I’ve been searching for a perfect pair of boots for a couple of seasons now. As with my past searches for the “Ideal Item,” this search has been quite long and has involved some expensive missteps and many boot-less months. With that said, I believe a solution has arrived, and it’s name is Carlos Santos.
For those that don’t subscribe to too many emails from international shoe stores, Carlos Santos is a footwear brand from Portugal that has recently shown up on the e-commerce scene due to a few key retailers (A Fine Pair of Shoes – whom I’ve mentioned before – and Skoaktiebolaget). The brand has put out many compelling shoe styles in the past year, but the real kicker is the price – I have yet to see a CS shoe for over $350, and many are lower than that. Of course, that’s not to say that the quality is lower because of it – Patrick of Skoaktiebolaget has at times compared them favorably to the internet gem Carmina, saying that the biggest difference is that CS does not use a channeled sole on most models (they can, but then the MSRP is basically the same between the two brands). I have yet to handle a pair in person, but all the information I’ve seen has been very positive, especially for the great price.
So where does this leave us with the search for perfect fall/winter boot? Well, CS has put out a few great boot designs recently (like the one in the header photo, courtesy of A Fine Pair of Shoes), but they’ve also opened up the opportunity to put together group custom orders. For a minimum of 8 pairs, CS will make shoes and boots to your specification through either Skoaktiebolaget or A Fine Pair of Shoes. Skoaktiebolaget has a couple of preorders open for some Galway-style two-tone boots, and I’ve been talking with Julian of AFPOS on putting together one of our own. The idea here is to make the most versatile, go-to boot in your wardrobe – something that can be worn in a variety of scenarios with casual and slightly dressed up clothing. Here’s the link, and specs are as follows:
- Jumper boot pattern
- brown grain uppers
- Dainite sole
- 4 speedhooks, 4 exposed eyelets
- classic round 333 last
- Goodyear welt
Now, here’s the most exciting part – the full cost for these boots is 285 pounds, including VAT. If you’re US-based, that means the strong dollar and VAT removal comes to a price of under $300, including shoe trees. It doesn’t get any better than that, in my opinion. The deposit is 99 pounds, and the delivery time is about 3 months. The preorder closes 11/16, and delivery is slated for late January or early February.
Sizing: as I’m not (yet) an owner of any CS shoes, it’s hard for me to give much advice here. With that said, everything I’ve heard says that CS lasts fit TTS or roomy, so most seem to size down the standard one full size from their US (so if you’re a 9D US, you can feel pretty good about getting an 8UK).
I’m in for a pair, and I wanted to spread the word in case there are others like me, endlessly searching for the right boot. If you’re interested, be sure to get on board now! Here are some photos for inspiration:
Carlos Santos Jumper Boot in brown calf (our GMTO will be similar to this, but rounder last, grain leather, and lower-profile Dainite sole)
A few Carlos Santos grain swatches – we’ll be using the brown grain.
Crockett & Jones Coniston in hard-to-find brown grain – hopefully a good model of how this GMTO will look when complete
Alfred Sargent Cambridge – another similar model, but on a more angular last