Disclaimer: The following product was bought and paid for independently by the writer of this article, without compensation by Nisolo or Gear For Life. The opinions contained therefore reflect the writer’s own honest view after using the product firsthand. Gear For Life may, however, receive a commission from the manufacturer or Huckberry if you purchase the product using the links below.
We’re always partial to a good pair of sneakers. Depending on the exact style and model, they can be anything from super casual to super stylish, and just about everything in between. After wearing our fair share of cheaper sneakers over the years, I decided this past summer it was time to shell out a few extra bucks for something nicer; a more expensive pair of leather sneakers that could last several years of everyday wear, as opposed to the 1-year lifespan I’d come to expect from most canvas shoes. After some research and perusal, I set my eyes on the Nisolo Diego Low, which retailed for roughly a buck fifty on Huckberry.
I pulled the trigger…and haven’t looked back since. Here’s my firsthand review of the Nisolo Diego Low and why they’re some of my favorite shoes my feet have had the pleasure of wearing.
Nisolo Diego Low Unboxing: The Facts
The Nisolo Diego Low are handmade in Leon, Mexico – a city long known for its leatherworking and footwear game. The upper is 100% leather, with a leather lining and leather insole, while the sole is Vibram. Nisolo touts their production in an ethical factory, and they come in both an off-white Bone and a light brown Tobacco. The Bone uses a vegetable-tanned leather while Tobacco is nubuck.
I placed my order on Huckberry for two pairs of Diego sneakers – both in Bone and Tobacco. They do, according to many reviewers and Huckberry, run a half size too large, so I got both 12 and 13’s to see which fit me better.
My package arrived in a just a couple days, arriving in a very nice shoe box and with each shoe individually wrapped in a very nice drawstring sack (feels like burlap to us). Upon pulling them out, the quality was evident; I’d certainly never felt a sneaker of this premium level before. The leather was extremely smooth and the Vibram sole is particularly hefty. (The Bone leather is definitely smoother than the nubuck used on the Tobacco, but I liked them both.
Included are two pairs of laces; a slimmer, finer set as well as the larger, softer ones you’d typically find on a pair of sneakers.
Fit And Comfort
I do find that the Nisolo Low run a little large, but not so much as to size down a full size. The size 12’s were far too small for my feet. Since there were 12.5’s, I went ahead and kept the size 13’s in Tobacco; they’re a bit loose and I need to wear thick socks to help keep them tight, but that is obviously preferable to shoes that are too tight and hurt your feet.
In terms of comfort, these things rock; the leather lining and insole are super soft and comfortable once they break in, and I can wear them all day long – walking many miles across the city – without even the slightest bit of discomfort. Break-in really doesn’t take long at all, either; a day or two of wear was all I needed for these to fit.
I do, as a manner of habit, stick a layer of moleskin on the heel and rear lip of all my new shoes to help soften any chafing that potentially rears its head during break-in periods, but that is more a precaution than necessary for these shoes.
Grippy Vibram Sole
Apart from the leather upper, one major reason I shelled out 2x my normal sneaker spending for the Diego Low Tops was the Vibram sole; I tend to wear through cheap rubber soles easily, and I wanted something with more grip and more durability. The chunky white Vibram on these bad boys certainly doesn’t disappoint. Though they don’t have the same kind of grip and traction as you’d find on hiking shoes, they provide plenty of tack and texture for everyday wear and for city streets. They actually stay pretty clean, too; white soles and shoes always accumulate lots of dirt and end up black rather quickly. But after three months of everyday wear, these bad boys are still looking pretty good:
Style: What The Nisolo Diego Pair With
What outfits can you wear these snazzy sneakers with?
Quick answer: Pretty much everything. I wear them with jeans almost every single day, whether just around the house or heading out. They pair great with a pair of chinos when heading to work…and they looked pretty dang good with a pair of shorts in summertime, too.
There’s really nothing not to like about the Nisolo Diego; they are totally worth the relatively reasonable asking price, and other than a bit of dirt on the soles, look as good as they day I took them out of the box. I could see these lasting 2 to 3 years of regular wear – 2 to 3 times as long as your typical pair of department store sneakers. Overall, they are a surefire way to upgrade your wardrobe and introduced some casual class to your footwear game simultaneously.