Up Close Shot Of Amberjack The Loafer Grizzly Shoe

The world of dress shoes is quickly evolving, as are office settings. More and more workplaces are leaning towards casual dress codes, allowing dressy athletic shoes to be worn to work.

One of the brands looking to capitalize on this growing trend is Amberjack, which released its first style in 2020. Their collection has now grown to three distinct models, all of them bringing together high-quality leather and high-tech materials to provide comfort and style.

In the following article, I’ll be reviewing Amberjack’s The Loafer, the latest addition to their lineup, via the following sections:

Amberjack Loafer Review

Among its offerings, Amberjack counts The Original (derby shoe), The Chelsea (Chelsea boots), and The Loafer which they’ve recently introduced. The most casual style in their catalog, I opted for the “Grizzly” Loafer as the brown Italian suede looked great in the listing.

Depending on how strict the dress code is, you could potentially wear some of the full-grain Loafer options, for instance the Obsidian, to a business casual setting. That being said, I had no intention of wearing these formally which is why I went for a suede variety.

Amberjack The Loafer Light Brown Suede Shoes

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Style & Appearance

Upon receiving the Amberjack Loafers, I was pleased to find that the Italian suede looked the same, if not better, than the online listing. The texture and tone of the leather upper were what drew me to the Grizzly version in the first place, so I was quite pleased with what was delivered to my door.

Light Brown Suede Details On Vamp

Vamp Stitching & Logo Details

Amberjack’s Loafers concretely fall into the Venetian loafer category due to their sleek profile. They also lack any kind of saddle or bit that would qualify them as penny or bit loafers, respectively. Overall, the design is quite simple, which is not to say that it’s not done well, which it definitely is.

The stitching rounding the top of the toe box is clean, and the vamp is mostly sterile except for a small embossed AJ logo at the top. There are also stitching details around the collar of the shoe that tie it all together.

Stitching Details On Amberjack Grizzly Loafers Suede

The outsole used for these Loafers is Amberjack’s trademark dual-density sole. You can find this same outsole on their derbies and Chelseas. It’s presented here in a sort of cream color that compliments the light brown suede. It, along with the memory foam inserts, are what make these so comfortable to wear (more on comfort later.)

The color of the suede upper made these very easy to style. I paired them with dark wash denim as well as olive chinos, and they worked perfectly. Considering this, and these being a traditional Venetian loafer style, they likely pair best with shorts.

Backstay Of Suede Loafers From Amberjack

Fit & Comfort

The Loafers from Amberjack had virtually no break-in period as the dual-density sole essentially makes these wear like a pair of sneakers. With more traditional dress shoes, it is usually the leather sole and cork filling that must break in before they are most comfortable. None of that is present here, making them relatively lightweight and easy to wear out of the box.

Amberjack Shoes In Brown Suede And Density Sole

Regarding size, I went with a size 12 (my standard sneaker size), and they fit perfectly. Amberjack does suggest sizing down if you are between sizes or sizing up if you have wider feet. I do have wider feet, but it didn’t make sense to go up to a 13, so I picked a size 12 and it was the right call.

On the inside, the Amberjack loafers are lined with buck-skin leather. On the sides of the foot, this lining is perforated for breathability, but around the toe box it is not. I supposed these perforations make it more comfortable to wear these without socks, but I’ve never found sock-less to be better, so I’ve been using a pair of brown no-show socks from Boardroom Socks that work just as well.

Buck Skin Lining With Perforations Of Amberjack Loafers

Perforated Buck-Skin Lining

The highlight of the inside of Amberjack’s Loafers (and probably all of their shoes) is their trademark insole. It’s marketed as heat-activated “fancy foam” that molds to the shape of your feet with use. I can’t speak to the science at work here, but I did find the insole to be quite cushy from the start and to become more comfortable after a couple of wears.

Amberjack Arch Support Foam Insoles

I walked around in these Loafers for many days while visiting Nicaragua and genuinely found them to be easy to forget. This is to say, when a pair of shoes is comfortable, you’ll forget you’re wearing them. This contrasts with a pair that has poor arch support & shock resistance, where you’ll definitely start feeling them as the day goes on.

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Dress Code & Formality

As mentioned a couple of times in this article, the Amberjack Loafers are mostly casual shoes. As a result, they wouldn’t necessarily fit into a formal office setting.

Yet, if your workplace has a relatively relaxed dress code, you could make some of the full-grain options work with a nice pair of formal trousers. Again, the all-black Obsidian Loafers are probably most appropriate for formal office settings. If you want to get the comfort of Amberjack’s outsole and memory foam insole without worrying too much about formality, I’d suggest sticking with The Original, their derby model.

Amberjack The Loafer In Grizly Suede Colorway On Feet

Where I found these loafers to shine brightest is outside of the workplace. On hot days, you can pair them with shorts for a classy look. At night, they work wonderfully with a nice pair of chinos/jeans and a button-down shirt, such as an OCBD. If you want to sport a jacket or blazer when the weather cools down, the Amberjack Loafers can still hold their weight in such an ensemble.

Presentation & Value For Money

Amberjack’s The Loafer was delivered in a shoe box that also serves as the shipping box. The shoes themselves are packed with paper to protect them during shipping, and a couple of shoe bags are also included.

Amberjack Shoes Shipping Box

Retailing for $175, I find that these Loafers provide a great amount of value. They’re not cheap – you can definitely find suede loafers out there for less. However, considering how comfortable they’ve been to wear and the high-quality leather, I think the price is more than worth it.

The value proposition is even more evident when you compare the price of Amberjack’s Loafers to other hybrid athletic/dress shoes. From what I found, other brands selling similar styles either employ lower-quality materials or they also use premium materials but charge at least $100 more.

Closing Thoughts

As of now, I’ve only worn these Loafers for about a month. They’ve stood up to quite a bit of wear in that time, and the cement construction shows no signs of wanting to come apart. Likewise, the stitches throughout the suede upper have held up flawlessly, and the outsole does not appear to wear down quickly.

Back Of Amberjack Grizly Loafer On Feet

The Italian suede is wearing in quite attractively, and save for a couple of scuff marks on the outsole, they remain a very handsome pair of shoes.

I saw on Amberjack’s website that some customers had issues with finding the right fit, so I recommend putting some thought into what size may be best for you before buying. Nevertheless, they have free US shipping and returns, so this isn’t too big of a concern but rather a time-saver.

Amberjack Suede Loafers with Blue Jeans Fit Pic

With solid construction, high-quality materials, and a very comfortable fit, it’s easy to recommend the Amberjack Loafers, particularly if you’re fond of the design, as I was when I first came across them.

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"A simple design executed skillfully, the Loafer from Amberjack excels in style without compromising all-day comfort."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

Further Reading

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