Fortress of Inca Boots Review

Last year I made a round up of ethical and sustainable fashion brands that make tall sizes. And there was a glaring issue with the list: no size 11 and 12 (and beyond!) shoes. I have been on the hunt ever since and am so happy to find Fortress of Inca. They make a wide range of classic styles (boots, mules, flats) and are committed to fair trade practices. AND, they’re launching size 11 shoes this month! So here’s a review of their Elise ankle boots and a hint about what styles are about to be in the extended range!

I reached out to Fortress of Inca about collaborating because they make a size 41 (even that can be hard to find!!) and they generously gifted me this pair of Elise booties. The Elise style runs a tad bigger so they’re great if you’re an in between shoe size like me (usually a 10.5–tried the 41/10).

First impression: These boots are soooooo soft when you slip them on. They are really nice leather and required zero break in time. Let me tell you, I know a thing or two about heel blisters. These shoes leave none and therefore my new best friends.

The warm leather and the cut out detail make them a pretty great transition boot, too, because they look just as at home with dresses as they do with jeans. I wore a no-show sock for these pictures but also think they would be a fun opportunity to show off cute socks (on that note…has anyone found ethically made fun socks for bigger feet? send recommendations please!)

The only thing I would note about Fortress of Inca for people in winter weather is that there is not a lot of tread on the bottom. I think I will get some non-stick pads for the bottom of my pair because I am clumsy even on tile.

Overall I know these boots will last me a very, very long time. I have a black leather pair of boots that makes a trip to the cobbler for re-heeling every so often, otherwise I just throw some leather conditioner on them once a season and they have lasted forever! I know these will join the rotation and I think that’s what makes nice leather boots such a solid investment piece for my closet. I’ve tried them on with most of my closet at this point because they go with everything fall:

And, good news, size 11 wearers. Fortress of Inca is launching a size 42 this month in the following styles: the Adra mule, Michelle heeled mule, and the Elise. They also advise me that the Madeline boot runs large so that’s an option if you’re a 10.5/11.

And there you have it! See the rest of my ethical brands for tall people here if you’re interested!

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