Watching a young brand evolve in interesting ways is one of our favorite pastimes around here. Almost seven years into its existence, that evolution for Grant Stone is starting to mean creating boots and shoes that are legitimately distinctive in the market.
So now let us introduce Grant Stone’s new Field Boot, a wonderfully chonky departure from everything it’s done to date, and what we consider to be the most unique boot the Michigan-based, Xiamen, China-manufacturing brand has ever produced. The kind of product where they really get to say “this one’s ours.”
The Field boot is without a doubt the boot-iest boot in Grant Stone’s lineup. Standing around seven inches tall, with a true moccasin construction-inspired moc toe and details, padded double-collar that sits just above the ankle, and loaded up with just the right amount of appealing details that really work together, it’s imminently capable of being workhorse fall/winter boot—but I also personally find it to be the most visually arresting of the brand’s entire lineup.
Grant Stone has spent the better part of a decade developing a lineup of some of the best-value Goodyear welted shoes and boots in the entire game. While the core of Grant Stone remains relatively straightforward—plain-toe Diesel and Edward boots, classic loafers that might just be the best $300-ish shoe on the market—they’ve begun to have more and more fun with materials, most notably kangaroo and ostrich. The Field Boot represents the next level of Grant Stone creativity and its developing, ownable identity.
It’s also just a boot that’s absolutely fun as all hell.
The moc-toe Field Boot has been in the works for almost a decade now, actually pre-dating Grant Stone’s 2016 launch. It was summoned into existence by GS founder Wyatt Gilmore and his dearly departed father Randy via hours upon hours of late-night vintage boot eBay research.
“We would stay up all night checking out stuff that was up for auction, going back to the 40s, 50s, 60s. Whether it was shoes or boots, endless things pop out from that era that are so unique and interesting. You might not even know the brand. But the way they constructed boots, it was just done differently. Eventually we found a 10-inch hunting boot, with the bumper on the toe, bought it and really tried to figure it out.”
Over the years that vintage pair inspired the development of a 7-inch boot with a doubled-up padded collar that meets a meaty, angled quarter panel featuring some very fun double stitching—I personally love the way the stitching rows flare out and get wider as they descend upon a rivet up front. Two d-rings join five eyelets for the lacing system, while the toe carries over that Red Wing Canoe Moc-type “bumper” from the inspiration boot, running from the toe about halfway back the boot.
Add it all up, and it’s without question a whole lotta boot, a healthily muscled mass. But the pattern’s unlined shaft and contoured wedge sole keep the overall scale-tipping reasonably light, and pretty darn comfortable right out of the box, even with the substantial Seidel bison leather on my pair pictured here.
The Floyd Last
You could easily argue that the Field Boot looks even more at home on Grant Stone’s Floyd last than the highly successful Brass Boot it was developed for—the last’s high, pretty darn straight toebox sidewalls get a nice dose of balance from the pattern’s heavy moc toe stitching and bumper
“The high toe box, the high walls, the extra toe space…it makes a last like this work,” Wyatt told me as he waved a Field Boot sample around over Zoom. “Make the moc as beefy as possible, use some thick thread, and the toe expression doesn’t look so overbearing anymore.”
The Floyd last is Grant Stone’s biggest in basically every way. It’s quite accommodating for feet of all kinds, and remarkably comfortable if sized correctly—more on that below.
The Leather Options
While you should see some black and burgundy Horween Chromexcel before too long, as well as reverse C.F. Stead kudu (plus potentially a Grant Stone-favorite exotic that shall remain unnamed for now), the Field boot is firing up with four leather options.
Let’s start with the Seidel Tanning walnut bison, which Wyatt developed over a series of visits around the lake to the Milwaukee tannery. While bison is oft known for its aggressive (and often quite large) grain characteristic, that trademark bison look actually tends to be a printed grain.
The bison on these Field boots, on the other hand, is 100% natural, but has no shortage of character or overall feeling. It also has a MAJOR pull-up, thanks to being stuffed full of endless waxes and oils. The bison “starts as a dark, dark brown, but with wears works itself into a chestnut red, almost beech color,” Wyatt told me. The bison is meaty and substantial, but has an extremely nice hand to it, and feels like it’s eager to flex more and more as they continue to gain wear. Really cool stuff to be sure.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON THIS LEATHER: Just keep in mind that this bison, again, displays 100% natural grain characteristics. Aka, some pairs will look like the leather two photos up, while others will look more like my pair directly above (which is definitely more on the extreme end of things, for reference). It’s a dice-roll for what you end up with, so just be sure you’re game to roll them. I recommend it.
