PRODUCT REVIEW: JACK ERWIN “ELLIS” CHELSEA BOOT  (8.2)

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EGINNING IN 2013, CO-FOUNDERS, ARIEL NELSON & LANE GERSON‘S GOAL WAS TO CREATE SIMPLY DESIGNED, WELL-MADE, AND FAIRLY-PRICED MEN’S SHOES. THERE WAS NO FRAMEWORK DEVELOPED AND CERTAINLY NO LONG-TERM PLAN. THEY JUST WANTED WHAT THEY COULDN’T FIND IN THE CURRENT MARKETPLACE. WITHOUT REALIZING IT, THEY BEGAN WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS JACK ERWIN AND HAVE THEIR DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER FOOTWEAR JUGGERNAUT DISRUPTING THE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS. THEY OFFER MORE THAN 15 DIFFERENT PAIRS OF CLASSIC MEN’S SHOES FOR A NEAR PERFECT PRICE. WE’LL BE REVIEWING ONE OF THEIR MOST VERSATILE AND BEST LOOKING BOOTS IN THEIR COLLECTION AND GIVING OUR TAKE ON WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE IF THEY WANT TO CONTINUE THEIR ASCENT THROUGH THE MEN’S FOOTWEAR WORLD.


JACK ERWIN "ELLIS" CHELSEA BOOT

Quality8.4
Design8.0
Fit7.2
Price9.1
8.2

QUALITY

A well-built shoe costs money. Most guys who say, “I want to spend under $100.00”, are clearly not well versed with the process of crafting premium footwear. “Quality” shoes don’t exist for a $100 price tag. Our exhaustive search for a refined looking Chelsea boot started and ended with Jack Erwin’s “Ellis” model. From first sight, these boots provide everything that we need in a Chelsea boot, but left behind the $400+ retail price tag of others like Common Projects or YSL. It’s made with full grain calf leather, pull tab and rubber sole, which gives it a relaxed, but very refined quality all its own.

They offer black, brown and a beautiful chocolate suede that looks like it costs double than what it’s listed as.

We found after moderate use, no red flags that say you shouldn’t be able to make these boots last for years to come…if you care for them adequately, that is. We believe that a man’s shoe wearing cycle is 2-3 times a week max. Giving your shoes time to reform, dry out and de-crease will keep your shoes in rotation for years to come. This is also a great reason to buy shoe trees that can help aid in this process. Protecting your investment starts with knowing how to care for them.

DESIGN

The overall design of the “Ellis” is based on your classically designed Chelsea boot. The width of these boots is a medium width and definitely not as narrow as some more expensive versions from high-end stores, like Barneys or Bergdorf’s. The Ellis boots are built on Blake constructed soles. So, while not as comfortable or easy to break in as their leather counterpart, their rubber soles can still compliment your favorite pair of dark denim or sharpest suit. The rubber soles give you a great option when looking for a boot in icy or wet conditions. Also, if you do happen to get them wet, you won’t feel as guilty as if you unexpectedly ruined them because of the affordable price.

Not everyone will be able to afford two different pairs of these boots, but we chose to buy both the black and snuff brown suede options. Black Chelsea boots are one of the most iconic style of boots that work with everything in a man’s wardrobe, from suits, to jeans and a tee shirt. The brown suede version that you see below was also purchased because of the versatility and unbelievable texture. Typically suede can look cheap and crease very easily. That’s not the case with these Ellis boots thanks to their more rigid rubber sole. If you wear a lot of navy, grey or muted tones, like green and tans, the shade of brown of these boots can comfortably work into your wardrobe without feeling like you made an impulse buy. We all know how guilty that can make you feel.

FIT

Photo courtesy of KS Creative Media Group

This is the place where Jack Erwin can learn from their customer base. As mentioned above, these boots only have one width option. It would be nice if they offered some different widths in their boot collection. While their site says the boots fits true to size, we found that with both pairs we purchased and reviewed, that we did need to size down a half size. This could possibly be due to the medium width, or perhaps just a fluctuation in fit with this Ellis model. In our opinion, a Chelsea boot should be as streamlined and snug to your foot as possible. With the initial size 10 we found that there was far too much room in the calf/high ankle area. Luckily, we just happen to be right down the road from the Jack Erwin Fitting room store in NYC and a wonderful gentleman by the name of Daniel was nice enough to let us try on both another 10 and 9.5. He then exchanged our pair and ordered the new pair. They were shipped quickly to us in just 2 days’ time. While visiting the store, we noticed that each pair of Jack Erwin shoes comes with some cushioned in-soles in the box. These actually might help when trying to achieve a snugger fit or if you’re in desperate need of a little more support due to the stiffer rubber soles. In any case, we urge you, if possible, to try on 2 sizes so you know what works best for you. If you can’t, head to Jackerwin.com and discuss what fit you’re looking for with a representative and they can guide you in the right direction.

PRICE

The Ellis model is indeed one of the most expensive of the entire Jack Erwin collection. At $220, they break a major rule set forth by the founders of the brand: “We never want to pay more than $200 on a pair of shoes.” If you can manage to scrape together the extra money, you won’t be disappointed in these boots. While you may be tempted to buy a cheaper version via your typical big box retailer, we can assure you that won’t last as long as these Jack Erwin’s will. An added bonus is knowing you’re helping a smaller menswear brand grow. What could be better?

OVERALL


Photo courtesy of KS Creative Media Group

With the sudden resurgence of men’s footwear (specifically boots) these Jack Erwin “Ellis” could give you an excuse to venture out of any comfort zone and try a newer, younger footwear brand. A Chelsea boot is a wardrobe staple that you can wear for years to come. Choosing a black or brown pair can give you a refined boot for the colder months or an easy-to-wear boot perfect for some Friday night fun with your friends. For the purest who are already brand loyal, these might be a little too expensive for their unproven track record and unpolished design details. Our final word on these jack Erwin “Ellis” boots…If you’re into the look of the Chelsea boot styling, like trying out new emerging brands, or just want something that will play well in moderately wet conditions, pick up a pair of these Jack Erwin “Ellis”. You won’t regret it.


TLDR:
NOT UNDER $200, SOME MAY NOT LIKE THE RUBBER SOLE;
1 WIDTH, SIZE DOWN HALF A SIZE FOR A BETTER FIT ALL AROUND.

This was a 100% honest review. Genuine Men’s Magazine was not gifted or given any monetary compensation for this review. We purchased this product with our own money and hope that you’ll make your own decision based on what we’ve written. Thanks for your viewership!

About The Author: StevenDElliott

Steven is the founder of Genuine Men’s Magazine. He graduated Drexel University with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. Along with his passion for photography and design, Steven loves helping men find new and emerging menswear brands and offer his opinions when
it comes to real-life situations.