ECCO Irondale Review

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.0)/10


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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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ECCO takes its inspiration from the natural world. When they see a gorgeous color palette or unique texture, they tuck it away to turn into a unique creation to add to their line of footwear. Not only was scenery an inspiration but also anatomy itself. Focusing on the curves of the foot, the founder of ECCO makes shoes that are beautiful and comfortable. The Irondale from ECCO is in that category. This footwear by the brand is truly beautiful. It is modern without being pretentious, and still has a classic feel to the design. Plus, the environment is a huge priority to the brand and they’re committed to improving the world around us, giving you more reason than ever to love them.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Removable Insole
  • Textile Lining
  • Direct-Injection Outsole
  • Durable Construction
  • Highly Flexible
  • Cool Style
Cons
  • Ineffective Traction
  • Whole Sizes Only
Breathability

Breathability

ECCO generally does very well when it comes to breathability as a brand. Most of their shoes are leather or suede, which both have natural breathability due to them being animal skin. The great thing about leather is that it can transition into cooler seasons without much trouble. Just put on a warmer or more insulating sock and you’re good to go. This lovely option actually has ventilation on the body of the Irondale to ensure there is airflow going in and out of the design. This is an absolute must when it comes to a nubuck or suede option because they tend to retain heat a bit more than the average leather. The lining of the Irondale is textile, which helps to control the temperature inside of it. If you are concerned about how this will feel in various climates, there really isn’t cause for it since it is so versatile with the materials ECCO is using to create the trendy pick you see here. Men tend to have more of a problem with the perspiration of the feet, so it really is always a treat when a shoe caters to the need, even without it being a sneaker specially designated to be breathable.
Comfort

Comfort

There are a lot of features on this Irondale by ECCO that help to make it a really comfortable option. One being that it has a wonderfully responsive outsole, which creates a super soft base to rest your foot on before you even get to the inside of the Irondale. This footwear utilizes a leather-covered insole that is made from special comfort fiber system. With this system and the soft upper of the Irondale, the overall feel is more similar to that of a slipper or a slide than a sneaker that can be worn just as well with slacks as it is with jeans. With the rise being a bit higher, somewhere between a boot and sneaker, and it having a retro build to it, the ECCO Irondale is able to pad the collar and tongue slightly without bulking up the overall appearance. When a shoe looks this sleek and has this much comfort embedded into it, it becomes more of go-to wear than the average fashionable sneaker. A no-nonsense style for men is always coveted when it looks stylish enough to wear out in situations that they need to look a little more put together. Many people don’t want to bother with dress boots, and really who can blame them, so a casual option that is insanely easy to wear for long periods of time pays off when it can be disguised as something a bit more upscale with a quick change of outfit.
Durability

Durability

ECCO is a fantastic brand for durability, and they tend to be considered one of the more sophisticated and dependable options when shoe shopping, probably due to their emphasis on natural materials. Some reviewers were concerned specifically about this Irondale, however, because the outsole is not the usual hard rubber that coats the bottom. The Irondale takes advantage of a direct-injected one-component polyurethane outsole, which is surprisingly durable when you consider their usual implementation of this kind of molding. Combat boots come to mind when thinking about shoes commonly utilizing the direct-molded method. Personally, it seems to me that because of this the reviewers' worries are probably unwarranted. Foams do tend to scuff or degrade a bit faster than rubber, as rubber is a very durable and wear-resistant material, but in reality, this isn’t simply a foam. The method of making the sole is probably more reliable in grading its steadfastness than the material here. While the concern is totally understandable, it seems to be unnecessary, as ECCO has such a great reputation for long-lasting and well-made footwear options.
Notable Features

Notable Features

One of the standout features of this sneaker is the upper. The appearance of the suede and nubuck upper is incredibly creamy and rich. Every color it comes in looks perfectly fit to go with the style of the shoe. This brings me to the color collection of the Irondale. There are so many gorgeous neutrals that have been made in this style of a sneaker, that it is honestly hard to choose a favorite. Their one-component direct-molded outsole is also a thing of beauty, so rarely is this method of molding used in casual choices, so it is really exciting to see it in this pair. The shoe will have great staying power over time, and you won’t be disappointed by its fantastic ground feel as you walk around in them. The washed effect of this ECCO Irondale makes it so easy to clean and maintain. With this kind of leather, you actually don’t want to polish or scrub, all it needs is a mist of protecting spray and maybe an incredibly light once-over with a soft brush. Even if you choose not to maintain the shoe at all, it will look great time and time again, as the fabric already has that slightly natural and rugged look to it.
Outsole

Outsole

Most casual choices stick to a plastic outsole that won’t really feel too great on the foot. When I think of styles like this ECCO I am usually reminded of styles similar to those versatile casual lines, there are two brands in particular often lumped in with ECCO in terms of styles and quality. Their men’s casual options are usually comfortable sneaker hybrids, but they often have plastic bottoms that don’t stay well-bonded to the upper of the shoe, so they can cut costs. This outsole on the Irondale by ECCO is all one piece, which lends to its durability and longevity. The lightweight material is easy to pick up from the ground, so you won’t feel like you’re dragging your feet while walking out the door in this casual sneaker. The outsole is in a subtle color choice that vibes well with the upper too, creating a cohesive look for the whole shoe. If you are sick of having to wear uncomfortable shoes for a specific outfit, definitely consider looking into the ECCO Irondale, as it is a fantastic way to accent an ensemble that feels like a dream.
Price

