90th IDPG Reviews


SM Wholesale Service Shoes

Review Date: 2/16/2016
Author: Andrew Wurth


I recently purchased a pair of SM Wholesale cap toe boots. I have heard horror stories from previous runs as well as about SM's customer service. Having seen a few pairs in person and online, and since they were almost $100 cheaper than WWII Impressions boots, I took the chance and bought a pair.


Ordering off of the website was hassle-free and the boots arrived in a timely manner.

Order Date 5/4/2015

Cost as of Feb. 2016 is $145
Shipping: $16.99

First Impressions:

My First impressions of the boots were positive. Everything seemed in place. They featured a nice interior stamp, although the interior nap was very long.


I noticed a few things fairly quickly upon putting on the boots. The boots are a bit wide. They feel a bit wider than my double buckle boots from the same company. I have to really tighten the laces to get the boots tight on my feet.

When I stood up, the left boot let out a loud squeak. This was a huge problem. I spent a good half-hour practicing google-fu to try and find a decent solution. I ended up just filling up my bathtub and soaking them for a couple of minutes. After they had dried, the squeak stopped. Problem solved

The stamping on the inside of the boots wore off pretty much instantly.

I have worn these boots for two or so events plus 2 weeks or so of wearing them around to break them in. The first even I wore them at, the black dye on the midsole washed off. It was an easy fix with a bit of polish, but one that shouldn’t have been necessary.

The Review:

Chris was kind enough to lend his original pair of captoes to compare to the reproduction pair. The Original pair is a size 8.5 and the reproductions are a size 10. Due to the size difference, this is not a direct comparison, but rather a comparison of general shapes. The picture section is structured similarly to the review for the old ATF run to give an additional comparison.

The reproduction boots are sewn with a brown thread, while the originals are sewn with a white/undyed thread. The eyelets on the original were originally painted like the reproductions but the paint has since worn off.

Side Detail

Rear Detail

Rear comparison to original

The general shape and details are ok. Keep in mind that the shoes are different sizes.

Sole Detail

The sole is of a generally accepted style. It is similar to the original pair in style and there is plenty of room for variation between contractors.

Toe Detail

Compared to an original


One eyelet appears to have been set in a hole that was cut a fraction of an inch off then recut correctly. This allows the eyelet to move around in its hole a little bit. It does not appear to impact the strength of the eyelet and it is not noticeable. This is likely just a one off manufacturing error.

The paint on the eyelets appears like it shouldn’t easily come off.

Interior detail

The contractor markings easily wore off as stated above. only the remnants of one of the labels is still intact in my boots. the nap of the rough side of the leather is very long.

Pros & Cons:

- Construction appears and feels well done
- Soles have good details
- Price is moderate, slightly more than old ATF chinese import boots, significantly less than WWII Impressions
- Outside finish is not overly "plasticy"
- Color is good.

- Squeaking out of the box (resolved by soaking a few minutes in water)
- Poor finish on midsole
- Poor durability of interior marking
- Shipping Cost
- Only comes in wide widths and half sizes not available.


Overall I am happy with the boots. They appear solid and there are only a few minor issues. For $100 cheaper than the next best option I am very happy. They are excellent for the price, especially if your unit will mostly use them as a dress shoe instead of a field shoe.



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