Saturday, September 26, 2020

FINAL UPDATE: Vostey Leather Men's Fashion Sneakers (Amazon.com)

This review updated with final information. Original review below; added comments have been italicized.
Pretty sleek-looking shoes, especially for the price.

UPDATE (9/26/20): I actually put this update off for a little while, but back in August, these things completely exploded while I was moving a heavy item at work. That means I got about five months of use out of these as my main shoe, using them in virtually all situations, from work to play. 

Shoe explosion.


NOTE: I purchased these back in January, 2020, when they were $19.99. They have since almost doubled in price, going up to $32.99. This review is relative to a $20 price tag; it's up to you to decide if you think the added cost is worth it. Also, it's worth noting that they do come with a box, too; I just already threw mine out.

In a recent previous review, I took a look at a canvas pair of Vostey shoes that I purchased at the same time, which ripped about the tenth time I put them on. In other words, they sucked. Here, we have a pair of leather shoes, which cost me just $4 more—at $20. For a pair of leather shoes. So clearly they're just going to fall apart after the third or fourth time and be a complete waste of money...right?

WRONG! Surprisingly, these shoes are completely the opposite of the canvas ones. They've also been subjected to far more “abuse”--unlike the canvas ones that I just wore a handful of times, I wore the leather Vostey's every workday (five days a week) from January 6th, 2020 (the day after they arrived), up through March 24th, when we were furloughed from work. I won't say that my job is a really “fast-paced” environment, but I do get a ton of steps in, averaging over 400,000 steps per month, with well over half of those on a typical month coming from my workday. So while it may not be a super-frantic workplace, it's certainly way more active than, say, a cubicle job.

These things have held up admirably during that time, with nary a speck out of place, save for the material in the inner back part of the shoe. You'd think $20 shoes would have no support, and while they probably aren't the most comfortable shoe out there, they're more than adequate for my needs. Even after taking all the abuse of constantly being on my feet a good chunk of the day, there's nary a thread out of place, on the outside. And while two months isn't really enough of a sample time to declare them the value of the year, or anything, it's a pretty solid foundation, considering they've already lasted two months longer (of wear time) than my canvas shoes from the same company, and show very little evidence of use.



There is some slight wear to the inner webbing at the back of the shoe, but no discomfort yet.
The lone area is in the inner back of each shoe, where there is a bit of wear stemming from my heels constantly rubbing up against them; we'll see how long that actually takes to break down enough to the extent that they are uncomfortable or unwearable. As as of now though, there's no discomfort or noticeable issues in performance stemming from that.

Even better, the smooth leather finish also seems to be pretty easy to clean. I'm not one of those guys that cares about shoes at all, beyond providing me a legally-required foot covering so that I can go out in public. Needless to say, I never wash them or polish them, or even wipe them down if they get dirty. Well, we took our son to a friend's house, which lead to an unexpected backyard play session in mud. My shoes weren't caked in the stuff (I tried to avoid stepping in it as much as possible), but there was enough mud on them that I thought I'd need a backup pair to wear to work for the next day or two, until I could get around to cleaning them off. Lo and behold, a couple walking sessions in the rain later, and they've pretty much cleaned themselves—there's no hint of the mud war that they were involved in.

Can you even tell these have been in mud?

Which also brings me to the matter of the elements: I've worn them through moderate amounts of snow and rain, and they've held up like a champ through both. I was initially hesitant to even try it, given the price and potential for wet feet (which I can't stand), but so far, they've kept my feet dry in all instances.

My initial impressions - and after two months, I'd still consider myself to be in that phase - are that these are some pretty well-crafted shoes, period. So far, I'd be just as happy if I paid $50 for them; the fact they were $20 really just sweetens the deal.

I'll continue to post the occasional updates on their performance, especially after I return to work from an extended furlough. As of now, though, these look to be money very well spent.

Overall: 6/10 (no change). After about five months of use as my main shoe, wearing them to work and home, the right shoe completely exploded while moving a heavy item at work. This means I got about five months of constant use out of them, for a meager $20 price tag. That's not bad at all. Since they've gone up to $32.99, I wouldn't get them again to use as my main shoe, but I am kicking around the idea (haha, get it?) of grabbing another pair for use in gentler conditions, like wearing them around the house, or for quick trips out running errands. With minor use, there's no reason to believe they wouldn't last at least a year; maybe even longer.

Again, take this one with a grain of salt if you want to, because this review is only two months in (and subject to change as they get more use), but the initial look at these shoes is incredibly positive. I've worn them in rain, mud, and to work, where I routinely get about 10,000 steps per day, and outside of minor wear on the inner heel, they're every bit as comfortable as the first day I put them on. While I bought them at the ridiculous price of $19.99, making them an absolute steal, assuming this quality continues for even a few more months, I wouldn't hesitate to replace them at the current retail price of $32.99.

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