Price

Many people know that ECCO is often expensive. Their luxury sneakers and shoes are usually all leather, and well-constructed. What is pleasantly surprising about the Irondale is that it is actually one of their options that isn’t in the triple digits when it comes to price. Many people may expect to pay an exorbitant amount for this upscale sneaker option, but it is actually very fairly priced for what you are getting. The ECCO Irondale can be worn in a business casual workplace or just hanging out for leisure. Instead of buying a pair to wear for a date night that feels like a nightmare on your feet, you can try out the ECCO Irondale and be pleasantly surprised by its cushioning and breathable upper. Controlling the temperature of your feet while still looking fly isn’t always easy and this pair of ECCO shoes accomplish both seamlessly. If you are looking for a pair of shoes to update your wardrobe that is versatile for a large array of ensembles, definitely check out the Irondale.
Size

Size

Size
Something to look out for on this pair of ECCO shoes is the sizing. ECCO usually runs large, which isn’t an issue because if you know that you can just size down. The Irondale, as well as other ECCO pairs, makes that slightly difficult because their sizing actually includes a two size range per size, rather than having individual half sizes. That means that instead of having a size nine and a size nine-and-a-half, you get them both in one, so it is a size nine and a size nine-and-a-half in one. Obviously, this isn’t ideal for most people, especially those in between sizes. Otherwise, this shoe is really phenomenal, but if you have a foot between sizes you definitely may struggle here. Luckily, there is a sort of built-in solution. On the Irondale, there is a removable footbed that can obviously be taken out for either cleaning or replacing. It may work that if the shoe is slightly too big or too small because you are in between sizes, removing the footbed or replacing for a thicker insole can help make up for the excess or lack of room. Obviously this isn’t an ideal solution, so hopefully, the shoe fits well as is, but for those that fall in love with the Irondale but are a half-size, this could be a solution to get a comfortable fit regardless.
Style

Style

ECCO makes hugely attractive and popular footwear. For shoe lovers everywhere, ECCO is a brand they trust to ensure their shoes are going to complement their outfit perfectly. The Irondale is no exception. The style is cool and casual, it isn’t quite a sneaker, there is a bit more to it than just a shoe you’d thrown on going out the door. There is almost an oxford type of appearance to this option. The color is simple and neutral, expanding your options for coordinating pieces in your wardrobe. It will be a beautiful pick no matter what your usual palette may be. Five simple eyelets and a textured tongue give this a slightly rugged look to its polished appearance. The collar comes up past the ankle and looks slightly distressed. This is a great fusion between a boot, a sneaker, and something a bit fancier. If you aren’t one to really want to wear a desert boot or Oxford, but you still want something more polished than a high-top sneaker, this is such an amazing shoe to use for the transition. The Irondale would look awesome paired with khakis or corduroys and a short sleeve button down. It would even go equally as well with dark blue jeans and a pull-over. The possibilities are endless with a shoe like this one.
Traction

Traction

Since the Irondale is a laidback shoe that is perfect for a business casual workplace or low key date night, it isn’t really the type of option you are going to need to have stellar traction on. This works out because the ECCO’s traction is slightly lackluster. The grooves are incredibly deep, but they all go horizontally across the bottom of the shoe, which means that there isn’t that much resistance on totally flat floors from slipping or losing your footing from lack of grip in the other direction. They are also spaced very far away, which makes it even worse. Though there is focused traction on the heel and toe for pivoting and grip when walking, overall the Irondale by ECCO is kind of a weak shoe when it comes to traction. This may be disappointing, but this isn’t a style that requires outstanding grip, because it has a sufficient amount and it won’t be worn in situations that require it. Unless you have a job where you are very active and you are scared of sliding in your shoes, or you often trek outdoors in dress-casual options, there isn’t really a cause for concern here.
Weight

Weight

For something that looks like it is a boot-shoe hybrid, this Irondale is insanely light. The outsole as mentioned is made of a foam material that is direct-injected, and it creates an intensely weightless shoe. The upper being that brushed looking suede makes it similarly lightweight. The Irondale by ECCO is one of those options that looks heavy-duty but feels like a cloud, both when you’re walking on them and picking your feet up. Cushioning in the shoe and the efficient material used in the outsole really make this ECCO Irondale a sweet addition to anyone’s wardrobe.

Bottom Line

ECCO lovers won’t be disappointed by this Irondale. Though the traction may not be supreme and the sizing only essentially comes in whole sizes, the style and comfort alone are a hard-to-pass-up selling point. For those looking for a buttery new brown shoe to add to their collection, this dress-sneaker and boot hybrid is a serious find. The environmentally-conscious brand does it again with the classic, contemporary look of the Irondale.