Best Born Shoes Reviewed & Rated
Born products embody the cultural California lifestyle through their casually fashionable models of footwear. Whether you’re in search of sandals, sneakers, or a pair of loafers to wear while sailing the high seas, there’s an answer to accommodate every way of life. One of the most notable features of this brand is the quality of leathers and materials used in its construction, which include the softest, most durable, and exceptionally comfortable leathers that have been specially treated to add one-of-a-kind character to every single design they craft.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research
10 Best Born Shoes
Runs ½ Size Small
A rugged boot ideal for casual everyday wear, but stylish enough to be worn to the more relaxed office, the Nigel is a bestselling style that truly reflects what the Born brand is all about - comfort and quality above else. It comes in two leather upper choices - full grain and suede, and several color options, including classic blacks and browns.
This model features a round toe for ultimate walking comfort, allowing the toes enough space so they can naturally splay during each step. The lace up closure gives you the ability to find the ideal fit, while the padding around the collar prevents rubbing above the ankle. Microfiber lining wicks moisture away from the foot, making this a great model for transitional weather and indoor-outdoor wear.
The footbed of the Nigel is generously padded, but it’s also removable so you can replace it with custom orthotics, or wash it easily once you feel like your footwear needs some freshening up. The outsole features a traditional traction pattern that works well on most floors, and the overall quality of the build makes these an excellent investment, despite the slightly higher price.
Leather Or Suede Upper
Breathable Leather Lining
Runs Slightly Large
If you’re after a fun update of the classic ankle boot, the Kerri, available either in full grain leather or distressed suede upper, is the perfect pair of fall footwear. It features a beautiful design that will show off your legs in just the right way, and the heel is stacked on a lugged rubber outsole for great traction in all weather conditions. Pair these with jeans or a skirt, or even a fancy ensemble for a real versatile pair of shoes.
Most ankle boots will have either elastic gores or a zipper on the side, which can look good, but can sometimes diminish a good design. The Kerri features a back zipper that makes putting these shoes on and off much more hassle free. Just slide in, and you’ll be out the door in no time!
A good pair of shoes is flexible, in that it allows your foot to move freely, but it also needs to be stable. This is especially true with heeled models. This ankle boot features a steel shank in the sole that’ll ensure the proper support throughout the midfoot area, preventing any unnatural twists. This product is a bestseller, and that’s reflected in its price - it’s the most expensive item on our list. Of course, this is to be expected from a model that’s made with genuine leather uppers, a high quality sole and is handcrafted. Plus, these boots won’t go out of style for years to come. You’ll find yourself reaching for them on a daily basis, for sure.
The Sebra features a barely there 1/2-inch heel and a 2.5-inch shaft. It's a super cute and functional pair of slip-on flats that you are sure to adore. Comfort won't be of concern while you're wearing the Sebra, it's as comfy as it is cute and is ideal to wear day or night while working, traveling, or playing.
The Sebra's non-slip rubber outsole and functional upper build make this a versatile and multi-purpose slip-on flat. It boasts Opanka hand-crafted construction for solid and long-lasting structure and is crafted from soft leather while also maintaining a sleek silhouette.
A full-grain, suede, or metallic leather choice of upper material allows you to tailor this flat to your taste. These gorgeous slip-ons make for easy on-and-off wearability, and their updated moccasin design is as fashionable as it is foot-friendly. The Sebra may seem a little costly especially for a pair of minimal flats, but its feature-rich design and sturdy long-wearing construction are well worth the price. In addition to these, when wearing this choice you know they will stay with you for long hours and keep you feeling better than ever.
No Break In Period
¾ Inch Heel
No Wide Sizes
This gladiator sandal is the perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe. Whether you’re into jean shorts or flowy dresses, the Tripoli is sure to look great with all your outfits. It is available in four color options: black, brown, navy and white, so you can choose the one that speaks to you most. The fact that there’s no heel makes the Tripoli ideal for walking and traveling, as does the fact that it’s made with great materials, as you’d expect from this brand.
