I remember when boots started dipping their toes into mainstream men’s fashion (pun intended). My wife picked out a pair of fancy boots for me at Nordstrom, which I shot down with an emphatic “no.”
It may have even been a “hell, no” if you ask for her side of the story.
At the time, I couldn’t picture wearing boots in a formal setting. Boots were for hiking, construction work, cowboys, and lumberjacks with big burly beards, not city boys like me who spend their days in an office.
It took me a while to come around to the idea, but today, boots are now a staple of my cold-weather wardrobe. They’re surprisingly comfortable, keep my feet warmer in chilly weather, and have saved my ass a few times on icy and uneven terrain.
I also love how you can dress a good pair of boots up or down to match just about any occasion, from professional work attire to weekend jeans and everything in between. You just can’t beat the versatility of a great pair of boots, and believe me when I say that the Idrese Magellans exceed that definition.
After spending about a month with these sleek showstoppers on my feet, I’d wholeheartedly recommend them to even the most discerning boot aficionado. They’re elegantly handsome on the outside and soft and supple on the inside, with a ruggedly durable outsole that has more in common with a work boot than a dress shoe. Like any premium boot they took me a minute to break in, but once I did, they became one of my favorites.
- Handcrafted and made to order: luxury, thy name is Idrese
- Made with high-end materials like full-grain Italian leather
- Rugged all-terrain soles: made for city wear but well-suited for day hikes
- Waterproof and breathable: great for rain, snow, or blistering heat
- Limited color options
- Price: they’re $315, though the direct-to-consumer discount softens the blow
- Extended lifespan requires resoling every ten years (give or take, depending on wear)
- Only come in men’s styles and sizing
Of course, these “cons” really just depend on your perspective. If you’re on a tight budget or want a performance boot built for backpacking, the Magellan probably isn’t for you. But if you can afford to splurge for top-notch quality and resoling isn’t an issue, the only thing holding you back is that you’d better like dark brown.
The Magellan boots deliver a luxury experience from the moment they arrive in the mail. Idrese carefully wraps each boot in its own shoe bag, which ensures against scuff marks from shipping and makes the unboxing experience feel like unwrapping a holiday present.
Cradling one of the boots in my hands, I was instantly impressed by the premium materials. The full-grain Italian leather upper is buttery smooth, and the all-leather interior is even softer. Just as new cars have a distinct smell, these boots carry the unmistakable scent of rich leather — my favorite part of unboxing a new pair of boots.
I’m no expert but it’s plain to see these moc-toe boots are exquisitely well-crafted from top to bottom with beautiful stitching. Turning them over, it’s clear to see that the grippy outsole is well-suited to slippery and uneven surfaces. They feel comparable to a $1,000+ Armani boot, though they’re just a small fraction of the price.
Breaking ’em In
As one should expect with any pair of premium leather boots, my field test began with a breaking-in period. In a perfect world I would have worn the boots to work or around the house while breaking them in – any situation where I can wear them for a short amount of time to make sure they’re comfortable would be ideal. But this was December and I had holiday shopping to do, so my Idrese Magellans quickly started racking up miles at the local malls.
The leather upper was stiff and definitely took a couple wears to relieve the pressure and chafing around my ankles. That said, I wore these boots on several all-day shopping excursions and they were far more comfortable out of the gate than I expected for this type of shoe. I’ve had some grueling break-in periods with other boots, so by comparison, the Magellans were a walk in the park.
I also want to commend Idrese for how comfortable the sole is. While the leather around my ankles was mildly uncomfortable the first day or two, the sole was comfortable right out of the box. I wouldn’t call it walking on pillows, but the Magellan’s insoles are far more comfortable than most of the boots and dress shoes in my closet. No foot pain, even after lapping the hard floors of the mall a few times.
I live in a part of Utah that sees plenty of snow and ice during the winter, which are the ultimate test for any pair of boots. Most shoes can handle sidewalks and grassy parks, but it takes a great outsole to keep your feet warm and footing stable when you’re traversing across slush and ice.
To no surprise, the Magellans excelled across every type of terrain that I encountered. I felt sure-footed in grass and dirt, enjoyed better than average grip on ice, and the waterproof exterior kept my feet warm and dry in rain and snow. I certainly wouldn’t call them serious hiking boots, but it’s safe to say that like the boots’ namesake explorer, the Magellans seemed able to handle just about any adventure I threw their way.
As of writing this article the Magellan boots are still new enough that there aren’t any customer reviews yet, so you’ll have to take my word for them. That said, you can still learn a lot about a company’s products in general by looking at the business’ overall reviews.
