FEIT: Au Naturale Leather Shoes

It has been a whirlwind on my calendar since last Tuesday. Deadlines and projects were sweeping away all my time and energy of the entire week and I was pretty much left mummified.

But you know what? Other than celebrating the colour black on Friday and then the Cyberspace on Monday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday exist for another reason in my dictionary.

I see myself looking like a 50-year-old lady bragging about her thrifting victory to her cats, but the fact that I saved USD 813 in one shopping cart was pretty commendable. (Let’s just ignore my worry on the sizing part for now.) (Or at least until the parcels arrived.)

Mummy Good FEIT: Au Naturale Leather ShoesGood game, fellas.

But there’s one new label I wished they’d play along the special sales game and it was FEIT.

Conceived by brothers Josh Price and Tull Price from Australia in 2005, the “FEIT” shoes business idea was a brave response to the mass-produced, “high-margin, low-quality” manufacturing model of many fashion businesses today.

As opposed to the non-environmental friendly, mass-production model which has been producing a lot of non-biodegradable waste, FEIT adopted the more “artisan” method of business – each pair of FEIT shoes is hand-made by craftsmen, and they can only make 10 pairs of shoes per day.

Being environmental-friendly is a good cause, but not everyone’s a fan.

At USD 600 a pair, wouldn’t it make more sense to go designer, say, this Carven (yes it’s still on sale! Down to USD 416 now) or another pair of designer boots that look similar, than going with a pair from a lesser known artisan label?

Unlike the case of Moncler Gamme Bleu crazy shoes where “form” definitely won in the “form vs function” contest, “function” is slightly ahead for FEIT.

I’ve been looking for a pair of leather boots for quite some time now. Upon landing on the site for the first time, I already felt an urge to click on the “Add to Cart” button which I’d break down into three fundamental reasoning:

#1. Did I mention “hand-made”? Yes, being hand-made is what FEIT is mainly about. It’s cliche, but how many designer boots do you think are hand-made? Not so sure.

#2. Materials. FEIT swear by their environmental friendly production, and so I have higher confidence in their natural materials. (Well, because many labels use the word “natural” and “highest quality leather” too loosely in their promo tagline these days?)

On a side-note, I like this particular benefit written on their product description: “We recommend the [boots] be worn barefoot. The leather will remain neutral during hot and cold days. It will never smell.” (“Barefoot” plus “Boots” plus “Summer” normally equals to smelly feet.)

#3. Longevity. FEIT shoes (not sure if all) are Goodyear welted. If they worn out, they can be resoled. And real leather ages gracefully over time. FEIT shows one of their aged boots with patina:

Feit Shoes Leather Age Gracefully FEIT: Au Naturale Leather Shoes Feit Shoes Leather Age Patina FEIT: Au Naturale Leather Shoes

Come to think of it: Can I find similar shoes and boots elsewhere with lower price and similar quality? Maybe.

But I’ve yet to see another pair of leather slippers and boots that look this “primitive” yet still minimalistic chic and stylish. (Remember those leather crafts and souvenirs made by aborigines that you bought during your last exotic vacation? That’s what I meant by “primitive.”)

Well I guess the final verdict lies in the final criteria (or it should be the “first” criteria for many shoe shoppers,) which is how comfortable those shoes are in real life use case.

I’m keeping FEIT on my “watch list.”

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