Several months ago, a Milanese friend made me aware of the newly created label Scarosso, and since it is St. Patrick’s day, I am going to review a green full brogue shoe that was kindly provided to me by Scarosso.
Scarosso – History
Scarosso was founded by Moritz Offeney, Constantin Simon and Marco Reiter, who met each other at Bocconi University in Italy in 2009. While in Italy, they got in touch with the Italian shoe industry and decided to start a brand with classic and elegant, yet affordable shoes.
While all shoes are made in Montegranaro, Italy the company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
When I first looked at Scarosso shoes, I was surprised by the relatively low price of €179,90 (including 19% tax) / $240 for a pair of “high quality” shoes. Usually, one has to spend about twice as much on a good pair of men’s shoes. Nevertheless, I looked through their shoe selection and when I got in touch with them, I was told the company is operating on low margins with a focus on value. Basically, they try to offer a huge bang for the buck. As a consequence, most of the shoe styles come in just one color. However, I was pleased to see exotic men’s shoe colors such as cognac, grey or red suede among their offerings.
Eventually, I settled on the Silvano model, a “suede” oxford full brogue shoe in a rich, dark green. Now, some of you may wonder why I chose such an exotic color for men’s shoes, but I think green is pretty underrated. It does not draw immediate attention but it is different enough to stand out in a subtle way. Paired with a brown glencheck suit or tweed, I really enjoy the slightly different look.
The shoes arrived in a unpretentious dark brown shoe box and when I opened it, I found a pair of classicly shaped shoes. The last is not overly pointy, square or chiseled but just a normal oxford last with a slightly elongated, elegant line. When I tried them on for the first time, I was very happy with the fit. Probably, this was the best fitting shoe so far right out of the box and it did not need any time to break in at all. The sizing is based on European sizes and this shoe model was available in 44.5 which fit true to size. Overall, I was more than pleased with the fit and the look of the last.
Right out of the box, the shoe felt very light in my hands, and in fact with 460g (just over a pound) it weighs less than Franz Baron or Herring Shoes. Apart from that, the leather felt considerably softer than all English, German or Austrian men’s shoes I have owned so far. Even the front and back caps are much softer. In my opinion, the green color of the upper leather is very rich and beautiful and I think they picked just the right shade of green. The leather lining is grey and harmonizes well with the exterior. The heal is made of a block of leather with a tip of rubber and the soles are made of leather too. Overall the soft leather feels very comfortable but based on the softness, I am not convinced the shoe will last as long as my other shoes.
Scarosso Quality & Workmanship
The workmanship of this shoe is good but certainly not outstanding. First, the uppers of the left shoe and right shoe are not quite mirrored. Instead, you can see slight differences upon closer inspection. However, I must add that I am very meticulous about such things and the average shoe enthusiast would probably not notice it. Just look at the pictures and judge for yourself. Second, the brogue punch holes are a bit irregular, meaning that the distance between the wholes is not always the same and the holes are often not in a straight line. Again, most people would probably not notice that.
The heal of the left shoe was not straight, when looked at it from the back. In other areas of the shoe, the workmanship was very good though. The lining looked very good and the suede heel lining was sen in very neatly. Also, the soles and the welts looked flawless.
Unlike more expensive shoes, this pair of Scarosso shoes is not goodyear-welted but blake stitched. In my opinion, this doesn’t have anything to do with inferior quality per se, but it is certainly less expensive to produce. Despite the shortcomings I outlined above, I think the shoe provides a good value for its price, and I enjoy wearing it.
Luckily, Scarosso does not just produce green shoes, but also a matching belt for €59,90 (about $80). The duo of green shoes and belt can really change an outfit and make it appear more interesting.
Other than their stock collection, Scarosso is currently in the process of creating an online Made To Order Program where you can chose your lasts in different widths, leathers and a few more details. Of course the increased level of customization comes with a different price tag of roughly €240 ($320).
For the price, I thought the presentation in the box, including a red polishing cloth was rather well done. Scarosso is in my opinion a great choice for budget conscious men who want a stylish shoe for a few seasons and not a lifetime companion. As such, they are priced much lower than shoes of renowned English, Italian and Spanish.
While I would probably not buy a black oxford shoe from Scarosso, I would certainly opt for their double monk strap or their bordeaux red an grey leather shoes, because I will probably not get too much wear out of such exotic shoes and so I do not need to spend $400 – $600.
The website www.scarosso.com is well designed and available in English, German and Italian. When you order the shoes from outside the EU, you will receive a refund of the 19% tax which makes them even less expensive. However, you will also have to pay higher shipping costs.