Allen Edmonds Nomad Review

8.4
8.4 score
[Editors rating (8.4)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.4)/10


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Established in 1922, this Midwestern family-owned company started a revolution that would change the American shoemaking forever. The founder, Elbert W. Allen knew that he wanted to offer something different to the customers.

He also wanted to create a long lasting trust with the customers. So, he started off by removing the shank of the shoes. Something that was a big deal back in the day.  And by removing the hard metal bar that made the shoes very uncomfortable, he got something that very few shoes had at that time. A lightweight and comfortable feeling. Secondly, he supplied much of the shoes for the US Navy and US army when the troops fought in the WW2. This meant that thousands of satisfied customers that wore the shoes during the most difficult times were coming back for more quality footwear after the war was over. The soldiers that fought with Allen Edmonds on their feet became trusted and loyal customers for life.

But the thing is, although moderately expensive, the Allen Edmonds shoes are a long-lasting quality shoe that offers the opportunity for repair. Not that many modern shoes offer that option anymore. That’s more a thing of the past. Most of the time you’ll just throw away the old and worn down shoes. But let’s have a look and what this particular model has to offer. Let’s focus for now on the Allen Edmonds Nomad shoe. Hope you’ll like this review.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Premium suede in the upper

Synthetic outsole

Stacked heel

The footbed that’s lightly cushioned and leather-lined

Cons

Expensive

No vegan version

Outsole

Outsole

An outsole that’s man-made (or synthetic in some circles), is a much durable option for any type of shoes. Remember how in the intro, we mentioned that the soldiers were very satisfied with the shoe’s quality and longevity? Well, that’s because of the synthetic outsole. Allen Edmonds knew from the very start, that although rubber is a more flexible option, the synthetic materials used in the making of the outsole will make the shoes last longer. And the company loved that idea. A shoe that you’ll buy and wear for a long period of time. Oh and a shoe that you can re-sole after some damage has been done to it?

Perfect. Those were troubled times. With materials that were scarce and not so easy to come by, the synthetic material proved to be the best choice. And it made the shoes durable, less clunky and much lighter. Yes, the synthetic outsole took plenty of the weight that the shoes in that ear had, and therefore made them a whole lot comfortable. The heel of the chukka model is stacked with the different color of synthetic material, and both of the colors blend easily with the color used in the upper.
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Nomad Chukka contain a leather footbed that’s also lightly padded. The light padding of the footbed allows the person that’s wearing the shoe to experience more comfort during the day. And unlike the outsole, the footbed in the midsole comes in dark colors (black, dark brown) regardless of what type of color you’ll choose. Even the bone color used in the suede upper will have black midsole.
Upper

Upper

Having suede is a great option for every type of shoe, but having a premium suede for a boot is awesome. That’s right premium suede and solely premium suede can be found on the entire upper’s surface. A heel loop for an easement in putting the boot and taking the boot of your feet is placed on the back of the shoe. The Nomad model is a minimalistic chukka style boot with minimalism even in the detailing. As you can plainly see, the stitching that’s done on the upper’s surface is also left to the bare minimum, and with the exception of the stitching that’s done to the bottom of the shoe, the stitching on the upper’s surface is barely noticeable. You won’t even notice the thread and the seams, and that’s the beauty of it.

There’s hardly any visual distraction in the clean lines of the upper. And why have leather on the outsole of the upper? No, Allen Edmonds wants you to have that comfort all day long, so the leather material is used in the lining of the upper as well. Your feet will feel comfy and very dry all day long, and you can really put a price on that, now can you? And in keeping the tradition of minimalism and simplicity, the lacing system is very simple and elegant as well. The closure is lace-up that’s right but, what you’ll find is a two eyelet closure on the shoe’s upper. Plain and simple closure. A simple thing shoelace goes through the two eyelets, and the lace, of course, comes with the same color that’s used in the making of the upper. This is a great upper that fits nicely into a great shoe.
Comfort

Comfort

Having comfort in a shoe is basically a team effort. It doesn’t come from one particular place, and no material/part of the shoe is singlehandedly responsible for that comfort. And that’s the beauty of a great shoe. The fact that the comfort can come from all areas is a welcomed benefit for any type of shoe, but there’s no denying that a big portion of that comfort comes from the midsole and the upper. The midsole of the Nomad model is slightly padded and lined with leather. The same material that can be fined all around the upper. Literally everyone on the upper. The upper’s surface is made out of leather, and the lining on the inside of the upper is also made out of high-quality grain leather.
Support

