Summer Love From The Noble Shoe
I just can’t believe that we are already in August. What I also can’t believe is how I have not reviewed any kind of Suede Shoes on Misiu Academy! This changes today with a Review of the 9780 Penny Loafers by Carlos Santos for The Noble Shoe.
One reason for that is the current continuous heatwave across the world. With such temperatures, you need to keep your feet cool but also stylish. What better way to do both than use the ultimate summer combo.
Suede and Loafers.
Specifically, The Noble Shoe worked with Carlos Santos to create a brilliant composition that retains the feeling of freedom in a sleek, elegant package. So much, I kept one for myself! So let us dive into the beautiful world of Suede and start this Review.
Carlos Santos is one of the best and most famous shoemakers. Ever since 1942, they produce shoes of remarkable quality and unparalleled value. Which is exactly why I chose to collaborate with them on this one. For those of you wondering, here are the previous reviews of the Brand:
- 8866 Boots in Coimbra
- 8866 Boots in Brown Kudu Leather
- 9381 Derby in Coimbra
- 6942 Double Monkstraps in Wine Shadow
- 7273 Brown Wingtip Oxfords
- Handgrade Adelaide Oxford in Guimaraes
It is only fitting then that today we Review a pair of Carlos Santos Loafers!
What’s Under The Hood? (A.k.a Specifications)
All our Carlos Santos Shoes are Goodyear Welted in Portugal at the Zarco Factory. This means you can resole them with ease at a cobbler and keep them in good shape for years. If you are not aware what a Goodyear Welt is, I encourage you to read this guide about shoe construction! Essentially, it is a small strip of leather that runs along the perimeter of the shoe and holds together the midsole and sole.
As for Suede leather, it is the flesh part of the skin. It has a nice soft texture and makes great informal shoes. For more information, refer to this guide about types of shoe leather.
- Brand: Carlos Santos
- Model: Penny Loafer
- Style Reference: 9780
- Last: 387 Soft Square Toe
- Width: Regular
- Size: UK 7 (US 8/EU 41)
- Uppers: Light Brown Suede
- Sole: Single Leather
- Lining: Genuine Leather
- Construction: Goodyear Welted 270°
- Price: $349 (£279/€309/3299 SEK) including VAT
- Shop: The Noble Shoe
Tip: The prices in the shop are without VAT. If you are outside the EU/EEA that’s just $279! For EU/EEA the VAT is 25% and appears during country selection.
I really like the presentation of Carlos Santos Shoes. They always come in a high quality box with nice texture and some goodies. Apart from the protective tissue paper and some foam, you get:
- High quality Dust Bags
- A Branded Shoehorn
- Small Leaflet
- A Personal Handwritten Note
The shoes are always packed neatly with the right amount of space. The box itself feels very sturdy and I kept them all so far for storage. As for the dust bags, I can tell you they are much better than Loake’s at the same price point.
The Carlos Santos 9780 Penny Loafers – Style
There are a few variations of loafers like the penny, horsebit, tassel and kiltie. The penny loafer is as classic as it gets. A slip-on style of shoe with a strap across the vamp.
The inspiration behind the shape came from Italian shoemaking which favors sharp angles and narrow toes. Mostly Enzo Bonafe and Antonio Meccariello. The color is light brown reminiscent of tobacco suede with a single leather sole. The outer part of the sole and welt has a black finish and fudging for elegance.
I am extremely happy how this model ended up looking. You can wear it with jeans, chinos, shorts and some more casual suits. A pair of shoes this versatile certainly adds a lot of value to your purchase.
Now let’s examine all the individual parts of the shoe closely.
Quality Of Construction
Owning my own inventory of multiple shoes per style has a lot of advantages. It is a different thing having one pair and 10. I can have a better control over the consistency and build quality like this. Luckily, so far I have not spotted any problems with any of my 160 shoes. Pretty encouraging and tells tales about the Portuguese shoemaker.
Regardless, it is time to check out each section of the shoes.
Uppers & Leather Quality
Kicking off things with the overall quality of the uppers. This is the same tobacco suede color that I have on my Carlos Santos sneakers. Those are second hand yet still have a soft, rich nap after many uses.
You can see on the above picture the spots where I brushed the suede the opposite way. It is quite a delicate material but my sneakers have been through a lot of punishment yet still hold strong.
