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Thread: Want Suede Chukkas - Go Expensive or Not so Much?

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    Want Suede Chukkas - Go Expensive or Not so Much?

    I want my first pair of suede chukkas which will be my first pair of chukkas and my first pair of suede shoes. I really love Cobbler Union's Chukkas for a few reasons.

    1. I absolutely love Cobbler Union
    2. I like the subtle accent color
    3. They have a rubber sole instead of leather

    My question is really around suede and durability. I justified my Cobbler Union purchases by looking at longevity. The leather is a high quality leather and will last quite a long time. Is Suede the same way? Is it likely to get dirty much sooner and therefore more disposable than a leather shoe? I know you have diminishing returns as you get higher on the quality scale, but is a higher quality suede as important as leather? In other words, will the suede even outlast a leather soled Chukka? I know Thursday Boots dont have the best reputation by enthusiests, but at less than half the price its hard to not at least consider them.

    Am i making a mistake by going cheap here? Now that I am pulling the Thursdays up to post this, im not even sure i like them at all. They look so much lower quality and not nearly as nice. I guess the question about durability and keeping them clean is quite important. The Cobbler Unions are nearly 2.5 times the cost.

    Cobbler Union Chukkas
    https://www.cobbler-union.com/collec...-suede-leather

    Thursday Boot
    https://thursdayboots.com/products/m...ac-suede-scout

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    I just got two pairs of the Allen Edmonds Dundee 2.0 for $137 each from the Shoebank, one in snuff suede, the other in loden suede. Probably keeping the former and returning the latter - because I love the rich medium brown with golden hues but the loden isn't green enough. The Loake Kempton is also on sale at Pediwear right now if you can get it delivered somewhere in the U.K.

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    It's easier to justify getting a cheap suede shoe as opposed to a cheap calf shoe, since cheap suede typically looks better than cheap calf. That being said, there are still noticeable differences between $50 suede, $200 suede, and $500 suede.

    When you say that you've justified Cobbler Union purchases of calf shoes in the past by looking at longevity, are you comparing them to cemented shoes with poor leather quality or other GYW shoes with worse leather quality? I agree that a Cobbler Union shoe can theoretically last much longer than a cemented shoe due to the resoling factor, but I don't see any reason they'd last longer than a shoe like AE for example which is also GYW. The superior leather quality used on Cobbler Union shoes may feel softer, crease less, etc. but it's not going to affect the longevity compared to AE shoes.

    Suede is much easier to maintain than calf: maintenance involves using a suede brush / cleaner and shampoo every once in a while. It's more durable in the sense that the small scuffs and scratches that show up on calf, won't affect suede unless the damage is deep enough to affect the bottom layer. Maybe suede has a shorter lifespan than calf due to the fact that it's more difficult to condition, but a good pair of suede shoes will still last many many years with a bit of care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Token View Post
    It's easier to justify getting a cheap suede shoe as opposed to a cheap calf shoe, since cheap suede typically looks better than cheap calf. That being said, there are still noticeable differences between $50 suede, $200 suede, and $500 suede.

    When you say that you've justified Cobbler Union purchases of calf shoes in the past by looking at longevity, are you comparing them to cemented shoes with poor leather quality or other GYW shoes with worse leather quality? I agree that a Cobbler Union shoe can theoretically last much longer than a cemented shoe due to the resoling factor, but I don't see any reason they'd last longer than a shoe like AE for example which is also GYW. The superior leather quality used on Cobbler Union shoes may feel softer, crease less, etc. but it's not going to affect the longevity compared to AE shoes.

    Suede is much easier to maintain than calf: maintenance involves using a suede brush / cleaner and shampoo every once in a while. It's more durable in the sense that the small scuffs and scratches that show up on calf, won't affect suede unless the damage is deep enough to affect the bottom layer. Maybe suede has a shorter lifespan than calf due to the fact that it's more difficult to condition, but a good pair of suede shoes will still last many many years with a bit of care.

    Thanks! As far as the justification - yeah it was really compared to cheap cemented shoes. I just love that Cobbler Union is smaller, local, more unique and (in my very rookie opinion) seems to have higher quality leather. For the same price as Allen Edmonds (or in the ballpark) i just prefer the Cobbler Union shoes.

    I worry about stains and stuff like that in Suede. Does it really come out? Is it mandatory to protect them with a product first?

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    If you're worried about whether you'll like them I'd say 100% go cheap.

    Getting a year out of a $50 pair then buying a $200 pair is more ideal than having a $200 dollar pair that you don't wear in my opinion.

    I picked up a pair of 14th and union suede chukkas at Nordstrom rack for 27 bucks this spring, they're still going strong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neminat View Post
    Thanks! As far as the justification - yeah it was really compared to cheap cemented shoes. I just love that Cobbler Union is smaller, local, more unique and (in my very rookie opinion) seems to have higher quality leather. For the same price as Allen Edmonds (or in the ballpark) i just prefer the Cobbler Union shoes.

    I worry about stains and stuff like that in Suede. Does it really come out? Is it mandatory to protect them with a product first?
    Ah ok got it, yeah I agree with what you're saying.

    Not mandatory to protect suede with anything, but if you choose to with nano protector or something similar, you basically don't have to worry about spills or anything; liquids roll right off. I've gotten denim stains on my suede shoes before, but they're easy to get off with suede shampoo. I think a lot of the concerns around suede durability or maintenance is true only for lower quality suede. Something like Cobbler Union which probably uses good quality suede should be easy to take care of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neminat View Post
    Thanks! As far as the justification - yeah it was really compared to cheap cemented shoes. I just love that Cobbler Union is smaller, local, more unique and (in my very rookie opinion) seems to have higher quality leather. For the same price as Allen Edmonds (or in the ballpark) i just prefer the Cobbler Union shoes.

    I worry about stains and stuff like that in Suede. Does it really come out? Is it mandatory to protect them with a product first?
    While that's all fair enough, the reason I recommended the AE Dundee is that it's currently going for less than the Thursday Boot company, and less than one-third of the Cobbler Union. If you want to go cheap with a chukka before splurging, the AE is surely worth considering. (That said, you might end up getting a decade of use out of it so if the idea is try something out to see whether you like it, and then quickly upgrade if you do, then the Dundee is not a good option, because you'll find yourself either having to sell it or to justify upgrading when you have a perfectly workable boot a year or so down the line).

    The Loake option has a rubber sole, which you said you preferred. But Loake is about the size of AE, so it's not as small or local as you like. Not that either of them is by any means an enormous corporation.

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    @neminat Straight from the main Dappered site, this might be exactly what you're looking for:

    https://dappered.com/2017/08/steal-a...hukkas-for-65/

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    I wear suede probably about half the time (Cobbler Union Oxford, Church's Chukka, Herring Chelsea, Scarosso Derby, Cobbler Union Driver) and love it. I wear the boots in all kinds of weather and all kinds of terrain. The Church's Chukka boot is built like a tank, or a hammer. I'm also right down the street from CU, and quite like their suede chukka. I had my Church's before I know CU existed though. As for who-ever posted about the AE, the price sounds good, but there is just something weird about their lasts. They look "funny" to me.

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