Ashbury Skies Bendy Shoe Review – $149.95

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If there is one thing I learned from this year amid the pandemic, it is to buy American made goods. When everything was sold out, it just showed how vulnerable we were. After my wife’s Toms died (Thank goodness because it looked like Forrest Gump ran from Nevada to Kansas in them) I learned about a company that not only places emphasis on the planet, but manufacturers their shoes in sunny California. Read on in our feature of the Ashbury Skies Bendy Shoe Review.


The Bendy comes is available in a wide array colors. The model reviewed is in Denim. The uppers on the Bendy are made from Italian sourced leathers produced in a ethically responsible tannery. The cushioned footbed is made from slow recovery eco foam. The accordion style outsole provides for optimum flexibility. These shoes are made in California.


Ashbury Skies Bendy shoe really shines as a go to travel shoe. Anytime we’re out, if my wife isn’t wearing them, then she has them in her bag. We were recently on a trip to Philadelphia and had an extensvie walking tour of the historic district. It was a sweltering day and my wife and I had flip flops on. Needless to say within an hour our feet were pummeled. My wife took her Bendy’s out of her bag (They’re very compact for travel) and slipped them on and was intstantly trotting from the Liberty Bell to the Museum of Art while I suffered in silence. Never have I envied women’s shoes so much.

The cushoned foam is very plush and will form to your foot. The result is a very comrotable “rebound” when you walk, almost like little springs are at work. Even riding a bike was no issue. 


The denim colorway looks really cute and contrasts nicely with the white outsole. Although we feel you do have to keep them really clean to maintain that fresh look as the slightest mark seems to stand out on the bright colors. The exterior is very soft and these make for a perfect summer or fall aesthetic. Bendy’s come in multiple colorways so finding the perfect pair should be a breeze. We love the carefree looks the Bendy exudes and often find after trying to match shoes to an outfit, the Bendy never seems to be at a loss. 


Simply put, we love The Ashbury Skies Bendy Shoe. It functions as an excellent travel shoe that exhibits great versatility and all day comfort. The price point is definitely a hurdle. However, the eco friendly-made in America attributes make this shoe a feel good purchase. 

Timberland Women’s Brookton 6-Inch Classic Boots Review – $120

Timberland boots are a beloved classic, formerly relegated to menswear only. We recently reviewed the Men’s 6-inch Premium Waterproof Boots, one of their most recognizable products. The Women’s Earthkeeper Brookton 6-inch Classic Boots have a similar aesthetic, but are a bit rounder and lighter.

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Timberland can trace its roots all the way back to 1920s Boston, where Nathan Schwartz began his career as an apprentice stitcher. Schwartz and his family grew the company and, in the 1950s introduced an innovative injection-molding technique that allowed them to waterproof their boots. In 1973, they introduced the “Timberland” brand, and the rest is history. Timberland is now a huge clothing and footwear brand that operates stores worldwide. Their company headquarters are in Stratham, New Hampshire.

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The leather uppers are made of full-grain nubuck, with a tan sole and foam insoles. The biggest difference between the Brooktons and the classic men’s 6-Inch boots is the sole. The Brookton trades the hefty rubber sole for a lightweight EVA sole. This has its pros and cons. The biggest upsides are the boots’ weight and flexibility. These boots are insanely light while still being pretty sturdy and protective. The downside is that EVA compresses pretty quickly and isn’t going to withstand tons of wear. So far, though, they’ve stood up to the elements well.

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These boots take a bit of time to break in, so I’d recommend doubling up on socks for the first few wears. After that, they are surprisingly comfortable, with padding on the midsoles and heel, as well as a padded collar for a pleasant ankle fit and mobility. **Side note: Timberland has a pretty impressive commitment to sustainable and climate-friendly manufacturing. You’ll notice a lot of their shipping and manufacturing materials are recycled or biodegradable. You can read more about that here.**

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The Wheat Nubuck is the classic yellow color associated with Timberlands, with white stitching along the quarter to set them apart from classic 6-inch Timbs. They look great and go with nearly everything, especially skinny denim. The downside of this color is that they stain pretty easily. You can pick up a suede & nubuck cleaner pretty much anywhere, including on the Timberland website, and I’d recommend doing so if you like your boots to look pristine.

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The Brooktons come with two colors of 100% post-consumer recycled laces, in tan and brown. There are also two other leather options if you’re looking for a darker color. Dark Brown, with the same light color sole, and Black Nubuck with a cute grey and pink sole.

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So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the Timberland Women’s Earthkeeper Brookton 6-inch Classic Boots. They have proven to be a great choice for boots on the lower end of the price range. If you’re looking for a non-imported boot that can be resoled and last 5+ years, save up for a different boot and spend a couple hundred more dollars. If you’re looking for a classic streetwear aesthetic but don’t want to commit to a heavy sole, these are a good choice. The Timberlands are a very good price at $120, and you can often find them on sale. Casually, you’ll probably get a solid four years out of these boots, and their timeless look won’t go out of style any time soon. They’ll stand up to the elements and look good doing it.

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Hanwag Tatra Ladies’ Boots Review – $280

One of the greatest feelings in the world is getting out on the trail and breathing some of that fresh alpine air. But one of the worst feelings is getting halfway up the mountain, realizing you’ve got a blister forming, and knowing that the rest of the hike is going to be agony. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in a nice pair of hiking boots. Hanwag, based in Vierkirchen, Germany, has been making high quality outdoor shoes since 1921. We received a pair of their Tatra Lady boots to review, as well as a pair of Men’s Tashi Boots made with yak leather (keep an eye out for a review coming soon!). My wife immediately snagged up the Tatra Lady boots to test out and wear on a few hikes.