Support

That synthetic outsole works wonders in the support department of the Nomad shoe. And so does the amazing footbed in the middle of the boot. But we’ll get to that in a sec. First things first. The synthetic outsole is of course much lighter than the rubber counterpart. And with the lightness, comes the support. The stacked nature of the heel also allows the support to be present at all times, but the footbed in the center that’s not only slightly padded but also lined with quality leather is just a cherry on top of the support sundae.
Durability

Durability

It all comes down to the quality of the materials, and how they were used in the making of the shoe. And here’ in the Allen Edmonds shoes, the durability has been a source of pride and joy for almost one century. Seriously. When the soldiers fighting in WW2 were satisfied with the durability of the shoes and kept coming back to the Allen Edmonds shops to buy these amazing shoes, you’d best believe that the durability is high in the Nomad model as well.

Why? Well, the suede leather is used in three separate part of the boot. In the upper, in the lining of the upper and in the footbed of the shoe. Secondly, synthetic outsole is also responsible for the shoe’s durability but for a different area. The leather upper and the synthetic upper create a great duo for the durability of the boot, but the thing that holds them all together and ensures that the shoe will remain in the perfect condition in the fantastic stitching all around the shoe. A much thicker thread is visible in the area where the upper and outsole connect each other, while a thinner barely noticeable tread connects the leather parts in the upper.
Flexibility

Flexibility

Aside from the durability, another great benefit of having a synthetic outsole is the flexibility that it will give while wearing the shoe. It’s common knowledge that synthetic outsoles have a lot more flexibility when compared to the natural rubber outsoles. Add to that the fact that the suede leather graces almost any other part of the boot, and this is a chukka that has plenty of flexibility to give. Your feet will feel rested, also because of the padded footbed in the middle of the shoe, but also because of the soft buttery feel of the leather. It won’t cause any restrictions, cramming or unpleasant feeling.
Stability

Stability

The man-made outsole such as the synthetic one used in the Nomad boot will provide much of the flexibility, durability, and comfort, but sadly won’t do much about the stability of the shoe. The man-made outsole is a lot more unstable when compared to the rubber all natural outsoles. They outsole is particularly unstable on slippery surfaces and you’ll have to be very careful on such delicate terrains.
Airflow

Airflow

Do you know what’s the best thing about having a leather shoe? Well, besides the obvious comfort and quality of course. The fact that the suede leather provides the airflow without the aid of any external help. There’s no need for any additional materials, mesh or perforations (this is a boot after all), and the suede leather used in the upper, the lining and the footbed is sufficient to provide the airflow. The suede will keep your feet moisture and odor free at all times and not to mention dry and warm all times. The leather is truly Godsend here in the Nomad boot.
Traction

Traction

If you take a much closer look at the synthetic outsole, what you’ll see is a relatively smooth surface on the bottom of the outsole. Sadly the surface lacks any ridges and indentation that could help with the traction properties. The lack of traction could make this shoe potentially dangerous when walking on smooth, slippery and wet surfaces, so you’ll have to be extra careful. Since this is a boot, and by all accounts a shoe that’s used in much colder weather, it should contain some signs of ridging that could provide the traction much better. Sadly it doesn’t and it’s one the few flaws attributed to the Nomad boot by Allen Edmonds.
Color

Color

Another small but crucial flaw when it comes to the Nomad boot by Allen Edmonds is the lack of color options. The color varieties are limited to just 3 available color options. The bone color option, the navy, and the snuff suede option. The bone and the navy suede uppers are the most sought after options by the customers, according to the official Allen Edmonds website, but there have been reports about adventurous men picking the snuff color version as well.
Price

Price

With a price tag that ranges from 100 dollars up to 345 dollars, the Nomad boot by Allen Edmonds is by no means a cheap and affordable shoe. This is a quite expensive purchase, but if you do choose to make that purchase, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the comfort, the great materials used in the making of the shoe and the longevity. In fact, the longevity has been on the selling points of the Allen Edmonds merchandise. When you’ll by a shoe from Allen Edmonds, you’d best believe that you’ll be wearing that shoe for a long time. You’ll get your money’s worth with each wearing of the shoe, and the cost-per-wear will become priceless.
Bottom line

Bottom line

A high-quality shoe made with high-quality materials? Many companies promise that, but very few keep that promise. However, the Nomad boot by Allen Edmonds is different. It’s a chukka boot that you’ll be having in your shoe closet for a long time. A shoe that exurbs minimalism, effortless style, and timeless elegance. The sad thing about this is a shoe that it comes with only 3 color options, but once you pass the color limitations you’ll get why the brand has had so many loyal customers over the decades. Because quality and comfort will always equal loyalty.