When you’re on the go as much as we are, an age-old packing conundrum comes up regularly. That is: should we pack our newest, stylish shoes or the clunky support-filled pair sure to brand us as tourists?
We admit, we’ve usually chosen the latter. Feet are too precious a commodity to sacrifice on the altar of fashion. It’s a lesson we’ve learned the hard way. Once you’ve crept around a museum in stockinged, blister-laden feet, you’ll swear to stick to more sensible shoe choices.
But in the spirit of keeping an open mind, we’ve decided to give the SAS Women’s Delaney boot a try. The popular style is billed as a fashion-forward option for those traveling/ craving long lasting comfort.
After pounding the pavement with them for a while, we have to agree.
Here’s what the Delaney has to offer:
- Tumbled Italian leather uppers and leather lining
- Elastic gore side panels that provide a snug fit and make the boot easy to take on and off. TSA security screenings? No problem.
- Cushioned insole with a soft lining. We particularly liked this feature, as it made the boots comfortable for all-day wear. And when we travel, we're usually touring, taking notes, tasting local food and wine and talking to locals from sun up to sun down. The Delaney makes the transition smoothly, remaining fashionable in an array of settings.
- Rugged durable polyurethane outsole, offering shock-absorption and traction on a variety of surfaces. We tread on everything from cobblestone to marble floors to convention center industrial carpeting on any given trip. So, this feature is a real plus. It's a welcomed cushion for those long days away.
We’re always interested in learning about the companies we review. San Antonio Shoemakers brand came about in 1976, as the brainchild of founders Terry Armstrong and Lew Hayden.
The two first met in Pittsfield, Maine, but eventually landed at a local shoe company in San Antonio, Texas. They decided to go it alone, pooling their resources to open a factory in a vacant aircraft hangar.
Starting with a small team of shoemakers, they had no marketing plan beyond word of mouth. This of course was before the days of social media. But it didn’t take long for their reputation for quality, comfortable footwear to spread.
SAS opened an additional factory in Del Rio, Texas in 1985. They also have some customized work done in Mexico as well as Italy. A single pair of shoes can go through dozens of hands before completed.
The company’s line of handcrafted footwear now features everything from walking and athletic shoes to pumps, flats, sandals and the Women’s Delaney boot. The men’s line includes walking and athletic wear as well as dress shoes and casual offerings.
One thing in particular that SAS is known for is its large selection of shoe widths. That includes S (slim), N (narrow), M (medium), W (wide), WW (double wide) and WWW (triple wide). That’s great for those with hard-to-fit tootsies. You know how frustrating it can be to scour through stacks of shoeboxes in the hopes of finding a good fit. SAS is a sure bet that we're recommending from now on.
It remains a family-owned American success story, with loyal employees on the job for decades.
For travelers looking for a stylish, versatile and most of all comfortable pair of boots, the Women's Delaney can't be beat. And SAS is a name to keep in mind for other footwear needs as well.