Hanwag Tatra Ladies Boots 8



Hans Wagner opened his boot shop in 1921 in Vierkirchen, Germany, close to Munich. Wagner made a name for himself by producing high quality alpine skiing and touring boots. By the company’s 90th anniversary in 2011, Hanwag had become a staple in the hiking and outdoor sports world.  From their website:

“HANWAG boots and shoes are primarily made in Europe. Only a small number of our components require lengthy transportation. We make approximately 30 per cent of our collection (the double stitched and mountain boots) at our headquarters in Vierkirchen, near Munich. We have further exclusive production facilities in Croatia, Hungary and Romania. Our relatively limited transportation requirements help further minimize our environmental impact.”

Hanwag Tatra Ladies Boots 4


The Tatra boots are crafted with waxed nubuk uppers, lined with leather, and double-stitched onto a Vibram AW Integral sole. The leather is hard and waxy, but not crusty or plastic feeling. The upper, midsole, and insole rib are all genuinely double-stitched– you can see the flange on the edge of the midsole that proves that these boots are constructed extremely sturdily.

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The chunky Vibram AW Integral sole provides great traction while still being flexible enough to maintain a natural gait. Hefty metal shoelace hooks allow for a highly adjustable fit around the ankle, which has a medium-high cut.

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These boots are immediately comfortable upon first wear. The perforated collar is attached to a soft, padded leather lining that keeps the foot stable and avoids rubbing. The insole is padded with Hanwag’s FussKomfort sole, which you can easily substitute or replace. So far, these boots have walked miles without an issue. Paired with a thick pair of wool socks, The Tatra will take you many, many miles in total comfort. They weigh 760 grams/1.7 pounds, which is on the heavier side, but the hefty sole and sturdy construction are worth it.

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The Tatra’s color is what makes this boot model so eye-catching. Hanwag calls the color Aubergine or Eggplant 82, however, in person the boots are really a bit brighter red than they appear on the website. The color is muted enough to be tasteful, yet interesting enough to stand out from the droves of brown hiking boots on the market. The upper has an interesting rounded cut that gives the boot a modern twist. The medium-high cut looks great while maintaining ankle stability. Hanwag Tatra Ladies Boots 1


Hanwag’s Tatra Lady boots are an excellent choice for the frequent hiker. Their stability and expert construction speaks well of Hanwag’s legacy, and their unique aesthetic sets them apart from other similar boots. $280 is a very reasonable price to pay for hiking boots that will last years on the trail. These are boots that you’ll want to take on adventures for years to come.

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Oliberte Women’s Amboa Review – $125

I got my first pair of TOM’s the first month of my senior year of high school. By the second month of my senior year of high school, they were trashed. The canvas was threadbare in several places and the poorly constructed toe was peeling away from the sole. Since then, I’ve been quite wary of TOMS and companies of their breed.

Oliberte Amboa 8

When I opened up my Oliberte Amboas, my fears were immediately put at ease. These are no TOMS. First of all, their mission is much more sustainable. Instead of sending poorly made shoes to impoverished countries, Oliberte actively invests in the Sub-Saharan economy, boosting industry and providing justly compensated jobs. Their factory and sourcing is completely fair trade certified. Secondly, the quality of their products is much higher. To learn a bit more about their social and environmental mission, check out their About Us page.

Oliberte Amboa 1


Oliberte sources their leather from the Hafde Tannery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The upper on the Amboa is made of African nubuck, the midsole is made of veg-tanned cowhide, and lined entirely with goat leather. The leather is smooth yet firm and hasn’t stained or scuffed after quite a few wears. It comes in black and brown colors as well. The dark grey is a very unique color that I have found to be very versatile. The color is a bit lighter in person than on the website, and it has almost a light blue hue. They go great with dark skinny jeans, especially since they have a subtle heel.

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The leather is cemented to the sole, made of molded rubber with a 2/3 inch wedge heel (15 mm). The laces are standard nylon, in the same grey color as the leather. The bottom of the sole is printed with a map featuring Addis Ababa, a fun little detail that I’ve been asked about several times. It’s a fun reminder of Oliberte’s mission.

Oliberte Amboa 4

The only issue I want to warn you about is sizing. I generally wear a size 9.5, and was told the Amboas run a little large, so I ordered a size 9 (they don’t come in half sizes). They ended up being a little small and I now wish I had ordered a size 10. I worried that since they’re small, the cemented sole is starting to pull apart a tiny bit on one side. But I’ve worn the shoes probably two dozen times for long periods of time and it hasn’t gotten any worse, so I wouldn’t be too concerned. Just be sure to order up if you’re usually a half-size.

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Even though they’re a little tight, they’re not uncomfortable. I can easily wear them all day long. I’d recommend wearing the tiny socks made for ballerina flats because the goatskin liner can be a little squeaky without socks.

Oliberte Amboa 6


These are great, unique shoes from a company with an amazing mission. These aren’t meant to be everyday shoes that will last you forever, but the Oliberte Amboas are a great purchase that will last much longer than a cheap shoe from Payless. Plus, they boast a much more distinctive look and story. At $125, these are very fairly priced, especially since they frequently put them on sale on their website. They’re currently down to just $60, so snatch them up while you can, and keep an eye out for sales on some of their other great looking styles.