Hands-On: Sutro Footwear Charlton Cognac Boots Review

Sutro Footwear is a company out of San Franscisco that specializes in authentic handcrafted footwear for both men and women. What initially caught our eye about the brand was their attractive boot designs that not only were crafted by expert bootmakers in Mexico, but surprisingly affordable. While most boots of this quality can cost you over $350, Sutro boots are priced at under $250. So when Sutro offered to send us a pair of their boots to try we were pretty excited to experience them for ourselves. Affordable, stylish and handcrafted? Count us in. In this hands-on Sutro Footwear review we will be taking a closer look at the men’s Charlton Cognac boot.

 Sutro Charlton boots in Cognac full grain leather.

Sutro Charlton boots in Cognac full grain leather.

Leather & Uppers

The Charlton is a handsome everyday boot made of beautiful full grain leather and robust goodyear welt stitching. Sutro Footwear offers the Charlton in three flavors: Cognac, Ciclon and in Honey with a vibram sole. We opted for the Charlton Cognac for it’s versatile rich brown color that is easy to pair with most casual outfits. 

 Signs of life: Cognac full grain leather uppers

Signs of life: Cognac full grain leather uppers

Right out of the box you’ll notice that the uppers are made of quality full-grain leather that shows plenty signs of life. The leather is rich and supple with some imperfections that are common with authentic full grain leather. The uppers themselves are a mix of chrome and vegetable tanned leather that have been burnished by hand.  Although the leather is supple enough for easy break-ins, it’s also rugged enough to handle everyday scuffs gracefully. 

Construction and Outsoles

Sutro uses goodyear welt construction with a 3/4 storm welt on the Charlton Cognac boots. The welt features robust stitching and the storm welt adds a nice touch to the overall look. From a top view you can clearly see that nice exposed storm welt stitch that ends at the heel.

 Sutro Charlton: 3/4 Storm Welt

Sutro Charlton: 3/4 Storm Welt

Storm welts are a popular option for waterproofing and we found the Charlton Cognac to be water resistant. We tested these boots outside in moderate snow and found no issues with water leaking into the boot. 

 Lugged rubber outsole for extra grip.

Lugged rubber outsole for extra grip.

Speaking of snow, let’s talk about the outsoles. Sutro features leather soles with a stacked leather heel in their Charlton Cognac and Ciclon models. What we really appreciated was the added rubber forepart and heel that add plenty of traction and grip. While the heel features some light ribbing, the rubber forepart has plenty of lugs to helps provide great traction in wet weather.

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Lacing

The lacing system on the Sutro Charlton borrows from old-school workwear boots that feature speed lacing hooks on the top. The speed lacing does it’s job and really make the boots a lot easier to put on and take off without much fuss. Unlike other heritage boots in this style such as the Red Wing Iron Ranger or Wolverine 1000 Mile, Sutro has added an additional eyelet above the speed-lace hooks to provide extra support around the ankle. This is a small detail we really liked.

 Sutro Charlton: Lacing Detail

Sutro Charlton: Lacing Detail

Something we noticed is that the Charlton can be laced two ways: regular lacing and wrap-around lacing that allows you to skip the top eyelet. Either way you lace will work just fine but it's nice having the option to try different looks.

 Wrap-around lacing on the Sutro Charlton.

Wrap-around lacing on the Sutro Charlton.

Style and Fit

When it comes to fit, these boots aren’t too bulky and actually taper nicely down the ankle and into the foot. The toe box is roomy which feels great when worn but Sutro managed to keep the toe box slim enough to not look to bulbous and awkward when worn on the feet. Overall, the Charlton Cognac pairs handsomely with denim and presents a flattering silhouette.

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Break-in was minimal and the boots were comfortable right out of the box. This is due in part to the Charlton’s removable cushioned insole and supple leather lining. There was no painful pinching or uncomfortable rubbing but this is to be expected from a well fitting boot. We found the Sutro Charlton to fit true to size.

Sutro Charlton: Removable cushioned footbed

Leather lining: Inside the Sutro Charlton

Where to Buy

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You can grab a pair of Charlton Cognac boots of your own on Amazon or from the official Sutro Footwear website. The boots currently retail at $228 which is a steal for a handcrafted welted boot that can serve as your go-to everyday boot for years to come.