It’s September, and while there’s still not even a hint of autumn in the air, I can’t wait for fall.
I’ve been wearing sneakers and t-shirts all summer long and frankly, I’m sick of it.
I’m like you. I just want to rock a pair of boots comfortably and wear a damn work-shirt.
Chelseas are my favorite type of boot. I’ve got a few pairs of Chelsea boots that are designed more for a casual wardrobe, but I wanted something I could wear to a wedding coming up (and, to be honest, I just wanted to pick up a super sleek pair of boots that I can wear all the time).
That’s when I came across the Ace Marks Troy: a narrow Chelsea boot with a leather sole—the exact type of boot I was looking for.
So how are they? Let’s get into it.
Ace Marks Troy Chelsea Boot Overview
The Troy Chelsea Boot from Ace Marks is what I consider a “dress-Chelsea.”
There’s a whole range of Chelsea boots out there, from super casual chunky Chelseas like the Moral Code Lawry, to the relaxed but upscale suede styles. And then there are the sleek, narrow, polished leather stunners that beg to be worn with a suit.
The Troy is in the latter category.
With polished calfskin leather and a leather sole, these boots are as close to formal as Chelsea boots get.
While Chelseas aren’t technically considered a formal boot, nobody would think twice if you wore these to a wedding, Christmas party, show opening, etc. Or if they did think twice, it’d be “oh, that guy’s stylish. That guy’s really stylish.”
Things to Consider Before Buying the Ace Marks Troy Chelsea Boot
Ace Marks shoes and boots, the Troy included, are premium quality. As such, these aren’t your typical beater-boots. As you climb above the $200 mark, I think it’s important that you invest some time in learning how to properly care for your boots—even better if you learn how to care for all your leather goods.
To get the most from this investment, pick up a pair of shoe trees, a horsehair brush, and some leather conditioner and polish. These boots are valuable partially for their sleek style, and the best way to keep them that way is to care for them in between wears.
The leather sole isn’t your greatest option for rugged durability, but it’s the dressiest and the most acceptable for more formal occasions.
If you want to add a touch of durability with a rubber sole, we’ve got some options for you in our Alternatives section below.
Ace Marks Troy Chelsea Boot Review
If you’re more of a visual person, you may enjoy our in-depth YouTube review of the Ace Marks Troy Chelsea Boot. Check it out here:
The Ace Marks Troy is a lightweight boot, which was a bit of a welcome surprise. They’re also even sleeker than what I figured from looking at the pictures on the Ace Marks site.
They’re very slim and narrow boots, especially at the toe box, so they have that dressy edge I was missing in my collection.
I wanted to get a boot that would pair well with a suit and these fit the bill. But I’m also digging how they look with jeans, which makes picking the right footwear even more of a challenge now.
Leather Quality and Care
The Troy really shines with its leather, which is premium Italian full grain calfskin heel to toe. It’s been hand-burnished so it retains a strong shape that shouldn’t sag or deform in most situations.
As I said, I’m surprised at how lightweight these are compared to how sturdy they feel, and that’s due to the calfskin leather. The entire upper is as smooth as leather gets with no visible defects or inconsistencies.
When it comes to care, I’ve been treating these like my best dress shoes—mandatory cedar shoe trees after every wear, plus a light horse hair brushing after use. I keep them in the complimentary dust bag, and I’ll probably polish them every 10-15 wears.
For me, 10-15 wears doesn’t mean once a month. It means more like every three months. I want these boots to last a long time, so I’m treating them as gentle as I can.
It’d be a different story if I needed a boot for pounding the pavement during my day to day, but I’ve got a few other pairs I reserve for that treatment.
If you need a boot that’s lower maintenance and a little more rugged, check out some of our alternatives down below.
The Ace Marks Troy has a classic leather sole with sealed stitch channels to keep any water out.
There’s a slick strip of concrete outside my apartment, and every time I wear a pair of leather soled shoes, I almost slip and die. It was the same story here.
The sole feels even more slippery than other leather soled shoes I own. It could be that I just need to wear them a few more times so the sole can gather some gripping surface, but even after a few uses, I’m still not 100% sure-footed.
The insole is made with cushioned calfskin leather, which is quite comfortable—especially for a dress shoe.
Fit and Sizing
Despite how snug these boots are, they’re easy to slide on and off, especially with the pull tab. I picked up my true size and I’m happy with it, though I need to wear thin socks. If quarter sizes were possible, I’d recommend going a quarter size up, but since they’re not, I’ll err toward you picking up your true size.
Ace Marks does offer the wider E width and have a solid selection of sizes available. If you’re consistently in between sizes, I suggest going up a half-step. But I’m almost always a 10.5 and that sizing fit me perfectly with thin socks.
And even if they fit a little snug, as long as you have enough room in the toe, the calfskin leather should stretch a tiny amount to form to your foot better.
I haven’t experienced any rubbing or discomfort with my Ace Marks. But there are three areas that I have my eye on as I log more time with these boots.
