We Reviewed Nisolo’s Top 3 Shoes For Fall—Our Editors Share Their Thoughts On Fit, Break-In & Care

Our Editors Review Nisolo’s Shoes

One of the cornerstones of sustainable fashion is buying fewer, better things, so we’re always on the search for responsibly-made products that will last for years to come. Which is what makes Nisolo one of our go-to brands for timeless, quality footwear!

Nisolo collaborates with local artisans in Peru from the design to the handmade production of their leather shoes and accessories for men and women. They provide fair wages and full-time employment to their artisans and each shoe has heart put into it from every person who works at Nisolo. Their transparent production practices allow you to see how, where, and by whom your shoes were made.

Leather shoes can often present an initial challenge to find the proper fit and break-in strategy, but once you’ve worn them in, they become a trustworthy staple you can count on for many seasons to come. That’s why our editors teamed up with Nisolo to test their three top shoes for fall to give you a look at what the break-process was like, how they fit, and what to expect when caring for leather shoes! We tried out the Mariella Mule, the Chelsea Boot, and the Emma D’Orsay Oxford.

Questions? Leave them in the comments below and we’ll be happy to share more information about these shoes! Still want to know more? Nisolo also has care and break-in instructions on their site.

 

Celeste’s Review Of Nisolo’s
Mariella Mule

1. How do they fit?

They fit great! They don’t slip off my feet the way a lot of mule-style shoes tend to do, which I’m really happy about.


2. What was the break-in process like?

I had very little trouble breaking in the Mariellas. I wore them around the house while doing chores and was surprised at how absolutely comfortable they were. I wore them out to a bar with friends as well. Parking in LA can be a bit of a mess depending on where you are in the city, so I had to walk about a block in them on my way to the restaurant. I felt a bit of pressure on my pinky toe at the end of the night, but for the most part they were just fine!


3. How are you caring for them?

I was super excited to find that there is a product care video with cleaning instructions on Nisolo’s website! It goes through the cleaning process for each shoe, step by step. I’m considering purchasing the EZ cleaner which is specifically for suede and nubuck leather, which the Mariellas are made out of. I will also be making sure that I don’t wear these shoes in the rain so that I can keep them in tip top shape.


4. Where are you wearing them?

I rarely go out, but when I do, best believe I will be wearing these bad boys. I usually opt for a tennis shoe with my everyday attire, but these mules are the perfect shoes to spice up my usual look. They’re so comfortable and go with just about everything in my very simplistic wardrobe. I can see myself wearing these while grabbing drinks with friends, art shows in the city and of course, here at The Good Trade studio. Also, a huge plus is that they don’t make a loud click-clacking sound on hardwood floors, which means I can come home late without waking the parents up!  


5. What is your favorite way to style them?

I think, as a rule, mules look best with a wider legged pant of some sort. I’ve recently been obsessed with these dark wash vintage Wrangler jeans I thrifted. I think they go perfectly with the mules, color and style-wise. My plain white tee from Everlane and vintage denim jacket top it off perfectly.

Shop The Mariella Mule | $178

 

Courtney Jay’s Review Of Nisolo’s
Chelsea Boot

1. How do they fit?

I love how my Chelsea boots fit! They are very true to size, I wouldn’t want them to be any bigger or smaller, they feel just the right amount of snug on my feet. They don't feel like they are moving around or rubbing too much and I would be able to comfortably wear them all day. I also love the heel height, though I normally wear a taller heel, these are a great in-between.


2. What was the break-in process like?

The break-in process was easier than expected because the shoes fit so well! They were a bit stiff at first when I put them on and I definitely have to wear socks but I didn't experience any blistering which I was surprised by. It helped to wear them around my house to break them in a little as well. When I wore them for the first time I walked around my neighborhood and they felt really comfortable and like they were molding to my feet.


3. How are you caring for them?

I am notorious for wearing my shoes so much that they get really worn. I recently started getting into the habit of taking my shoes to be repaired. I want to invest in some good leather conditioner and treatment and plan to get into the habit of conditioning and cleaning them after wearing them for a while. I am also going to avoid wearing them when it is raining and when I go back home to Colorado during the winter because the water isn’t good for the gorgeous handmade leather.


4. Where are you wearing them?

During the fall and winter months in LA, I live in boots. I get really excited when the weather gets a tad cooler and love to wear fall and winter looks. The Chelsea boots are awesome though because they are super versatile. I could also see myself wearing these boots on trips to Joshua Tree during the summer with jean shorts or a linen dress and hat. I walk a lot around my neighborhood and also need to wear comfortable shoes, and these are already turning into my easy go-to shoe.  


5. What is your favorite way to style them?

I love boots because they add a timeless edge to any look. The color of these boots gives me a bohemian feel that has been pulling me towards wearing them with long skirts and dresses. The rich brown is perfect with earth tones and winter florals. I have also been loving wearing them with my Levi’s, a denim jacket and a light sweater for a more casual go-to look.

Shop The Chelsea Boot | $228

 

Emily’s Review Of Nisolo’s
Emma D’Orsay Oxford

1. How do they fit?

I usually wear a 6.5 in heels or 7 in running shoes, and was glad I stayed at a 6.5 for this pair for a nice snug fit—they’re not too tight, but they stay on my feet so well that I start to forget they’re there! I also have super narrow feet, and these oxfords have hidden elastic under the shoe tongue that keeps them snug on my feet. If you have wider feet, the shoe should accommodate for that! I also love that my feet don’t sweat a lot in these shoes when I wear them without socks :)


2. What was the break-in process like?

I’m notoriously impatient when it comes to breaking in shoes, and my heels have the scars to prove it. So I tried my best to take it slow—wearing socks in the shoes while I was cleaning the apartment to start the process, and then on little mini-errands. I did walk too far, too soon in them one day though and got some blisters on my heel, but stuck some of these anti-blister inserts on the inside of the heel, and it took the issue away almost immediately. After the initial break-in exercises, I’ve worn these shoes at least three full days or work and errands and I don’t have any more issues with blisters—they’re super comfortable!


3. How are you caring for them?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to not wear these shoes in the rain (or snow, but that’s not quite as much of an issue here in Los Angeles!) I’ll probably give them a good wipe-down to get rid of dust and dirt every few weeks or so, and I’ll snag a jar of this BlackRock Leather N’ Rich to give them a good clean every season. I’m also careful to store my nice shoes up off the floor in an over-the-door shoe rack so they don’t get dusty—and so they stay clear of my chew-happy rabbits.


4. Where are you wearing them?

When I get new shoes, I wear them everywhere that’s even remotely reasonable. I love wearing these for work, but they’re also perfect for a night out, running errands, or hanging out at a coffee shop. They’re an easy way to elevate an outfit to make it look polished and put-together.


5. What is your favorite way to style them?

I love them with a skinny light denim, because it really makes the shoe pop! They also look cool and professional with an all-black ensemble. I’m excited to try wearing them with some vintage dresses or my pink pencil skirt, because I think they’ll add a great menswear-flair to more summery pieces.

Shop The Emma Oxford | $188

 

This article is in partnership with our friends at Nisolo


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