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Grant Stone Cap Toe Boot Review: A Smart Casual Staple

Travis Khachatoorian
Expertise:

Boots, Heritage Fashion, News, Journalism

Travis is an Emmy and Edward R Murrow award winning journalist with 10 years reporting experience with NBC and CBS. He's followed stories around the world: into the path of Hurricane Michael in Florida, with Alaskan dogs on the trail of The Iditarod, and in the belly of a C-130 with US Paratroopers off the coast of Australia. Travis left the news to live a less action packed life with his wife and son in Southern California, but he’s still passionate about quality reporting and heritage style boots. Read full bio.


Published: Apr 22, 2024
7 min read
Review Feature Image/Icon Image Source: Grant Stone
Grant Stone Cap Toe Boot
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Bottom line: Grant Stone’s Cap Toe is a smart casual powerhouse that quickly fit into my day to day office wardrobe. Its design finds the perfect middle-ground between sleek and understated, with a unique leather that’s like none other I’ve experienced.

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Pros:
  • Charles F Stead Kudu leather is packed with individual character
  • Solid hefty buildout with a thick 360 degree split-reverse welt
  • Great value and quality for a sub-$400 boot
  • Sleek overall presentation for smart casual dress
Cons:
  • Break in period from the insole takes patience
  • Toe box is roomier for those with narrow feet

Grant Stone has made a name for itself as a dependable builder of classic, stunning and sturdy boots. Their plain toe service boot, the Diesel, is their most popular design, but does their Cap Toe deserve your attention as well? 

In this Grant Stone review, I wear the Cap Toe out for six weeks: to the office, to my birthday dinner, and for a night on the town in Hollywood to see if this boot is a worthy addition to your closet.

Grant Stone Cap Toe Overview

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Cap Toe vs Plain Toe. It’s a never ending battle that plays out in the minds of countless boot-wearers looking to invest in their next big footwear purchase.

I’ve worn both, so where do I stand on the issue?

I’m not exaggerating when I say: I used to prefer the simple design of a beautiful plain toe… but the Grant Stone Cap Toe in Forest Green Kudu may have converted me.

This is a boot that’s working overtime in the understated fashion department, with a versatile look that elevates most smart casual outfits.

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While Grant Stone’s plain toe and moc toe boots have dozens of colors and leathers to choose from, at the time of this writing the Cap Toe is limited to three choices: Crimson Chromexel, British Tan Calf, and the Forest Kudu.

Should there be more options?

I think that the Cap Toe is a great example of the style, but honestly, I’m less of a Cheesecake Factory fan and more of an In And Out guy. And by that, I mean that when you have a few amazing options, sometimes that’s all you need.

Grant Stone Cap Toe Boot Forest Kudu

Grant Stone's Cap Toe features a hefty buildout, unique Charles F Stead Forest Kudu leather that's packed with individual character, and an overall sleek presentation for smart casual dress

Check Price

My Review of the Grant Stone Cap Toe

First Impression

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My Cap Toes arrived at the end of Winter. Flowers were starting to pop out of the ground, leaf buds were appearing on trees, and my new Forest green boots were showing up on my doorstep.

Grant Stone does an amazing job in presenting their product. Even the shoe box feels of quality construction. An extra pair of laces, Grant Stone branded cloth, and a Thank You note were in the box. The boots were packed and shipped very securely.

I pulled out the boots, and they were heavy, sturdy, and a sight to behold.

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The design of the boot is very fashionable. The toe cap is in no way “bulbous” and sits almost flat along the toe box. The upper’s waist is a clean palette of leather to showcase the kudu, with a simple thin stripe of leather along the back stay from top to bottom.

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I did have my concerns during the shipping period that green boots might be too much for my wardrobe. I’ve never worn this color boot before.

But one look at the Cap Toes Charles F Stead Kudu leather, and all my concerns melted away.

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The green is very dark. So dark that in the shadows and at night, these boots can easily be mistaken for black. But when the sun hits the upper, its vibrant, deep hue radiates.

The antique brass eyelets and speed hooks are high quality. Their subtle gold tone complements the rich color of the kudu.

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The thick light brown stitching along the 360 split reverse welt adds a nice accent along the bottom of the boot, not to mention an added benefit of working to keep your feet dry during a rainstorm.

