Dolce Vita Nolen Review

9.1 score
[Editors rating (9.1)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.1)/10

Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Founded in the Lower East Side, in the heart of Manhattan, Dolce Vita will celebrate 18 years since the inception of one of the best fashion labels in modern American history.

Created and founded by noted shoemakers Nick Lucio and Van Lamprou, the Dolce Vita quickly grew to one of the recognizable brands. Painted with an innovative spin on the classics, the Dolce Vita designs are filled with an eye-catching quirkiness that blends well with the effortless style of the classical elegance.

It’s not always easy to blend the catchy with the elegant, but Dolce Vita has been doing a solid job at this for almost 2 decades now. The Dolce Vita design studio now occupies an entire floor of the iconic Puck Building and the pragmatic, yet beautiful setting of the building can be found in plenty of the designs.

But for now, let’s focus on the Dolce Vita Nolen model. A flat designed for the modern day woman that loves to add a dash of edginess among the class and sophistication. A gladiator style flat that will become a staple in almost every closet and that radiates with effortless style and quality in almost every part of the shoe.

The Nolen model is Dolce Vita’s pride and joy, but more on the details in the review below.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Leather and Fur

Dyed cow hair

Synthetic sole

Back zip for easy entry

Sliver wedge


No vegan version



Yes, the outsole may seem quite unremarkable, and unimpressive, but it shouldn’t be the case. However, the midsole is a little bit more appealing since it’s highly elevated in the heel area, and slightly padded to add a little more comfort to the foot. It’s an open toe silhouette sandal perfect for the long summer days and nights. The elevation of the midsole starts with the arches, and ends at the back of the foot, while the entire footbed is lined with a leather lining for comfort, and luxurious feel. That particular style of elevation is commonly called sliver wedge, and it means that a particular wedge is inserted in the midsole to keep the toe elevated and supported. But more on that later in the post. For now, take moment to enjoy that fabulous midsole.


Just like with the midsole, the upper of the Nolen sandal is made entirely out of leather. And it’s no surprise since this is one fantastic, quality made shoe. But the leather in the upper, consist out of 70% leather & 30% Calf hair. Only the finest materials have been used in the making of the sandals, and it clearly shows in the finished product. One thing leather straps sit just above the toes area, while two other thing straps in a crisscross pattern hug the top of your foot. An outside zipper that sits on the heel of the sandal and those straps mentioned earlier close the opening of the sandal with an adjustable buckle. The sandal gives you two options in which you can put on the shoe, and take it off after you’re done. Both of the items (the zipper and the adjustable buckle) are highly functional and frankly, you’ll appreciate the options after a long tiring day on the foot. When you just want to come home and put your feet on the couch, both the zipper and the buckle will seem like fantastic options.


The comfort in the Nolen sandals comes from the quality leather that is in the midsole and the upper of the shoe. When you have quality materials like great leather, your feet will be comforted and hugged by those natural materials, and coincidently will keep your feet blister and pain-free. It’s an amazing comforting feature.


Oh, that fantastic midsole. Seriously. The Sliver wedge found in the back of the midsole, topped with the slight padding really attribute to the support of the sandal, without taking away much of the comfort. The support in the Nolen sandal, fortunately, comes from the top and bottom of the shoe, as the support is also thanks to the adjustable buckle and zipper found in the upper of the shoe. The support that these features give to the shoe is unparalleled since the entire foot is supported, and not just parts of it. In most cases, the support comes from one area of the shoe, but in the Nolen sandal, it comes from almost everywhere, which is amazing.


Leather lasts more than any other synthetic material. It’s just a fact, but good use of that quality leather, and good craftsmanship that was put into the making of the shoe, really adds to the durability of the sandals. But you see, the durability isn’t just solely to the quality of the materials. Yes, they help, but you need to see and feel the quality of the design, and the way that the shoes were made. That’s where the craftsmanship comes in play. You can have all the best leather in the world but would mean nothing if that leather wasn’t put into good use and if it wasn’t put in good hands. Those things make the durability of one shoe even greater, and luckily the Nolen sandal has plenty of that.


Besides being durable, the leather is also highly flexible material. And in the Nolan sandal, it clearly shows. The sandal is extremely flat but very flexible, besides the fact that it has a padded midsole and sliver wedge in the midsole. The padding and the wedge don’t interrupt the flexibility, and you can feel it with every single step that you take.


Nothing says stability more than a thin flat outsole, zipper and buckle closure. Yes, the stability first and foremost comes from the synthetic flat outsole that positions the foot in the right way. If this sandal had a higher heel than the 0.8’’, it would have made the balance and the walking itself a lot more difficult. But since it doesn’t the foot rests normally on the footbed and the buckler/zipper combo assure that the foot is stable, secure and snug as a bug in the sandal.


