In this hands-on, long-term review of the Oliver Cabell Chelsea Boot, I’ll try to help you decide if these popular boots are right for you.
So, you’re thinking about buying yourself a new pair of Chelsea boots, and
You’ve heard that this brand offers real affordable luxury and that these Chelseas are just as good as those from designer brands like Common Projects.
But is this true, or is it just hype?
In this hands-on review, I’ll share my experience after owning a pair of Chelsea boots from
Short on time? Here’s a quick look at the overall pros and cons of the
- Comfy out of the box
- High quality materials/construction
- Weatherproof suede
- Stylish design and silhouette
- No half sizes
- Expensive (but fairly priced)
Click here to check out the
By the way, we’ve also reviewed the Oliver Cabell Low 1 and Distressed Low 1. Check them out if you’re interested in their
Oliver Cabell is a direct to consumer fashion brand launched in 2016 by Scott Gabrielson.
The brand launched with a minimal white sneaker, the Oliver Cabell Low 1, which is basically an affordable Common Projects Achilles Low clone.
The Low 1 was a hit, and the brand expanded on this model of offering fashion staples with a designer look and feel at (relatively) affordable prices.
I say “relatively” because
At the time of writing,
Oliver Cabell Chelsea Boots
I’ve owned a pair of Chelsea boots from
- MSRP: $248 (on sale for $223)
- Size 7 (US, men’s)
- 3oz Italian split suede upper
- Italian crepe sole
- Molded, removable insole
- Vegetable tanned leather lining
- Hand stitched and lasted in Spain
While these boots have an MSRP of $248, they’re pretty much always “on sale” for $223 😉
Look & Feel
Specs are great, but what do these boots actually look like? How do they feel on your feet?
To be honest, these Chelseas look and feel great. The suede upper is soft and comfy, and it feels premium under the hand.
The stitching is even, and the crepe sole has just enough squish for a cushioned-but-supported step.
In the past, I’ve mostly worn Chelsea boots with leather soles. These crepe sole Chelseas are decidedly more casual and possibly more comfortable for long periods of wear.
Granted, you wouldn’t want to wear these with a suit. The inherently casual crepe sole, in combination with a somewhat relaxed (not super tapered) silhouette, makes these boots perfect for casual and smart casual outfits.
If you want a dressier Chelsea boot, you’ll need to find one with a sleeker silhouette and leather sole (something like the Beckett Simonon Bolton).
The dark grey “Ash” colorway is lovely. To my eye, it looks a bit lighter in real life than it does on
This dusty grey hue goes with pretty much any pair of pants, from dark and light wash jeans to olive chinos and brown corduroys.
My biggest gripe about these boots is the fact that they aren’t available in half sizes or non-standard widths.
This means that many customers will have to choose the nearest whole size and possibly size up or down to accommodate a wide or narrow foot.
For what it’s worth, I typically wear a U.S. men’s 7D dress shoe, and the Oliver Cabell Chelsea fits well in that size.
But, as always, your mileage may vary. When in doubt, I recommend reaching out to customer service with your exact feet measurements to get their recommendation on sizing.
You can also order two sizes and return whichever one doesn’t fit as well.
These boots have held up wonderfully so far, and I expect them to last for many years of wear, but only time will tell.
The crepe sole is super comfy, but I expect it to wear thin long before the upper reaches the end of its life, which begs the question:
Can these crepe sole Chelsea boots be resoled?
The answer is yes, because the Chelsea boots are constructed with a leather midsole.
This means that the crepe sole is cemented onto the leather midsole, rather than being stitched directly to the upper (which would make resoling very difficult or impossible).
I don’t expect to visit a cobbler any time soon, but it’s good to know that these boots can be restored when the time comes.
What I Like
These suede Chelsea boots have a premium look and feel, and they’re comfortable to wear right out of the box.
On the formatlity spectrum, these boots are casual. They fit into my wardrobe perfectly, but this is something to keep in mind.
They aren’t the most affordable Chelseas in the world, but you get plenty of bang for your buck if you buy them.
Room for Improvement
I’d really like to see
I also think the always on sale pricing model is unnecessary. If the readily available price is $223, that’s the real price (and a fair one, at that). No need to include a higher MSPR on the product page.
Other than these minor gripes, I have no real complaints about these boots!
If you can spend up to $250 on a pair of Chelsea boots, and you’re looking for something casual (i.e., that you will never wear with a suit), then
There’s a reason these made TMM’s list of the best Chelsea boots for men. For the price, they offer a ton of value.
If you want something dressy or really need a half size, these aren’t for you. But from a quality, style and value perspective, these Chelseas definitely get my seal of approval.
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