Grant Stone’s boots are a bargain – at least for what they are. Sure, most of their boots cost over $300, but you’ll have a hard time finding similar styles for less. Your secret? Manufacture their boots in China, not in the US, Portugal or Italy. They have a long-standing (and positive) relationship with a local factory that makes Goodyear welted shoes exclusively, mainly for Grant Stone.
With the money saved by manufacturing overseas, they spend more on their raw materials and use higher quality hides like kangaroo, kudu and bison leather, but also regular cowhide, albeit the finer material you won’t find from cheaper manufacturers. And they source the rest of the components from top craftsmen around the world: oodles of skins from San Miniato, Italy, leather outsoles from Pennsylvania, leather welts from Massachusetts, and so on and so forth.
“We found that quality cannot be judged on a single aspect like country of origin,” states the brand, “but instead emerges from a series of efforts that begin with a principled mindset and a commitment to sticking to the basics. “
You can see it in how the brand has evolved – a steady spread across several different style categories. The Brass Boot, a moc toe lace-up boot, is a bestseller, but not everything they make. The Ottawa, a lace-up split-toe boot, is also excellent – and I reviewed a pair made from kangaroo leather. These two are very similar, but they’re less about easy transitions and more about mastering a particular style. Now, however, Grant Stone deviates from that with his all-new Field Boot, his tallest design yet.
Available in four different materials, kudu (antelope), bison and calf leather and waxed suede. The calf leather comes from Seidel Tanning, one of the largest (and oldest) tanneries in the USA. They also supplied the bison leather. The waxed suede was made by the famous Charles F. Stead Company, founded in 1825. They also created the kudu.
However, the talented hands at Grant Stone’s Xiamen factory transformed these raw materials into an excellent product. The boot is of course welted, but is also based on the fuller Floyd last, which offers room in the forefoot for long-term comfort. (Your toes aren’t pinched, and the widest part of your foot feels bedded, not compressed.) The padded collar also provides cushioning and protection, while the leather components (sockliner, welt, and midsole) slowly mold to your foot with wear. All of this together makes for one of the most comfortable tall boots out there. While most uppers are lined and stiff, Grant Stone’s is high but unlined, which is easy on the lower legs and ankles.