The Nisolo Amalia Boot in Dark Olive
I loved all the boots I have, but only one pair is really decent in wet conditions, and because they’re a camel-colored hiking boot, they weren’t really doing it for all of my outfits during rainy weeks. While I’m poorer than ever, I decided that I’d rather buy one good pair of durable, all-weather, ethically-made boots than go on yet another futile hunt for something passable (I know I sound dramatic, but I have previously wasted hundreds of dollars trying to find the perfect boots secondhand).
When Nisolo introduced their all-weather Amalia boot, modeled after a popular men’s style but made with lighter-weight materials in women’s sizes this season, and I saw some early positive reviews roll in, I decided to take the plunge. It was more doable because I knew I could sell off $250 worth of clothing and sweaters that are redundant in my wardrobe (now that I’m not working at a place that sells clothing, I’m finding I’m less of a clothes horse).
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago Nisolo and ABLE have recently published their lowest wages, and now they’re asking other brands to publish wages through their Lowest Wage Challenge.
I received them in the mail last Sunday, so I’ve had several days to try them out. Find the detailed review below.
Quality and Materials
When I took these out of the box, I gasped. They are BEAUTIFUL. Impeccably made, soft but sturdy waxed suede, glossy wood accents in the heel and sole, and a studded rubber sole.
I took Nisolo’s advice on the listing and ordered a half size up from my normal boot size in order to accommodate thicker socks and I’m glad I did, because these have a reinforced toe box that would have been too constricting in a smaller size.
I have relatively high arches and regular width feet, and these feel good all around. They’re also easy to adjust since they’re a lace-up style.
I have worn these for four full days so far and they’re almost broken in. At first they felt stiff in the ankle and across the top of my foot just because the suede is pretty thick, but they have molded to my feet pretty quickly.
The one issue I’m experiencing is that the extra padding in the heel of the insole is actually poking into my arch a little – it’s hard to explain because it’s a weird problem – but this may have something to do with the proportions of my foot.
Not the warmest boots in my closet – Doc Martens win that prize – but not bad either.
Durability and Traction
So far so good, but this will need more testing with time. It didn’t pour while I was wearing them, but I did walk in wet weather without any issues.
The traction is really great on these. The rubber provides good friction without being squeaky.
I am not being hyperbolic when I tell you these are the most beautiful pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. I don’t mean beautiful in terms of elegance, but in terms of the details. They do have a classic menswear quality – something I was pining for while admiring the boots of my classmates this semester – which makes them feel more timeless than many women’s styles.
They occupy the special category of being lace-up boots without being “combat” boots. They’re streamlined, not clunky. And they complement pretty much everything.
The color is green, but looks dark brown in many lights (Hey! That’s my eye color – Hazel?). I chose this color because I didn’t want them to compete with my hiking boots. The dark color makes these feel slightly more formal, too, which fits better into my boot “wardrobe.”
I received so many compliments on the Amalia boot – from all genders – while walking the halls of seminary this week.