When Kory, founder and owner of Taft Clothing, handed me The Mack Boot, he told me to “wear them hard.” For the last several weeks I’ve done just that, nearly every day, in a wide range of situations. These boots have taken all the beatings I’ve handed them with no problems, and drawn in a lot of compliments along the way. The Mack Boot is a high quality, stylish, and surprisingly affordable leather boot.
ABOUT TAFT CLOTHING
Taft Clothing began in Provo, UT in 2014 with a Kickstarter project…for no-show socks! After high initial success with socks, they’ve since transitioned to a focus on their line of luxury, European (mostly very unique) shoes. This family-run business aims to disrupt the typical notion that you have to pay outrageous prices in order to get high quality. By completely cutting out the middle man, refusing to sell wholesale, and only providing products direct to consumer, Taft is able to provide shoes you may see on a store shelf for $600 for less than $300. There are, however, no compromises in quality – some of the finest materials and construction methods out there are used in Taft Clothing’s line.
Taft Clothing enhances the direct-to-consumer personal touch with a few inserts in their packaging, including a personal thank you, short bios on some of the Spanish artisans, care tips, a Taft shoe horn, and dust bag.
The Mack Boot is handcrafted in Almansa, Spain. Taft’s team of experienced leather artisans have made shoes for numerous high end shoe brands around the world.
Both the brogue pattern upper and lining is made with Vachetta natural (read: untreated vegetable tanned) leather; cowhide for the upper and calfskin for the liner. The leather is hand cut, stitched with Gutermann polyester thread, and hand painted. These steps are clearly done with expert hands – each edge and stitch is immaculate, and the rich cognac coloring is gorgeous. Speed hooks are made of cast iron.
The Mack Boot’s stacked leather outsole is Blake stitched to the upper for flexibility and comfort, and can be resoled. All leather is sourced from Italy’s Artigiano Del Cuoio tannery. Rubber inserts in the outsole provide traction and comfort in all conditions, combining the advantages of leather and rubber.
It’s only been several weeks since The Mack Boot and I were acquainted, but they already feel like old friends. On day one they felt fantastic, and after dozens of wears and plenty of abuse, things have just gotten better. The Vachetta upper and lining is soft enough to form to you, but sturdy enough to provide support. They’ve slowly molded to my feet and ankles and now fit like a glove. The reinforced heel and toe provide additional protection.
I’m a huge fan of the speed hooks. They allow me to leave the shoes tied in most circumstances, just pulling the laces off the hooks to get in and out of the shoe. The tabs on the back of the heel make putting them on quicker yet (though they do occasionally catch my pants, too).
I’m excited to see how well The Mack Boot continues to handle time, use, and all the situations I throw at them. So far, I’ve worn these boots to work, school, church, athletic events, camping, DJing, and more, and they’ve taken it all like a champ. Outside of exercise, I think the only thing that prevents me from wearing them is when the weather gets too warm – as would be expected for any boot, they’re best matched with pants and cooler weather.
My 10”/25cm long and 4”/10cm wide (at the ball) feet typically end up in an American size 8 or 9 formal shoe or EU size 41, and Taft’s shoes run true to this as a 41 was the right fit for me. They’re a bit more snug on my toes than on my narrow heel.
After some intense jumping and lifting while DJing, a small amount of color bleed ended up on my socks. Taft suggests the use of shoe horns to keep shoes dry. A small insert included in the box has a few other care tips, as well.
The Mack Boot is incredibly versatile. In formal settings they’re brogue wingtips, in rugged situations they’re combat boots, and everywhere in-between they’re right in-between. In none of the situations I introduced them to did they feel out of place or fail to function well, nor did they fail to draw compliments!
The hand painted cognac color is stunning, with hints of brown, red, and orange, depending on the light. As you can see, I couldn’t stop taking photos of The Mack Boot!
Taft Clothing’s The Mack Boot is a fashionable, rugged, competitively priced shoe. Materials and construction are top notch, and the style shines in nearly any situation. Not only are you getting a phenomenal value product from a company that cares about its customers, but you’ll get a shoe that will last for years to come. I love my pair more each time I wear them, and highly recommend The Mack Boot.
Be sure to drop by Taft Clothing’s web store to see The Mack Boot and the rest of their unique shoe collection.