Not too long ago we reviewed the Sutro Charlton boot and were impressed with it’s rugged style and handcrafted quality. Sutro Footwear takes a different approach with their Alder boot by going with a dressier last, cap toe design and their signature Sutro sole. In this hands-on Sutro Alder review we will be taking a closer look at what makes this boot one of Sutro’s most popular options.
Leather & Uppers
One of the most important features of any quality boot is the materials used in the uppers. The uppers on the Alder are made of full grain vegetable tanned leather. The Honey leather looks great in person and the leather feels supple right out of the box. What we like about the uppers is that each pair of Sutro boots is creamed and burnished by hand. This kind of attention to detail is pretty unheard of at the sub $350 price range.
One thing to note is that the leather Sutro uses isn’t free from blemishes like the leather you would find in a finer dress boot. Instead the leather on the Alder is full of life and features minor imperfections. These markings are common with full grain leather and it’s natural texture is a sign of it’s authenticity. Vegetable tanned means it’s strong and resilient and we expect the Honey leather to darken and develop an attractive natural patina over time. It’s worth noting that although the Alder boot is one of Sutro’s dressier boot options the leather keeps it casual at heart.
Construction and Outsoles
Sutro Footwear opts-in for a goodyear welt construction in the Alder. You’ll notice the exposed 3/4 welt stitching on the top and bottom of the sole. The Alder features Sutro’s signature sole which help give the boots a dressier appearance.
The sole itself is made of leather with a 1” stacked leather heel. Sutro also adds rubber on the heel and forepart to help with traction and stability. The partial rubber on the heel isn’t ribbed or lugged but the rubber on the forepart does have a bumpy texture that does help with grip. We wouldn’t recommend these boots in the snow or ice but they would do great as an everyday year round boot.
Wrap Around Lacing
When it comes to lacing the Alder goes with a four eyelet design that requires you to “wrap around” the ankle for a secure fit. If the wrap around style isn’t your thing, then you’ll be disappointed to find that this is your only lacing option. The Alder boot doesn’t include additional eyelets near the ankle for support.
As far as comfort goes, the wrap around lacing actually does a great job of securing the boot around the ankle and adds a nice stylish touch that we really appreciate. The Alder boot comes with waxed cotton laces that add a bit of rugged sophistication to the boot. It would be interesting to play with different color laces for a bit more flare.
Style and Fit
We found the Sutro Alder boot to run true to size. With a pair of dress or cotton socks the Alder had a snug yet comfortable fit much like a pair of well fitting dress shoes. If you plan on pairing the Alder with heavier boot socks or wool socks then we recommend you size up a half size.
The Alder is comfortable right out of the box with minimal break in. Inside the boots you’ll find leather lining and a removable cushioned insole. The insole really helps with the comfort and since it’s removable you’ll have the option to add an insole of your own if needed for a more custom fit.
The Alder fits close to the foot and the overall fit is very sleek. Small elements such as Sutro’s dressy leather sole, round dress laces and cap toe give the Alder a more refined look that pairs well with trousers and is sure to elevate your look in casual denim. This versatility is a huge part of it’s appeal and what makes the Alder such a good option for anyone looking for an entry level dress boot.
Price and Where to Buy
One of the best features of Sutro boots is their affordable pricing. Each boot is priced at under $250. At this price range a pair of boots that are handcrafted, feature vegetable tanned leather and are goodyear welted is unheard of. Normally boots like the Sutro Alder can run upwards of $350 so it’s great to see Sutro offer an affordable option for those who appreciate quality.