I expect these to be little stylish fighters too. As for the actual quality of the suede, other than the fact that it comes from reputable french tanneries, only time will tell. Honestly though, there are very few materials as supple and soft as suede. I love it.
Toe & Backseam
This category is actually not so exciting this time around. A nice, tidy apron with a soft square toe shape. I enjoy the proportions of the apron very much with just the right amount of space left. For my own taste at least!
A close up of the toe on the 387 lastThe same goes for the backseam, which is a rather simple dual stitching vertical seam along the heel. But then again, it is a penny loafer. Simple equals right.
Welt & Overall Stitching
Another area that always surprises me positively is how consistent the stitching is overall for such an affordable price. Using a fudge wheel is purely aesthetic and an old bespoke method, but we see it more and more nowadays in RTW shoes.
The welt is excellent without any loose threads and the same applies for the rest of the shoe. The apron and leather strip both have a good tight SPI. Admittedly there is not so much stitching going around compared to say the 7273 Wingtip but any problem would simultaneously show much easier here.
During manufacture, there was actually a defective shoe (UK 6.5) but Carlos Santos noticed that and replaced the shoe with a brand new one for me. It means that their quality control is rather well and spots mistakes.
How’s The Sole?
Since I currently use my own loafers, I will use a picture from the UK 8 sample pair once more. The single leather sole has a very nice finishing as usual that matches the uppers rather well.
The channels of the rapid stitch are visible and very clean hugging the outskirts of the sole. In the middle you always find the Carlos Santos name with the Goodyear Welted stamp along with your size in UK numbers. On the heel you have the rubber insert and a bunch of carefully hammered nails for extra durability.
I have not found any type of problem with the soles of Carlos Santos as of now.
Inside The Shoe
A very light brown, genuine leather insole completes the last part of our examination. It is a trademark Carlos Santos by now with the company logo nested at the back of your foot.
The lining also has a nice suede feel to it and does a good job to hug your foot and not feel uncomfortable if you go sockless.
The 387 Last
The 387 Last is identical to the 389 of the Handgrade Model which is also available on The Noble Shoe. It has a Soft Square toe shape with a regular width. I find the instep quite normal and certainly more generous than the TLB Artista. This is a slip on shoe though and suede so it should not be a problem for anyone.
I find it a little less constrictive on the
sides when compared to the 401, but the 234 is a little more spacious. For those of you with normal feet you can get a nice, snug fit.
How To Size??
This is actually a very good question for a few reasons. Both Suede and Loafers tend to have differences in how they feel or stretch. In some companies I wear UK6.5 while others UK7.5. As long as it is not too small, you can fix looser loafers with tongue pads.
If you want a tight, snug fit or don’t use socks, I would suggest going with your regular TTS (True To Size) on Carlos Santos, Carmina, C&J. If you want a little more loose fit I would size up half a size.
I went with my regular UK 7.
Tip: Remember to size down 1 full size from your regular US size! (Example: US 8 = UK 7)
Great! Tell Me Though…Are The Comfortable?
I actually got the chance to try a UK 8 and there was some heel slippage which is something you don’t want. The UK 7 gives me the nice snug feeling I am used to, though I could see myself being happy with half a size larger due to the added space. The problem would be when the loafers break in a bit and loosen up.
Therefore I am quite comfortable with the choice of size and had a blast with the freedom such shoes provide. As you will see in the future I had the same experience with the 9114 Split Toe.
A Lot Of Value In An Affordable Package
The Future Is Bright
Well there we go folks. This was the Review of the Carlos Santos 9780 Suede Loafers for The Noble Shoe. While not the most technically advanced shoe, it does exactly what it needs to do. It is a versatile, high quality beautiful summer/casual shoe that will serve you for years to come.
The Review itself is a little smaller in comparison but there is not that much to say this time around. I should remind you that this shoe retails for just $280 + VAT and you can even get a 5% Discount by subscribing to The Noble Shoe’s Newsletter.
Speaking of that, one whole month after launch I can only thank you for your support. Remember that I will also appear at the Stockholm Trunk Show on September 28th 2019! Come say hi if you are around!
We will be back next week with another shoe review or my thoughts about working for Suitsupply. Maybe the return of outfit of the week? We shall see!
Thank you for reading,