I must admit, I initially did not think highly of these M. Gemi Bolla flats when I first got them because they did not feel as comfortable (read: soft and squishy) as the now discontinued Banana Republic Ashley Flat (WHY!??!?), but I have since come around.
My BR Ashley Flats have bitten the dust after 2 years of major wear and tear. I am talking playground playing, walks all around the city, and MAJOR WEAR constantly, almost daily.
Since then, I have switched over to my M. Gemi Bolla flats, and I am pleasantly surprised to discover that I may actually prefer them.
THE QUALITY IS HIGHER
I am now noticing that the leather in these Bolla flats are a higher quality.
They’re a hardwearing leather, and not a soft, too-thin, one.
Yes, it is thinner, and not as padded or squishy as the Ashley flats, but the leather is properly, and solidly stitched around the edges, and the soles is well made and not likely to fall apart like the Ashley flats above on the sides with the elastic ribbon breaking off.
The elastic ribbon is sewn inside the shoe, and will wear better.
THE FIT IS BETTER
They don’t flip and flop off my feet, because the vamp is higher in front. I can tell that they’re going to last longer, and age more gracefully because they fit better and won’t get trampled under my foot when I am walking and it falls off.
They recommended to go UP a half size and they’re right.
I’m a true US 7 and I took the US 7.5 and it fits perfectly without feeling too tight or flopping off, and what is good about that is if it were too tight (in the US 7), the leather is really too stiff / hardwearing to really mould to your feet without major blistering the way the Ashley flats did to mine.
I never had blisters with the Ashley flats, but they moulded well to my feet over time.
For the record: I have never had any blisters with these flats because the inner leather lining has no seams and nothing to rub against.
THE SOLE IS FLATTER
I used to hate the idea that these flats would have such a flat, hard sole, but it is actually better on my back than super soft soles, so a bit like with Birkenstocks, I find them extremely comfortable.
THE ONLY DOWNSIDE? THE PRICE
Yep. The price kills me ($198 USD), but I think I’d be safely willing to spend the money again.
I’ll write another post in a year or so to let you know how they fared with 100% usage, daily wear and use as they are now my primary flats to wear.