After the dust settled, but before the re-gifting began over at Sartorially Inclined, I did in fact make a pick for the pair of shoes I chose for myself. I went with the Timberland Earthkeepers Yele Haiti Chukkas. A mouthful certainly, but a fine looking boot nonetheless.
Nothing against any of the contenders- I truly liked them all. But the Yele's were the best combination of form and function for my current need. First, some specs about the Yele's:
- Green Rubber Outsole-The outsole in this product is made with 50% green rubber material which contains at least 85% post-consumer tire crumb by weight
- Premium nubuck and organic cotton canvas upper
- 100% recycled PET and 100% organic striped cotton linings
- Antiqued rustproof hardware
- Taslan® laces for strength and durability
What also really worked for me style-wise was the contrasting stitching , the cork pad and recycled "green" rubber outsole in black. I really liked the contrast stitching and outsole on the Fry Rodney Chukka up for consideration and this was the most comparable in my mind- the important difference being I needed an outsole with treads for the rough RI winter weather. The Rodney's just didn't have the traction I need right now.
As far as Chukka styke goes, the toe of these boots is somewhat of a hybrid. Sure, it's a rounded toe, but the leather accents sort of give the lines a little break and, while not moccasin-like, certainly add some depth to the shoe.
The interior cotton striped lining is a nice touch and the shoes are extremely comfortable and light weight. They are not the warmest shoes, but in none of my choices was that a factor.
In the end, it boiled down to a few things:
- These were the 2nd most comfortable pair I tried and lightweight too.
- The tread- in the end, I needed a treaded sole- the Frye pairs and Johnston & Murphy Runnels just couldn't match this.
- The style is great- such a great combination of materials playing off each other well. The canvas, the leather, the contrast stitch- all nice details.
- You can dress them up to a degree and they are easily an after work and weekend pair too.
- The recycled and earth conscious aspects of the shoes are indeed kind of cool.
Almost lost in my pick is another "small victory". For every pair of this model sold, Timberland will make a donation of $2 to Wyclef Jean's Yélé Haiti Foundation to support the Ecole Verte reforestation education program.
I won't never say never on the other pairs I compared, but this was the pair for me for Christmas.