its all-new Field Boot, its tallest design yet.

See also  The 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty Is All-New and Off-Road Ready

Available in four different materials, kudu (antelope), bison and calfskin leathers, as well as waxed suede. The calfskin leather comes from Seidel Tanning, one of the US’ largest (and oldest) tanneries. They provided the bison leather, too. The waxed suede was made by the famed Charles F. Stead company, which was founded in 1825. They made the kudu, too.

The talented hands at Grant Stone’s Xiamen factory turned these raw materials into an excellent product, though. The boot is Goodyear welted, of course, but it’s also based off the fuller Floyd last, which gives room at the forefoot for long-term comfort. (Your toes won’t be crushed together, and the widest part of your foot will feel cradled, not compressed.) The padded collar offers cushioning and protection, too, while the leather components (insole, welt, and midsole) will slowly form to your foot with wear. All of this combined, and you’ve got one of the most comfortable tall boots out. While most shafts are lined and stiff, Grant Stone’s is tall but unlined, making it easier on the lower leg and ankle.