A review of the Cole Haan Air Grant Bark Suede

Hey, guys! Here’s another one of my product reviews. This time it’s on the Cole Haan Air Grant Driving Moccasin Shoes in the Bark Suede Colorway. It was a gift from my uncle from the USA. It’s really great for that casual/lifestyle use and goes real well with some khaki shorts or pants. It’s in size US 10.5 and we’ll get into it some more when the pictures start rolling around.

On the Cole Haan website, it describes these shoes as:

“A road-worthy driving shoe with hand sewn detail, a flexible fit and a traditional rubber nub sole.”

I’m not exactly sure what a driving shoe is, but we’ll get into the other features and details as we go along.

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So this is the box it comes in with. Nothing special. Just a regular brown box. The logo in the middle looks pretty clean. Cole Haan is not exactly the most well known brand when we keep hearing Nike, Adidas, Jordan and all the other sneaker brands, but it’s more on the upscale side with their target market. Their logo has that needle with that thread spiraling through. Pretty classy.

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These are the Air Grant Driving Moccasin shoes in that Bark Suede. Fresh from opening the box, there is that regular tan/brown paper. Cole Haan is known for these kinds of shoes, particularly the loafer or boat shoe type, which are of the upscale casual lifestyle.

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Here’s another look at the shoe. It features a soft suede upper, and you can really feel (and smell) that leather. It is made of premium materials. The price you pay for it is also pretty premium too, but you get what you pay for. That suede upper is soft, so it’s smoother than regular suede, and it’ll give you that flexible fit once the leather starts to break in and conform to your foot.

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Here’s a close-up of that Bark Suede colorway. It really resembles tree bark. Looks pretty classy to me. As you can see, the stitching on this shoe is hand sewn, and is on-the last moccasin construction. The stitching is straight, and you can actually see the ties and knots on the ends, which really denote that hand sewn portion of the shoe. It’s that off-white/tan color, and it really complements the bark suede color on the upper of the shoe. That’s genuine leather lining on the toe, so there’s more of that premium leather component on not just part, but on the whole construction of the shoe. It’s a really nice use of that suede leather, but one negative point about using this kind of leather is that it easily gets scratches and marks, showing a lighter shade of that leather. So better use this shoe in the proper place for some casual use.

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These are the suede laces, that go around from the holes in the back (like typical boat shoes) and end up tied in a knot in the front. It’s still in that Bark Suede colorway. The laces are pretty flimsy and might easily break if you’re not careful when trying to tie it too tightly.

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Here’s the out sole of the shoe. This is the rubber nubby driving sole. It’s pretty flexible, and it’s reminiscent of those shoes for football. There is that unique pattern of using the circles and lines, and it’s all made out of that flexible rubber, so it’ll grip the floor really well and that pattern will make it a breeze and comfortable to walk in.

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This is the extra leather patch stitched in on the arch area, featuring the Cole Haan logo. A nice little touch there.

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Here is that extension of the sole or that heel protector. It extends all the way up to the heel tab, and still features that same pattern and flexible rubber nubby driving sole. Some may like how this look, some might not, but it’s some added functionality that acts as a heel protector aside from just an aesthetic standpoint. One thing to note though is that the leather on the edges of this heel protector might be damaged after a couple of wears, since it’s protruding on the sides, it’ll tear especially fast if you’re a lazy walker and you drag your feet.

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As you can see this tab (on the side of the shoe), it says Nike Air. This is my favorite part of the shoe. It features a concealed air unit in the heel of the shoe. That’s why it’s called the ‘Air’ Grant because of the Nike Air technology. This collaboration with Nike is just awesome. That air unit in the heel will provide ample cushioning and a bit of impact protection.

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This is the insole of the shoe. Underneath where that Cole Haan wording is where that Nike Air unit is. You can actually see the bump there if you look closely. Added padding and protection just added value to this shoe.

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All in all, this pair of loafers are pretty nice. Premium materials in that soft suede upper that extends on the whole part of the shoe, good features in that Nike Air technology air unit in the heel for cushioning and protection, and that rubber nubby driving sole and heel protector giving you that grip and traction for casual walks. It also looks pretty good in that tree bark colorway with the off-white stitching. Looks classy and is a bit more of that upscale look as opposed to your standard sneakers.

I already noted some parts where it might take away a bit from the shoe, such as the easy scratching on the soft suede leather, the heel protector protruding and possible tearing on the sides, and those soft and flimsy laces that might snap off if you tie it too tightly. You definitely can’t use these as beaters and everyday work shoes, so that’s something to think about.

Even with those issues because of the moccasin leather construction, it’s still a pretty good casual shoe if you can shell out the money for it. You can check out the Cole Haan website for other sizes and colorways of this shoe and their other shoes here. These shoes are not particularly my style, but it might be something I will try to sport or sell for something else, all depending if there is someone interested to buy the shoes. Let me know with a comment below if you want to buy it, it’s brand new but I’m selling it a bit cheaper than the USD 150.00 price tag that it sports.

For those that are too lazy to read, I’ve posted a video review (1080p HD!) on these shoes, which you can find here. Thanks for reading and checking out the video. Let me know what you think of the shoe. Drop a comment below on your thoughts.

So until next time,

Cheers!

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