The upper of the Tripoli uses genuine leather for the straps, as well as the lining, which ensures a breathable environment for your feet. The materials is soft enough not to cause rubbing or blistering, and will adapt to your foot with wear. To make on and off easier, there are two closure systems present - the traditional buckle around the ankle, and a zipper closure at the back.
The footbed of this gladiator sandal is fully padded, which means that you will be able to wear these for longer, without feeling discomfort. As for the outsole, it uses a rubber material to ensure a good grip on most surfaces. As for cost association, the Tripoli ranks around average for a sandal by this brand, so if this is the look you’re after, it’s definitely highly recommended.
5. Toby 2
The Toby 2 is one of the best selling clogs from their lineup that's super stylish and perfect for professional use or while working around the house. These clogs are a versatile pair of slip-on clogs that are as fashionable as they are functional. Your feet will stay comfortable and supported through long hours of wear. In addition to all of this, they are flexible and dress up as easily as they dress down.
The Toby 2 was made with a soft and slightly padded insole along with its slip-on design which makes for easy on and off wearability. A steel shank provides additional support and structure while a low heel height of 2.25-inches allows for a natural step.
The Toby 2 includes a full-grain leather upper and leather lining which helps to wick moisture away from the foot while allowing for adequate airflow. These classic clogs are made for every lifestyle and you're sure to fall in love with them. Clogs are excellent in terms of support. The Toby 2 isn't as expensive as it appears but rather is quite affordable. The Toby is well worth the cost thanks to its full-grain leather construction and moisture-wicking lining that provide superior comfort and style.
Lots of Color Options
Textile Lined Footbed
Quarter Inch Heel
Wide Sizes Available
This is a bestselling pair of footwear, and for very good reason. A ballet flat that’s versatile, comfortable, and comes in a variety of color options, the Julianne is one of those shoes everyone should own. It is available in three leather upper variations: full-grain, metallic or suede, so you can go with the one (or ones) that matches your style the best.
One of the things that differentiates the Julianne from similar styles is the fact that it comes in wide sizes, which is crucial for those who need a bit of extra room to get a comfortable fit. With the leather upper being supple and flexible, you’ll find that it will break in easily, molding to the shape of your foot, giving you a ballet flat you can wear anytime, anywhere.
The inside of the Julianne is lined with suede, a type of leather that is softer than full-grain, but that is still highly durable and breathable. The footbed is padded, as with most other models on our list, and covered in a textile that promotes airflow and temperature regulation. As for the outsole, it’s a simple rubber unit with a quarter inch heel for a classic look.
Variety of Options
Suede Option Runs Large
A great driving loafer is one of those styles of flats that can be worn with almost any outfit, making you look absolutely classy. The Malena is a popular style, and the best thing about it is the huge variety of color options and material finishes it comes from. While the construction is simple and uses leather - full-grain, metallic, suede or patent, it is updated each year to include stylistic options that follow the latest trend.
The construction of the Malena is fairly simple - it features a comfortable round toe that will work for most people, a no-fuss slip on opening that won’t waste your time with laces and buckles, an outsole that extends over the heel in the back to ensure durability if you really happen to wear these while driving, as well as the leather lining and generously padded insole we’ve all come to expect from Born.
The outsole of the Malena is slightly different from the rest of the models on our list, seeing that it uses prominent rubber pods to ensure a good grip on most surfaces. What this means that it will work just as well on dry as it will on wet floors, all the while ensuring a great amount of flexibility. In terms of price, it’s relatively cheap, seeing that it can often be bought on sale, making this one of the best investments on our list.
Leather or Suede Upper
Lacks Arch Support
A casual take on the classic Derby shoe, the Soledad is one of those everyday models you can pair with jeans and still look smart. It is available in two material choices - the full-grain leather we’ve all come to expect from Born, and a canvas version that will be more appropriate (and comfortable) for spring and summer use. With a couple of color choices available (mostly based on browns), this is an excellent pair of footwear to own.
