Grant Stone has established itself in fairly short order as one of the best values in quality footwear, period. And over the past half-decade its range has expanded bit by bit—and never in a rush—to encompass everything from handsomely muscled boots, to longwing bluchers, to a killer penny loafer. But they haven’t ever offered one classy-casual essential: the Chelsea boot.
The first Chelseas off the line for Grant Stone were a long time in development—nailing a new last that is neither too formal or too work-y and fits a range of feet in one width (for now), working endlessly on the right fit around the elastic-gore ankle, picking the right leathers.
I’d say the results are pretty impressive, especially in a range under and just above $300.
Everything You Need to Know about Grant Stone: The Stitchdown Conversation with Founder Wyatt Gilmore
While they’ll be releasing the Chelseas in a few more leathers in the short term, Grant Stone’s starting with two that provide a nice range: C.F. Stead Earth Waxy Commander (at $280), which gets paired with a natural flat welt and Grant Stone’s proprietary microstud sole, and black calf from France’s Annonay tannery (going for $312). The matching black flat welt classes this iteration way up over the more casual/rugged Commander look.
Before long you’ll also see another shade from Annonay, and a CXL in the mix, and surely plenty others over time.
A goal was to create a boot that was neither an RM Williams-type work Chelsea, nor a pure fashion YSL-type boot. The new “UK” last “has a harder angle than any of our other lasts,” Grant Stone founder Wyatt Gilmore told me. “It’s got somewhat of a square shape to it, but not a wide square toe, like you’ll see on Western/Australian Chelseas. It’s right down the middle in last shape and aesthetic.”
Right from Grant Stone’s Wyatt: “Both D and E width guys will almost definitely fit just fin in these. If the Leo fits you well, you should almost definitely be able to take the same size—however, if you have an Alexander-last loafer that you love the fit of, and it’s different from your Leo size, go with your loafer size.”
The Stitchdown Final Take
From my perspective, Grant Stone just made a damn handsome boot that makes it an an immediate player in the Chelsea game, especially given their commitment to quality construction and a price coming in just under or just over $300, depending on the leather. And I’m really interested to see how this model continues to evolve in terms of leather.