Can This Any-Setting, Everyday Shoe Really Do It All?
A hard-wearing lifestyle boot has the mileage to tackle anything – whether it’s strolling into the office, hitting the high street, or taking the dogs for a walk. Problem is, many rugged pairs don’t have the versatility to transition between settings. The result: you’re stuck with footwear that only works hard when you’re working hard, and not when it’s time to kick back. Not what you want when you’re looking for boots that can dress up (or dress down) on demand.
CAT’s Summit boots aim to strike the perfect, stylish middle ground, combining easy-to-wear street style and a comfortable fit with the brand’s praised durability. But does this jack-of-all-trades really do it all? I laced up for the week and took these boots for a test drive.
Test #1 – The Job
In the morning, I give myself about 10 minutes to get ready. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to second guess my outfit, so I’ve collected an inventory of dependable staples: dark jeans, chinos, rugged shirts, denim jackets, you name it. Unfortunately, it’s tough to find a pair of shoes that bridges the gap between these pieces. While monochrome black sneakers pair well with my skinny jeans, they clash with tapered khaki chinos. So, could the Summits put an end to any second-guessing and wardrobe malfunctions?
For me, the Summits straddle a perfect line between sporty, rugged, and classic. These shoes evoke the spirit of the 80s without feeling dated. They worked with my jeans, chinos, and even my joggers, adding an adventurous edge to whatever ensemble I tossed on for the day. Sure, you won’t get away wearing these with a traditional black suit – although a grey textured getup might work – it meshes with many of a man’s best threads.
The verdict: from cuffed denim jeans to baggy joggers, the Summits’ sleek design and versatile style make them a shoe-in for the man on the move.
Test #2 – The Park
Like most guys, I don’t want to waste time switching between shoes throughout the day. I want a lace-up-and-forget-it approach AKA a pair of stylish kicks (with a bit of edge) that look good in the office but have the mileage to keep up with my excited pups when I hit the park.
While these boots look at home on the streets, that urban appeal hasn’t come at the cost of its off-the-tarmac abilities. With a set of hyper-adjustable laces that rope around the hooks on the upper part of the shoe, I was able to achieve a snug fit that didn’t loosen over distance (or while chasing my runaway dog).
The verdict: from hitting the high street to plodding through the park, the Summits are comfortable, cool and easy to wear.
Test #3 – The Distillery
The ultimate boots aren’t just a utilitarian pair; they’re shoes that can dress down for the park but dress up when it’s time to trade out the cargo pants for a pair of skinny jeans. For the next test I took the Summits to a whisky distillery in Wellington where I sampled cask-aged spirits alongside many of the amber liquor’s passionate devotees.
Where some boots would stand out in this setting (in a bad way), the Summits’ sleek lines, luxury finish and classic appeal felt right at home alongside crystal tumblers, oak barrels and 15-year-old batches. During the tour of the massive distillery, the shoe’s cushioned sole kept my feet comfortable, and the shoe’s tread performed well, whether it was down spiral staircases, up steep ramps or scaling precarious ladders.
The verdict: Whether you are city-bound or sampling spirits in the countryside, these shoes work with pretty much any outfit. The Summits are an everyday pair you’ll want to wear, well, every day – as is this reviewer… right now.