The lining of the Soledad is fully made with leather which has several advantages over other commonly used materials. It is natural, and is highly breathable, while also possessing moisture wicking properties that don’t allow sweat to pool inside your shoes. If you do tend to sweat a lot, it will need a bit more time to thoroughly dry between wears, but on the whole, you can expect it to last for quite some time.
Other features you can expect from this model are a rubber outsole, durable leather laces that allow for easy adjustability, a round toe and a padded footbed for shock absorption. In terms of cost association, the Soledad ranks around average, making it an overall good option for most people.
Full-Grain Leather Upper
Toe Piece May Rub
One of their top-selling sandals, the Mai is a multi-purpose slip-on that is perfect for the long hot days of summer. It boasts a sturdy construction and comfortable design so your feet won’t feel fatigued even after hours spent on the go.
The Mais’ exceptional design makes for a long-lasting and ultra-comfortable pair of summer sandals. These versatile slip-ons are crafted from full-grain leather and have a leather lining that wicks moisture away from the skin to prevent a build-up of odor-causing sweat. The Mai has a non-slip rubber outsole that ensures a steady foot on any surface, while it’s Opanka hand-crafted stitching keeps this sandal in top-shape for ages.
The Mai has a sleek cross-strap upper that wraps around the heel for a unique vibe. The two upper straps join at a secure buckle closure system, which means you won’t have to worry about your sandals slipping off while you wear them. The Mai comes in three colors: shell, black, and navy, so you will be able to match them with any outfit and their versatile design is perfect for professional, as well as, casual occasions. The Mai is available at a similar price-point as full-cover sandals which may seem off-putting at first, but don’t worry, the Mai is a sandal that’s worth paying a bit more for. Its superior comfort and effortless wearability make the Mai a high-end sandal that's available for a mid-range price and if you’re in the market for a long-lasting pair of gorgeous summer footwear, the Mai is a great consideration.
The Tamara is a perfect shoe for the weekend or casual occasions and is such a popular choice of footwear that it returns season after season and has become one of the most well known of this line. These super-cute sneakers are available in six colors: dove, cognac, floral, white, black, and light pink.
The Tamara is available in a variety of upper unit materials including full-grain, textured, or perforated full-grain leather. Its suede lining provides a soft and comfortable foot feel, while its non-slip rubber outsole allows for sure footing and a secure walking environment. The Tamara is hand-crafted using an Opanka construction for long-lasting and durable manufacturing so these casual sneakers will last and last.
The Tamara features a traditional lace closure and side zipper accent for a cute and fashionable look. Its low 1.25-inch heel height makes for an easy stride, while the many choices of material and colors allow for a shoe that customized to your individual tastes. While it's not the cheapest of the footwear line the Tamara is definitely worth every cent. These casual shoes bring a new level of comfort and a fashion-friendly feel to the traditional low-key sneaker. You’re sure to fall in love with the Tamara time after time.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
These products are constructed using a six-layer system that incorporates comfort and quality to produce a long-lasting line of footwear which feels just as good as it looks. While each model is different, there are a few things you can expect out of your Born shoes:
Together, these features combine to provide the foundation for footwear that is ultra-comfortable, long-wearing, and highly versatile.
If you're looking for footwear that is going to feel great on your feet from the very first wear, you have made the right choice in going with this brand. The key to a shoe that feels good is relatively simple, once you know what it is exactly that you should look for. With Born, there are several things you can expect to receive:
Most of the footwear listed above features an outsole made with rubber, which has become an industry standard in most types of shoes. This material is convenient for a number of reasons, including the fact that it is durable enough to last through wear on varied terrain, it is flexible, so it doesn't limit the foot during walking, and is lightweight, helping users prevent fatigue.
Furthermore, it is soft, which contributes to the overall shock absorbing qualities of your footwear, plus it offers excellent grip on all types of surfaces, even in wet conditions. Some of the models have more prominent traction patterns on the bottom, which makes them a good choice for environments where slipping is an issue.
