Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some Thoughts on Chelsea Crew Shoes

I've never reviews a brand here before but I want your thoughts. A while back, I bought a pair of Chelsea Crew shoes from the boutique across the street from my old apartment.
The Nico t-strap

I needed a pair of shoes for a 1950s Dances of Vice party; plus, I needed shoes I could wear to salsa clubs. After watching them for weeks, I went in and bought them. I was disappointed that a shoe for $55 (the discounted price) wasn't leather. Or at least the inside of the shoe is leather but not the outside? Confusing. Either way, they didn't look so cheap so I sucked it up and bought the shoes.

After one wear, the lining started to come apart. The store wouldn't take the shoes back (OMG, it was on sale so they're yours forever) but they were willing to make a quick fix with some glue. The lining still sort of came apart immediately after and now it's a complete mess.

And then, horror of horrors! A few months ago I took my shoes salsa dancing. A woman's heel got caught under the ankle strap and snap! I left the floor early. Luckily, my neighborhood cobbler was able to patch the shoe up and we've been dancing together ever since.

My mother told me to never ever buy shoes that weren't leather because leather means quality and it stretches. I still can't quite wrap my head around the prices ($50 up to $70) for shoes that aren't leather and don't have an obvious vegan agenda. The trouble is these shoes are everywhere and they make incredible vintage-inspired styles--I'm in love with their spectator pumps, and I've been looking for that style for years now. My feet never fit into shoes made before 1980 so these are a relief. They're also more affordable than a lot of strictly repro brands.

How do you guys decide to buy shoes? Is it absolutely necessary to make sure your shoes are leather? Do you have any experience with Chelsea Crew shoes?


  1. Never heard of the brand- then again, BB hasn't gone shoe shopping in a looooonng time. I agree w/you about the prices (which is one of the reasons BB hasn't gone shoe shopping is such a looooong time) but if it's a classic style (i.e. pumps) I buy leather, if it's a passing fad any material is cool for me.


  2. I am a vegan so this is the biggest bummer for me - finding nice shoes that aren't leather and don't cost 300 dollars. It's really tough. It sucks that non-leather translates to shitty quality and high-quality non-leather shoes are crazy expensive. It's only recently that I started wearing shoes besides tennis shoes and realized how hard it is to find cute vintage-looking shoes that I'm ethically okay with buying.

  3. I'm vegan too and am incredibly disappointed with Chelsea Crew for the opposite reason as you-b/c the lining is leather! I agree-it's confusing, why the nonleather outer but lining inner. Seems they can't make anyone happy that way, not the nonvegans who want leather and not the vegans who dont' want leather.


Thanks so much for your comments!