I’ve been searching for a new tall boot. My ultimate pick is one in a rich camel tone, with a low, walkable heel, and a soft leather that won’t irritate my skin. I need a pair of tall boots that work especially well with dresses and skirts, but can work with the odd pair of jeans, too.
Even more intriguing was the fact that Loeffler Randall’s Gia Safari Tall Boots looked to be a solid dupe of Prada’s (but at half the cost), as well as…J.Crew? Is that YOU?
It IS. J.Crew’s Sadie Knee-High Boot is, in fact, one of the boots pictured above. But can you tell which is the $1,300 Prada boot and which is J.Crew’s $398 boot?
Online, I couldn’t either. So I ordered all three (chortling gleefully) and had myself a little try-on sesh.
The Best Brown Leather Boots: Prada Knee-High Boots Vs. Loeffler Randall Gia Tall Boots Vs. J.Crew Sadie Knee-High Boots
I had so many questions: Are the Prada boots REALLY that much better? Which boots — if any — were soft? If they all look so similar, why not just go with J.Crew’s? Especially since J.Crew is likely to have a sale soon (and yup…as I type this, J.Crew’s Sadie Knee-High Boots are 30% off).
Let’s dig in, shall we?
1. A Review Of Prada’s Pointed Toe Knee-High Boots
Let me just dash all hopes and dreams immediately: the Prada boots, are, in fact, in a class all their own. Immediately — IMMEDIATELY!!!! — upon the first freaking touch…I knew.
I knew these boots were trouble.
Touching these boots is like touching a very soft leather jacket…the leather is that supple. I mean…the below pic really highlights this fact. I’m basically wrapping my calves in butter-soft leather.
Cue my, ‘I’m in trouble’ face. And I am. Prada’s pointed toe knee-high boots are something very, very special.
The heel is walkable, the footbed comfortable, and the fit overall runs almost a half-size small. The big downside some folks might find is that the shaft of these boots run very narrow. On my fairly skinny legs, however, they’re pretty darn perfect.
Prada’s knee-high boots do, however, still fit nicely over skinny jeans (and would probably also slide under straight-leg jeans as well). That gorgeous slouch cannot be beat.
The Best Dupe of Prada’s Knee-High Leather Boots: Loeffler Randall or J.Crew?
Since Prada’s uniquely amazing knee-high boots come with an equally amazing price tag (yikes)…which pair is the next best?
One of the biggest differences is color. The Loeffler Randall Gia boots are a cooler, taupe-y brown, while the J.Crew is a much warmer tan.
Both pairs of boots run a little bit taller than the Prada boots, and both have a wider calf than the Prada boots. And while I found the Loeffler Randall boots to be a little more comfortable to walk in (they’re lighter weight)…the J.Crew boots are made from a softer leather, with a slightly more cushioned footbed.
Once again, let’s dig in, shall we?
2. A Review Of J.Crew’s Sadie Knee-High Boots
J.Crew Sadie Knee-High Boots: Shaft: 15 3/4″, Diameter: 7 1/2″, Heel Height: 2 3/4″
Oddly enough, the boot that is the closest to the Prada boots in terms of both color and softness of leather is…J.Crew’s Sadie Knee-High Boots. While these boots do not have the buttery soft leather of Prada, the leather is still surprisingly soft, especially for the price. It felt good against my skin, and I found the heel to be walkable, despite the extra height. The shaft height is also comparable to the Prada boots (15.75″ vs 16″) although J.Crew’s boots look taller, since the leather doesn’t slouch like Prada’s.
The fit is TTS, too, and the footbed is actually the most cushioned of the three.
In fact, the only issue I had with these boots is the wider calf. The diameter of the exact pair I tried on was just shy of 7.5″.
3. A Review Of Loeffler Randall’s Gia Safari Tall Boots
Loeffler Randall Gia Safari Boots: Shaft: 15 1/2″, Diameter: 7″, Heel Height: 2″
While I love the fit of these boots…the leather is stiffer than both the Prada AND the J.Crew boots. The boots are lighter than J.Crew’s overall, with a lower, more walkable heel, and the result is that these boots were slightly more comfortable to walk in. While the footbed does have a slight cushion, it’s not *quite* as thick as J.Crew’s. Fit is TTS.
In general, I am intrigued by the colors that the Gia boot comes in, although I didn’t love this murkier brown as much in person (admittedly, I might be blinded by the Prada).
While the calf width is wider than the Prada boots, Loeffler Randall’s Gia boots are slightly slimmer than J.Crew’s, the diameter measuring at 7″. Note that these boots have almost the exact same shaft height as J.Crew’s: 15.5″.
The Best Tall Brown Leather Boots In Summary…
I’m glad I tried on Prada’s tall brown leather boots. In this case, the really (truly) expensive boots are definitely worth the extra cost. (That’s not always the case, either. I’m NOT a fan of classic Louboutains, like, at all…they’re horrifyingly uncomfortable.) But the J.Crew Sadie boots were the biggest surprise: I couldn’t believe how much softer the leather was than Loeffler Randall’s! If I needed a wider calf, J.Crew’s Sadie Knee-High boots would be my top choice.
I know that (technically speaking) Loeffler Randall’s Gia Safari Tall boots came in third place, but I still consider them a respectable choice. I have other pairs of Loeffler Randall shoes (and boots,) and they are really well-constructed, timeless, easy to walk in, and have held up really well. I do wish these boots had softer leather, however.
In any case…interesting, right??