The Nolen sandal by Dolce Vita is an open toe summer sandal and it’s made out of real leather. It doesn’t get better than that in the airflow department. You don’t need to worry about the airflow when wearing the Nolen sandal. Your feet will be aerated and ventilated and the leather will keep your feet odor free.


Because the Nolen sandal is a summer sandal, walking in various terrains is not highly recommended. Why? Because the outsole is very thin and made out of synthetic. When you’re walking into chalky, rough terrain, you’ll be able to feel every single stone and pebble that comes under your feet. So, if you’d like to spear yourself form lots of unpleasant moments and uncomfortable situations, please refrain from wearing the sandals in rough terrain.


The same goes for traction. Because this is a very flat type of outsole, the smooth surface of the outsole makes it susceptible to slipping. The outsole in the Nolen sandal is ridge free, so the smoothness of the synthetic outsole has the potential to cause problems when you’re on smooth, slippery or wet surfaces. The traction in these shoes is minimal and you do need to be careful when wearing them.


The Dolce Vita Nolen sandals are a godsend shoe for every confident stylish woman that won’t give up on the comfort and stability in every situation. The leather midsole and leather upper really give you the luxurious buttery feel of the real high quality leather, and the padding and sliver wedge in the middle help with the comfort. But the comfort in this sandal comes from unexpected places, it comes from the fantastic crisscross ankle straps, ankle adjustable buckle and the sturdy supportive zipper at the heel area of the shoe. The style of the Dolce Vita Nolen is reminiscent of the famed gladiator flat sandals, and the beauty of this shoe that it’s so versatile and adjustable to any style that you’ll be rotating them on a daily basis. And if your workplace allows you a more relaxed style that’s also laidback and comfy you can even wear the sandals at work.
But it doesn’t stop there. Do you have a series of low key weddings that you need to attend this summer? Having the Nolen sandal will be your lifeline in every single one of them. All you have to do is change you outfit, and you’re done. Especially if you’re not big fan of high heels. The padding in the midsole along with the wedge that’s been inserted in that area will keep your feet lightly elevated and supported, as opposed having your feed firmly on the flat surface. The Nolen model is highly transitional and can work well with you day more casual outfits, as much as it can work well with you dressy nighttime outfits. You’ll look elegant and effortlessly chic in both occasions, but you alone will be able to feel the comfort that these shoes has to offer.

Key features

Leather upper
Ankle strap with adjustable buckle closure
Zipper closure at back
Open-toe silhouette
Strappy detail over vamp
Leather lining
Lightly padded footbed
Man-made sole

Bottom line

You can never go wrong not with buying a classic sandal like the Dolce Vita Nolen shoe, but you can never go wrong when buying a leather shoe. The fine craftsmanship that went into the making of this shoe is evident in almost every inch of the shoe, and you’ll just love that the comfort that goes with the classic lines. It’s an almost wholesome shoe, but if there’s a need for twisting an arm and looking for the improvements that could have been made in the making of the sandals, one can’t help but mention the padding. Yes, it’s evident that there’s a light padding in the footbed, but for a flat shoe like this, there needs to be more evident and pronounced padding, to amp u the comfort. Also, the wedge in the heel is a nice addition to the stability and comfort of the sandal, but just like in the footbed’s case it needs to be more evident. By having more padding and higher wedge, the distribution of the weight is universal, and the arches feel less of the strain.

But they’re great as they are. The materials used in the making of the shoe are great, and so is the style. Gladiator flat sandal looks fantastic on just about anybody and you’ll find yourself wearing the sandals almost every day. They’re expensive, yes, but they’re also an investment worth making. The versatility and quality alone will make you glad that you purchased them, let alone the leather used in the making of the sandals. Granted, because the outsole is very thin, you’ll need to be more careful when wearing the sandals on very smooth or very rough surfaces. Because there’s very little traction in the outsole, the sandals can become very slippery and can cause some problems in the long run. But if you’re looking for a great, comfortable sandal that not only looks amazing, you’ll be wearing it for a long time to come, then look no further. The Dolce Vita Nolen is as good as it gets and after you’ve put it on your feet, you’ll get why Dolce Vita has been a favorite to so many celebrities. And with buying the Nolen sandal, you can have that celebrity feeling without breaking the bank account. The Nolen sandal is every fashionista’s dream. Elegant, sophisticated in an understated way. A shoe that won’t let you down.