One of the things that is characteristic of this brand, however, is the fact that the outsoles are securely connected to the upper of the shoe, using both gluing and stitching techniques. What this achieves is a greater durability that doesn't break down when exposed to less than favorable elements.
Only the highest-quality leathers and other materials are used in the creation of these products. They use special treatments unique to certain styles to improve on appearance and overall performance; such as burnishing to enhance the depth of color or a unique treatment process which creates a subtle look of wear adding character to every piece. Other fabrics are also utilized, like soft velvet and linens for unparalleled comfort. These manufacturers use their signature Opanka hand-stitching technique that holds many benefits including:
Products constructed using Opanka stitching are incredibly long-lasting and are hand-crafted for a level of comfort that’s a step above the rest.
Men: Finding high-quality and professional looking footwear can be difficult for men, especially if you’re searching for something that’s sophisticated yet still comfortable enough to wear anywhere. That’s why men all over the world seek out this quality line of footwear because they understand just how amazing it really is. This brand offers a ton of different styles for guys including:
Women: Women everywhere agree that these products not only feel great on their feet but look fabulous too. There are so many variations and styles of women’s footwear; including
Children: Recently a line of children’s footwear was released inspired by their Spring 2018 Collection. Their Children’s line includes everything from crib-specific styles to babies first steppers and on, offering a cushioned and comfortable collection of footwear for little ones that provide adequate support for growing feet.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you've not yet tried Born footwear, you're in for a treat in quality craftsmanship. Each pair is stitched to perfection, making them comfortable and durable for wear. As such however, the shoe should avoid being worn in wet weather.
Handcrafted shoes usually require a bit more tender loving care than others, but are well worth the time spent to do so.
Don't wear you Born footwear in the rain, or in wet conditions, as this can affect the stitching and durability of the shoe. Store them away from extreme cold or heat, or even direct sunlight to keep the color and structure intact.
Other Factors to Consider
If you've decided to make a good investment, then getting a pair of Born shoes is definitely the right choice. Not only does the manufacturer make footwear that is stylish, with plenty of new styles every season, but they also ensure that their products are high quality, using only the finest materials.
The hand-crafted construction means that each pair goes through rigorous quality control before being shipped, which ultimately translates to footwear that is durable and comfortable. Additionally, their items are priced so as to be affordable, with costs that are only slightly above average, but that guarantee that you will really be receiving a good value for your invested money.
Regardless which of the models listed above you decide to go with in the end, you will find that it will quickly become one of your favorite pairs of shoes to wear on a daily basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I clean and care for my footwear?
That depends on the materials used in the construction will vary from style-to-style, generally speaking, the following care instructions will keep your pair in good condition and prevent any future problems:
Nubuck/Suede- For suede and nubuck materials you want to wipe them off using a damp cloth which will remove any unwanted surface level dirt. You can then go over the whole thing with a suede brush and crepe bar to remove any stains or scuffs. There is also treatment sprays available the act as a protective layer over top of suede and can be used right after purchase as to further protect the performance of the materials used.
Full-grain/Veg Leather- Full-grain and veg leathers should be cleaned using a soft washcloth that’s just barely damp. While for maintenance care, try using a neutral leather cream and buff with a soft, clean cloth.
q: What is veg leather? Is it vegan?
Veg leather is not vegan, it’s leather tanned with the use of ingredients found in vegetable matter. The leather used is genuine cowhide, except for the occasional style of footwear made with a fabric upper unit instead, but even still, these products will likely have leather in the lining.
q: Is their footwear waterproof or water-resistant?
No, they’re not. The styles by this brand are made using special hand-crafted techniques that create tiny holes along the sole where the upper unit attaches. It’s not a good idea to wear a pair if you’re planning on being in a wet environment.
q: Are they made in the US?
No, they are manufactured in various different locations around the world including China, Mexico, and Vietnam, but not in the USA. Check individual product packages for more detailed information regarding the specific location used in the manufacturing of the item.
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