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Leather Quality and Care

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I like the design of the Cap Toe, but what sends this boot into a whole different stratosphere is the kudu leather.

This is my first boot rocking leather from the renowned British tannery Charles F. Stead, and I now know what all the fuss is about. 

Pictures don’t do it justice.

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At first lookover, there were a few scars and imperfections on my boots upper right out of the box, but these are the kind of scuffs that make my boots uniquely my own.

It’s obvious that this leather has a few stories to tell. It’s sourced from wild kudus in Africa after all.

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The texture of the surface starts out smooth, but quickly becomes rougher as the leather bends and breaks in. It contains thousands of intricate patterns in the grain that to me, bears some resemblance to a chaotic snake skin.

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The color is a deep forest green, but has a mild and pleasing pullup quality. I’ve noticed as the leather has worn in, a light green patina is starting to imprint along the darker green shaft.

Sole

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Grant Stone uses a micro stud rubber sole on this model.

It’s low profile, comfortable to walk in, and perfect for an office setting.

I did take this out on a few rainy days, and it was very slippery on some of the smoother surfaces, so check the weather before you lace up.

Fit and Sizing

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The Cap Toe is built on Grant Stone’s last called the Leo.

This is the same boot last the company uses on their Diesel, Garrison, Ottawa and Edward boots.

I typically wear a size 10 in sneakers, but I sized down to a 9.5D for the Cap Toe. 

My heel felt comfortable and secure along the back of the boot. I do have a more narrow foot, and I noticed it’s a bit roomier in the toe box compared with some other D width footwear I own.

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The extra width doesn’t bother me because my feet still feel secure while walking, and the more I walk, the deeper the insole is conforming to my foot shape.

Break-in Period

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When I first pulled my boots out of the box, they felt a bit heavier than others in my collection. I now suspect that this extra weight has a lot to do with the thick vegetable tanned insole and midsole, paired with a steel shank.

Although my kudu leather uppers broke in fairly quickly and became supple after only a few days, my boots felt stiff on the bottom for the first full week.

Slowly they began to flex more to the natural movement of walking, but I gotta say, it took some work.

There was actually a moment about a month-in where I worried if the boot would ever become fully comfortable… but at about week six, everything changed.

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Now, I can finally feel the perfect grooves of my foot indentation along the insole, and the boot is now one of my most comfortable.

As they say, the best things in life take a bit of work. I’m sure these boots will continue to grow to match my step even more, and the thick vegetable tanned leather under my feet will most certainly last for a long, long time.

My Thoughts Overall 

What I Like

  • The leather is the star of the show. From the break in, the unique texture, the deep coloration, and individual scarring and marking, I’ve never seen anything like this Charles F. Stead Forest Kudu leather.
  • The sleek and low profile cap toe on the end of the boot elevates my outfits. It adds an element that suddenly makes me feel like I’m dressed up, but by no means feel over-dressed.
  • The thread along the 360 degree split welt is beefy. I know these boots, made with a Goodyear welt construction, are not going to be falling apart anytime soon.

What I Don’t Like

  • The break in was a lot. I enjoy the feel of the boots now, but there were a few times I was losing faith. I mean, I love a good leather insole, but this one is thicc.

Who is the Cap Toe for?

I’d argue that this is an amazing second or third boot in a wardrobe.

This boot brings my smart casual outfits in the office together. Maybe Monday and Tuesday I’m wearing a standard dress shoe or service boot made out of Horween leather, then bam! Wednesday I got on a dark green Charles F Stead kudu.

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It adds a level of diversity to my wardrobe choices that I just can’t get with another brown or black boot. 

This boot is sturdy but classy, out of the ordinary but not flashy, and goes perfect with a pair of indigo selvedge jeans or brown chinos.

The Verdict

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I didn’t know how much I’d fall in love with green boots, but here I am on the internet gushing.

This deep green really goes with most everything that I wear in my smart casual wardrobe. T-shirts or collars, both are welcome to be matched with the Cap Toe with ease.

Needless to say, these have been on my feet all Spring, and I have no plans to take them off anytime soon.

Grant Stone Cap Toe Boot Forest Kudu

Grant Stone's Cap Toe features a hefty buildout, unique Charles F Stead Forest Kudu leather that's packed with individual character, and an overall sleek presentation for smart casual dress

Check Price

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