Next up is the Badalassi Carlo saddle tan, a lighter, patina-happy veg-tan that’s long been a beloved staple in Grant Stone’s upper arsenal. While GS runs this leather across some of its dress-casual styles as well, it looks remarkably at home right here on the Field boot. This leather is guaranteed to MOVE with basically any level of wear.
The C.F. Stead Earth Waxy Commander is up next, and rivals the saddle tan for how aggressively you can expect it to age with unique character over the course of the boot’s life. Commander is basically Stead’s world-class suede that gets a thin wax layer tossed over it. The wax is far less aggressively thick and hearty than a Horween waxed flesh, meaning it will chip and flake off far more speedily, revealing the suede’s nap underneath. The Earth shade is basically an extremely dark brown, and should provide a bit of color variation over time—but most of the change will likely be textural.
And finally, C.F. Stead makes another appearance with the tannery’s dark burgundy kudu, which lives up to its color name. While often prized for its natural scarring derived from the kudu’s life in the bush, I actually personally prefer a darker, somewhat quieter kudu, and at least from what I’ve seen so far, this shade renders very much along those lines. (That said, when purchasing kudu boots or shoes, be sure to prepare yourself for something other than exactly what you’ve seen in photos—it’s simply the nature of the leather. Embrace it!)
The kudu leather pulls the wonderful trick of being incredibly strong and workhorse-ish while still offering a high level of flex and stretch—without having tried all of these Field boots, the kudu might just be the model that offers the most overall comfort, especially fresh out of the box.
All Field Boots for the foreseeable future will be bottomed by Grant Stone’s proprietary wedge white sole, which features a trademark kinda wave-ish pattern underneath. As a longtime/forever wedge sole enthusiast, I can say these are in the sweet spot of durability + weight and have a really nice bounce to them. Some wedge soles can be too hard, or too “why do I have foam pool noodles attached to my boots?” These are neither.
Whether or not you like how that wavy bottom looks is obviously up to you, but know that these do an excellent job of gripping various surfaces compared to many wedges—they’re very solid off-piste as long as the tread remains.
At the outset, Grant Stone will be offering the Bison Field Boot in D, E, and EEE widths, while the other models will wait for the EEE width for a bit, and just roll with D and E for now.
As for my sizing, I’m an 11D/E Brannock, with a bit of a high instep. I tend to size my Grant Stone boots and shoes a bit “big” (often to accommodate thicker boot socks), and my pair is a 10.5E, which trues up with my Grant Stone Leo last size.
Truth be told, I suspect that either 10.5D or maybe even 10E would fit a touch snugger, shorter, and Just better. 10.5E doesn’t feel crazily long, but with a substantial boot like this, even a few millimeters can have a noticeable effect on feel and performance. Remember, the Floyd last is BIG, in all ways. While I imagine it’ll remedy itself just find once the leather underfoot starts flexing more, I wouldn’t be opposed to, say, a more locked-in heel out of the gate with a snugger size.
All that said, I have little doubt that these will break in to be a wonderfully fitting boot I wear all the time for short hikes, all the time in the winter, some work around the yard, and just knocking around. But the Field Boot, for me, is the kind of boot you immediately want in different leathers. So I might just get a chance to test out a different size in the Field Boot, and will update if/when that happens.
The Final Take
Grant Stone’s Field Boot is a big move for the brand—a loud shot fired in a more firmly casual/rugged direction, and a breakthrough in patterning creativity and distinctiveness. It’s likely the kind of boot that will take itself a break in summer and possibly even spring—those padded collars are comfy, but that comes at the expense of a bit of overall breathability for your foot. But man are they gonna get some run this fall and winter.
Is the Field Boot a completely perfect boot? Of course not; few are. One could argue that the pattern and detailing are unnecessarily busy; I don’t personally agree with that in the least, but that’s just me. Lacing them truly good and snug can take some time to get down pat—the d-rings look cool as hell but make you realize why they call speed hooks “speed hooks”. The wavy wedge sole, while bouncy and grippy, can be a little tricky to scrape clean on a doormat off if you take them out in wet, muddy weather. The heel on mine could be a touch snugger, but I imagine a D width would solve that for me.
Ultimately, these are quibbles, hair-splitting that’s relevant but not all that material, outweighed in the end by the fact that this is just a really, really fun, comfortable boot with a fantastic pattern and abundant personality. If you like the look, and want a boot with a little extra in all sorts of ways, the Field Boot is a very strong choice.