FULL REVIEW + PICTURES:
In an industry where a lot of companies are over a hundred years old, Grant Stone is quite the newcomer. Founded by a family with a long history at Alden, it was launched in 2016 and a significant amount of production takes place in Xiamen, China. So does that lower the quality, or just the price?
Grant Stone says they named this the “Diesel” because “it reminds us of something which may not be flashy but is built for strength and longevity.” That’s about right: it’s sturdy but not clunky, informal but not workboot-y, it has a weather-resistant split reverse welt and the sole is relatively heavy.
The leather doesn’t have a ton of color depth like Chromexcel, but it looks like it can take a beating.
*IS IT BETTER THAN ALLEN EDMONDS? See my review:
Castagno veg tan has full grain, vegetable-tanned leather made from Wisconsin cows that’s tanned in Italy and assembled in China.
After wearing these boots for a few weeks I found that this leather can take a beating, but it does wrinkle kind of quickly. I had someone tell me they looked like they’d seen a lot of adventures — after I’d been wearing them for three hours.
A lot of guys can’t wait for a boot to look like it’s seen the world so if that’s you you’ll love this leather, just don’t expect it to work in dressy occasions.
Grant Stone recommends Venetian shoe balm instead of Venetian shoe cream, though either will probably be fine to keep the upper hydrated and reduce scuffs; the shoe balm is available in brown, though, so it might do a better job of revitalizing the dark brown color.
Again, the leather is pretty thick and the split reverse welt makes it pretty tough in bad weather, and since the leather is never going to look dressy I wouldn’t worry too much about waterproofing.
A micro studded rubber sole that’s medium density and a solid combination of grip and give.
The sole isn’t heavy but it is confident — you know you’re wearing a pair of sturdy boots. In fact, the sole does have more layers than your average boot: rubber outsole, leather midsole, cork midsole, steel shank, and vegetable-tanned leather insole.
There’s also a split reverse welt, which is a type of Goodyear welt that’s even more water resistant than your regular Goodyear welt and doesn’t need as much cleaning.
Note that what I called glue coming loose here was actually part of a plastic bag used during the production.
FIT & SIZING
Order a half size down. Only the D width is available.
There was no real break in. I didn’t get any blisters or heel slip, plus the heel has pretty decent shock absorption. The rest of the sole is kind of hard and heavy, but it’s not uncomfortable — just assertive.
$360, only available on their website.
**A LITTLE PRICY? Take a look at these $199 boots that I adore:
More comfortable than you’d expect for new boots.
Good shock absorption.
Split reverse welt is extra water resistant.
Sturdy, but not clunky.
No other widths.
With the split reverse welt and outdoorsy leather, it doesn’t look formal.
Leather wrinkles fast.
It’s made in China so it maybe should be a little cheaper.