Arden Teal has grown from strength to strength, but found demand lacking during the Work-from-Home (WFH) default of last year. As fashion trended towards casual, the brand decided to keep up by offering Chelsea boots in both wingtip and regular (pictured above) styling. Let’s see if it’s any good.
Arden Teal – the Brand
I’ve previously covered the brand story of Arden Teal in my initial review of their Calafate oxfords and Olavarria loafers. For those interested in learning more about Arden Teal, do check out that article here. I also reviewed their Cordoba Monk Straps and the Castillo belt here, the blake-stitched Carlota wholecut and Loreto sneakers here, and even some of their bags here.
Arden Teal Centenario Chelsea Boots – Review
Most of the brand’s shoes are crafted from full-grain Argentinean leather, and the Centenario Chelsea Boots is no exception.
For those uninitiated with leather, leather generally comes in three quality tiers – genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather, in ascending order of quality. Unlike the genuine leather shoes one often finds in departmental stores, full-grain leather will patina and become even more beautiful over time.
Like most of Arden Teal’s other shoes, the Centenario Chelsea Boots features hand burnishing (see photo above), with the leather painted by hand as well. This is an artisanal process, which means that no two shoes should look identical. It’s a nice detail that elevates it from the Chelsea boots one sees in most departmental stores.
The sole of the shoe is fashioned from rubber – although it has been designed to resemble leather – with an anti-slip element that provides more traction. The sole is also machine-stitched, though its visible nature gives the impression that it has been hand-stitched. In other words, it’s an expensive-looking sole that belies the shoes’ low price point.
That being said, the shoe still uses cemented construction, which is par for the course at this sub-S$150 price point. It’s not going to be as durable as a blake-stiched or Goodyear welted pair of boots, but those would cost significantly more.
On the feet, the Centenario Chelsea Boots are pretty comfortable, with no break-in period required. That’s in part due to its padded leather insole, which increases the cushioning of the boots. Given its leather inner lining – as opposed to synthetic materials such as polyester – the boots are sufficiently breathable, and my feet never got hot in them even after extended hours of wear.
Personally, I feel that every guy should have a pair of Chelsea boots in their wardrobe. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the wingtip boots. They come across as too cowboy for my liking – we’re in Singapore, not Texas. However, I do love the sleek silhouette of a clean pair of Chelsea boots. It’s an immensely versatile piece of footwear, as at home with jeans as with a suit (as seen above). It dresses down the outfit a little, but it also carries more aplomb than a pair of loafers. If you want to stand out from the crowd – but in a subtle manner, not too over the top – then donning a pair of Chelsea boots will certainly do the trick. For some styling ideas, Dmarge did a great article on the topic here.
Conclusion – so the Arden Teal Centenario Chelsea Boots “shiok” or not?
Definitely so. For one, Chelsea boots are actually pretty rare in the local market, especially under the S$150 price point. For its price, the Arden Teal Centenario Chelsea Boots is well-built – full-grain leather, hand-brushing and burnishing, leather inner lining, etc – and is comfortable to wear. It looks pretty chic too, and is a great way to add some sophistication to your T-shirt and jeans look, or to put a different spin to your usual formal suiting outfits.
Those interested in purchasing these can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off the Centenario Chelsea Boots, as well as all other Arden Teal offerings on their web-store. After the discount, the Centenario Chelsea Boots can be had for a mere S$130.50, which may well be the cheapest full-grain leather Chelsea boots you can find locally. If you don’t have a pair of boots in your shoe collection yet, I highly recommend adding one – you don’t regret it.
Specifications of the Centenario Chelsea Boots:
- Waxed Argentinean calfskin full grain leather upper
- Hand painted & hand burnished leather
- Full grain leather
- Leather lined
- Leather padded insole
- Reinforced stacked heel
- Machine stitched sole
- Anti-slip rubber outsole
- Cemented construction
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned.
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.