If you have any interest in ethical fashion, chances are good that you have heard of Nisolo. They specialize in making beautifully sleek leather footwear and they are a B Corp certified, socially and environmentally conscious company.

Nisolos are the darlings of the ethical fashion blogosphere – ethical fashion expert Andrea from Seasons + Salt put them on her 2017 Most Worn Items list, capsule wardrobe specialist Paige from Style This Life made room for two pairs in her 2018 Winter Capsule and minimalist wardrobe icon, Bethany of Dearly Bethany has been wearing them almost daily during her Year of Outfits journey.

After deciding I needed a replacement for the oldest boots in the world, I knew they would be Nisolo boots. I fell in love with the look of their Chelsea boot and put it on my Closet Wish List.  I tried to save up for the purchase during the entire fall – Nisolos are not cheap – but it never seemed like the right time to buy them.

So when I got some cash as a Christmas gift, I knew I was going to buy the Nisolo boots that I had been lusting over for months. I was so excited!

Until I opened the box …

The soles were already scuffed up!

I should mention at this point that Nisolo uses leather soles for their products. Leather soles are generally more comfortable and give the shoe a sleeker, more sophisticated look. But their biggest drawback is that they’re not very durable; they can get scuffed and worn very easily. Depending on the thickness of the sole and how often you wear the shoe, you might have to replace the sole within a year or two.

None of these were things I took into much consideration before I decided I wanted to add a pair of Nisolo boots to my closet.

So when I opened the box and saw this I was super disappointed:

Scuffed leather soles on Nisolo Chelsea boots | curatedcassi.com

According to Nisolo’s customer service, that level of scuffing was probably due to someone trying them on inside before deciding to exchange them. Apparently, it’s within what they consider a tolerable level of wear to resend out to a new customer.

And I get it. It’s just scuffing to the bottom of the sole, and the rest of the boot was in great condition.

But I’m still very disappointed that this is the boot I received. I have never even come close to spending over $200 on a pair of shoes before, so I expected them to be beautiful and pristine.

In Nisolo’s defense, they did offer to exchange the scuffed boots for a new pair, but I decided not to take them up on it. Honestly, I didn’t feel like the hassle of repackaging and waiting for a new pair to arrive. And, of course, there’s the environmental cost of round trip shipping.

What I Think About My Nisolo Boots

With all customer service woes aside, I really do love these boots. They are sleek and comfortable and look great with everything I’ve worn them with so far. My favorite thing about them is that I can put them on with any outfit, and it immediately feels more dressed up. When I wore them to work, I felt more sophisticated. When I wore them out to a brewery, I felt more stylish. And when I wore them with a t-shirt and jeans, I felt more fashion-forward.

I can’t ignore the fact that these boots make me feel great!

However, I’m not crazy about the leather soles even though they are comfortable and look elegant. I don’t want to have to replace them after a few years so I’m considering using a sole protector that will prevent the leather wearing down too quickly. But the environmentalist in me is annoyed that I have to buy a second product to prolong the life of this first one.

I might avoid leather soles in the future and stick with shoes that have a more durable and sustainable sole.

Overall, even though I’ve been loving the look and comfort of my Nisolo boots, I think my opinion of the company has been damaged because I got a pair of scuffed soles. I’m really not sure if I’d buy another shoe from them.

How I’ve Been Styling My Nisolo Boots

Black nisolo chelsea boots with black denim and white sweater | curatedcassi.com
Black nisolo chelsea boots with boyfriend denim and rust top | curatedcassi.com
Black nisolo chelsea boots with denim shorts and red vintage flannel | curatedcassi.com
Black nisolo chelsea boots with black leggings and grey sweater | curatedcassi.com

Nisolo Chelsea Boot in Black | $228 

Look 1: Cream Sweater  (Banana Republic, similar, similar ethical) | Black High Rise Skinnys (Madewell, similar ethical)

Look 2: Umber Flowy Top (Anthropologie old, similar, similar ethical) | Blue Boyfriend Denim (Everlane)

Look 3: Vintage Flannel (thrifted, similar, similar ethical, similar <$80) | Jean Shorts (Anthropologie, old, similar, similar eco-friendly)

Look 4: Grey Sweater (old, similar ethical) | Black Leggings (old, similar ethical)


What do you think? Do you have a pair of Nisolos? How is your sole holding up?


Nisolo Chelsea Boots ethical fashion | curatedcassi.com