First: the toe cap.
I’m always worried about spider-creasing in any of my nice sleek leather shoes and boots. I know they’re going to crease, but I try my best to make sure they crease in a way that looks natural.
With the full grain calfskin leather, I doubt I’ll have any issues with unsightly creasing. But the cedar shoe trees are a must with dress boots and they’ll certainly help.
The next most important break-in item for me is the outsole. I’m hoping these pick up a little more grip in the next few uses. It might not be an issue for other guys, but I walk like an idiot when my soles are too slippery, and I’d like that to end as soon as possible.
Lastly, I expect to sink into the insoles a bit more and stretch out the sides of the upper in the next few weeks.
If anything major occurs, I’ll be sure to update this post, but otherwise, these boots had a very gentle break in period without any major deformation or unsightly creasing.
What do Other Reviewers Say?
The Ace Marks site shows 20 reviews for the Troy at the time of writing, with a 4.9-star average across them.
Most reviewers said that the boots fit perfectly, though one reviewer in particular brought up a good point. His boots fit a little too tight, so he went through the exchange process and said it was the easiest online return he’s done.
Ace Marks offers free shipping and free returns, so you’re not risking much when you shop with them. Reviewers seemed to love the customer service, and there weren’t any negative comments to go through.
Ace Marks Troy Chelsea Boot Alternatives
M.Gemi is really similar to Ace Marks: luxury materials, direct-to-consumer Italian shoes and boots. Quality-wise, I’d put M.Gemi and Ace Marks on the same playing field.
The Dritto is hand-dyed Italian full grain leather Chelsea but has a few distinct differences compared to the Troy.
First, the leather is more rustic looking in the Dritto due to the specific hand-dyeing process. I love how this looks, but it’s not as conventional as the straight even dye you’ll find in other boots.
Secondly, the toe cap is much more round in the Dritto. While I wouldn’t say it’s bulbous, it’s definitely not the same narrow look you get with the Troy. Also, the Dritto is shorter and doesn’t have the pull on tab.
All these differences add up to a more casual boot, though it still packs a heavy dose of elegance. I don’t prefer one over the other, but enjoy them both for different reasons.
If you haven’t heard of Thursday Boots, I recommend checking out their full line. The brand has a different vibe from Ace Marks, and you’re getting different benefits from the Duke.
For pure refinement, I’d choose Ace Marks. But if you want something that’s well-built, high-quality, and you don’t want to worry about beating them up so much, I’d pick the Duke.
It’s roughly $100 cheaper (depends on if there are any sales when you buy), and the Duke’s rubber sole helps with grip and longevity.
If you’re between the Troy and the Duke, ask yourself how often you plan on wearing these boots:
If you’re thinking about 5-10 wears a month, check out the Ace Marks Troy. If you’re anything above 10 wears a month, steer toward the Duke.
Moral Code Storm
The Storm has a similar sleek profile to the Troy and Duke, and the quality is excellent. Full grain calfskin leather upper, leather insole, and a Goodyear welt for under $200 is a deal.
My Thoughts Overall On the Ace Marks Troy Chelsea Boot
What I Like
The leather quality is top-notch—beautiful full grain Italian calf-skin feels buttery smooth.
The shape is very sleek and makes for a versatile boot that’s excellent in more formal situations, especially in black.
A blake stitched sole means I can resole these easily when the time comes.
This is a surprisingly lightweight boot and it’s comfortable, even on the first wear.
What I Don’t Like
The design is narrow, which is one of my favorite things about this boot. But if you’re in between sizes, you might feel a little cramped. If you’re debating between two sizes, go with the larger.
On my first wear, the leather sole seemed extra slippery, though it develops a more standard leather sole grip after a few wears.
Who Is the Ace Marks Troy For?
The Ace Marks Troy is a sleek Chelsea boot for the guy who wants to add some Italian panache to their professional wardrobe. It’s also for the guy who wants a boot that pairs well with a suit for weddings and looks killer out on a Saturday night.
I was looking for a narrow, top-quality Chelsea boot that could be a more stylish replacement for my worn out brogues.
The Ace Marks Troy is exactly that.
The full grain Italian calfskin leather is creamy-smooth. The shape and silhouette is modern, refined, and has that European flair I was hoping for.
I’ve put in a few miles with the Troy now, and it’s breaking in nicely—this is a lightweight and comfortable boot. When I wore it with thicker cotton socks, it was a bit snug, but with thinner dress socks, the Troy fits true to size.
The Troy Chelsea boot is my first experience with Ace Marks, and I doubt it’ll be my last.
Where is the Ace Marks factory?
Ace Marks crafts their shoes in Tuscany, Italy. This is the home of several factories that build the best quality footwear in the world.
Are Ace Marks true to size?
Ace Marks shoes fit true to size, though you’ll likely need to wear thinner dress socks as they’re on the snug side.
Where do I buy Ace Marks shoes?
Ace Marks shoes can be bought through their online store.