“Great customer service. I had a situation and I got a response from [the owner] right away and he walked me through the process to make sure everything was handled in the proper and correct way. Great job! I really appreciate you being patient with me, my guy is going to love the boots!” — Constance Dallas
When my boots arrived they were all I had hoped for and more. The quality is outstanding, the fit is great and they look amazing. They are built to last, and being Goodyear welt, they can be re-soled again and again as the sole gets worn down over time. These boots will be in my collection for a very long time. I will absolutely be a repeat customer. A+ Idrese. Thanks again!” — Nick
These are high-end, comfortable boots: Like all of Idrese’s boots, the Magellan is crafted with full-grain leather sourced from high-end tanneries in Italy. It’s smooth and sexy on the outside, while the leather lining delivers a soft and luxurious interior.
Durability is a priority: Idrese Magellans are built to last, especially around the welts. The welt is where the leather on the boot connects with the sole, and a strong welt is essential to make a boot last for years. Think of your favorite pair of old shoes, where the rubber sole is peeling away from the rest of the material. Now think of the opposite of that, and you have a Goodyear Welt, considered to be the gold standard in high-end boot construction.
They’re not just for urban wear: Sure, these boots look like a slick choice for running to a quick meeting in the city on a rainy day, but they’re well-suited to far more athletic pursuits – feel free to take ’em for a hike. If you flip the boot upside down, you’ll see that it has a metal shank for strong and sturdy foundation that can hold plenty of weight. It may not have the traction of a pure hiking boot but it has far more traction I anticipated, and I’m fairly confident I could wear them on a hike or at least for romping around a farm or orchard. It’s not the best shoe for an all-day summit session, but once I broke them in, they were comfortable on all kinds of terrain. And since the cork midsole is odor-resistant, I didn’t notice any stinky shoes after all-day wear. And the cork seemed to absorb impact quite well.
Returns and Warranties
Idrese is a product of the new eCommerce age – they’ve cut out the middlemen and sell directly to customers. That’s how they manage to use the same materials and techniques as luxury brands without the obscene price tag. It also means you can deal with the brand directly if you have an issue. Because all their shoes are made to order, they take a few weeks to arrive at your door. But you’ve then got two weeks to decide if you like them, and returns are nearly free – there’s a whopping $10 restocking fee. But since shipping is free, it’s still quite a deal.
The warranty is even better: there’s a full one-year warranty. But based on my experience, I’m not sure you’ll need it. Idrese manufactures their footwear in the same workshop that produces luxury goods for Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo, so they’re running with the best in the business. Their boots and shoes are all made by hand with high-end materials; they’re intended to literally last for decades. You’ll have to resole them once in a while, but as long as you take care of them, they’ll keep your feet sexy and comfortable for years to come.
The Magellans are leather chameleons that look equally at home in the office and the campground, but if you’re a city boy with no plans to step a foot in the dirt, then it’s worth considering your other options. The Micah boots are a solid pick for boardroom attire with their wingtip flourishes, and the Escobar boots are a popular choice for casual Fridays when you’re heading straight from the office to a night on the town with your friends.
Of course, if you’re not quite ready to spring for a pair of these, you’ll find comparable looking options from brands like Keen and Danner that have more of an outdoor slant, and Johnston & Murphy makes some nice options too, though they’re not necessarily to the same high-end standards (cheaper, though.)
After wearing my Magellan boots for a little over a month, I’m happy to say that I would absolutely recommend purchasing them. The price point makes them more of a splurge than a value pick, but the premium materials and craftsmanship are worth every penny. And since I’m hoping they last me a decade or more, I should save money by not having to buy a new pair of cheaper boots every two years.
There are a number of features that I could call out for exceeding expectations, but I’ll focus on the two that I think matter most: vanity and comfort. In other words, how they look and how they feel.
Personally, I think when you splurge on a pair of new boots, half the fun is showing them off. I’m not talking about showboating or peacocking around the office, but hey, it’s nice to get a few compliments when your coworkers catch a glimpse of your new kicks.
Of course, looks aren’t everything, so quality craftsmanship and comfort also top my list of priorities. You don’t have to be a shoe fanatic to understand feel the quality. I felt solid on ice and dirt thanks to the lugged outsole, the welts don’t let a drop of water in, and the soft leather interior kept my feet comfortable from dawn to dusk.
Idrese is a relatively new player in the luxury menswear world, but given their attention to detail, expert craftsmanship, and penchant for fair pricing, I have a feeling the company is only going to popular as fashion-savvy customers are introduced to the brand.
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Editor’s Note: Idrese supplied our writer with a pair of Magellans for testing purposes, as is common with practice with gear reviews. However, our writer’s opinions are entirely his own; our writers don’t profit off sales. We strive for honesty and transparency at all times.