Reviews STYLE // Winter

Winter Test-Drive, Bryr Clogs Review

February 10, 2017

It’s time! Time to share all my thoughts on these Bryr clogs that so many of you have asked about. I’m going to do my best to do a mind-meld between my brain and yours to tell you everything I’ve experienced with these bad boys. I’ve gotten lots of questions about them, especially on Instagram. I shared a few months back that I was taking these closed-toe clogs for a winter test drive. Long story short, the folks over at Bryr Studio challenged me to the notion that these shoes were warmer and more comfortable than I might think. Thus, the winter challenge was born.

I took to wearing them two-to-three times per week for 30 days, taking notes on weather conditions, comfort and fit. I styled them with socks, with tights and no socks. I wore them on damp days and I wore them on dry days, with jeans, with skirts, on a box, with a fox…

FIT & ORDERING

When I first got my clogs, the leather was pretty stiff, to the point that I almost thought they were too small. Before choosing my clogs, I chatted with Isobel about the proper sizing. She suggested I size down from my usual Euro size, 41, and get a 40, and she was right! Even though they seemed small at the onset, and the back strap seemed short and hard to buckle, all that changed with time. The last thing you want is a loose, flappy strap in the back (something I experienced with a cheaper, not-to-be-named clog brand, as the leather stretched out more and more). Now my feet slide farther into the clog, and the back strap buckles easily. I have moderately wide feet and these shoes fit me snugly all over.

The toe-box on these clogs is much more feminine than clogs I’ve worn in the past, and I really like that. It’s less boxy and more fitted to the natural shape of the foot. I think that’s part of the secret of what makes Bryr clogs look so good in photos. You’ll never be accidentally mistaken for wearing clown shoes (a real concern for the size 10 club).

COMFORT

I chose to go with the mid-heel over the high-heel because my lifestyle is pretty kid-centric. And I didn’t want these clogs to sit in my closet and only get pulled out on special occasions. Also, I’m a decently tall gal (5’7″) and I feel like I’m going to tip over if I start getting into the three-inch range.

I have particularly finicky feet. They like to be comfortable and I find a lot of shoes to be too flat or unsupportive. That’s part of why I love Birkenstocks and Frye’s so much. They have great supportive footbeds. (Gosh, I’m starting to sound geriatric over here.) Clogs often work for me because I like the moulded footbed, it feels much more supportive than a flat footbed. These Bryr clogs have a small incline because of the heel, but the footbed is still comfortable. By the last week of my experiment – which may or may not have been interrupted by a giant snow storm – these clogs started feeling really comfortable on my feet. I taught Sunday school, which meant a lot of time on my feet, playing and dancing with the kids, and I felt great. Don’t get me wrong, the wood is hard, and can feel hard on your feet, but that is usually only an issue when doing a lot of standing still/standing around. Somehow moving and walking seems to negate the hardness factor.

The walkability of these clogs is pretty good. The heel is a bit narrow compared to some of my other shoes, and seems a little more narrow than some other mid-heeled clogs . But the only time I felt truly wobbly was on the post-snowstorm gravel that is on so many of Portland’s sidewalks right now. In general, I’d say they are a little delicate for places like the playground, but they rock the casbah at any setting where I want to feel dressed up a touch but not overdone.

WARMTH & DURABILITY

Now this was the million dollar question for me. Would my feet be cold? Could I wear them in wet weather? As you can see above I wore them in a lot of cool temperatures. This winter has been chillier than usual, so I really got to put these to the test. I spent a lot of time wearing them with merino and regular wool socks, even thick tights (probably my favorite set up). And on brave days, or when I was outdoors less, I went sockless. On one particularly cold night I met up with a girlfriend for beers and layered with a cozy sweater and warm, insulated jacket. By the end of our evening my feet were actually a little hot! The thick leather is pretty insulating, it was mostly my ankles that I kept warm with my socks, not my feet. I think when the weather hits the 50’s (F) I won’t have to think twice about wearing these without socks.

I mostly stayed away from wearing my clogs on rainy days. The wood Bryr uses is treated to withstand water, but I still felt chicken to get them too wet because, I just didn’t want to take the risk. On damp, slightly sprinkly days I wore them, but on so many of our winter days it has been pouring, so I opted for something more rainproof. Honestly, much of my shoe closet has been getting the shaft this winter because of all the wet and snowy days. I suspect the longer I have these and the more ‘lived-in’ they look, the braver I’ll be with wearing them in the rain.

The hard part about clogs is the fact that the pretty, light wood eventually gets dirty. However, for all my tromping around these clogs still look pretty good. They just show minor signs or wear/dirt on the front and back ends of the wood. But I am also learning to embrace when my shoes look a little more ‘lived-in.’ When my clothes feel broken-in, that is when I love them the most. Because they feel like mine, like I’ve put my stamp on them. We walk on shoes for crying out loud. Of course they are going to show wear and look like a full-grown human has been standing on them. Somewhere along the way I think we just fell for this falsehood that our clothing should always look brand new. Even when it’s not. It doesn’t make sense. (However, I do fully advocate for caring for our items so they wear and look their best. But let’s not sweat it so much.)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Bryr clogs are, hands-down, some of the most beautiful clog designs I’ve seen (anyone follow their Instagram? Talk about a clog paradise!), and their standard of construction matches their standard of design. How did they fare on this winter challenge? Are they a winter shoe? It depends where you live. If you get to enjoy a mild winter (I’m looking at you Bay-Area folk) you could wear these near constantly. In Portland, I could probably wear them during the winter here about 25% of the time. But they will make fantastic “shoulder season” shoes. In the spring when I’m so tired of socks and boots, clogs. In the fall, when I am over my sandals but not ready for socks, clogs. And all the 50 degree days in between.

ABOUT BRYR

If you’re not familiar with their story, it’s a good one. Isobel Schofield started Bryr just a handful of years ago after 15 years working in the apparel industry. According to Bryr’s website, she desired a better way to make better things after spending time high up the chain at a major US retailer. Today Bryr Studio is based out of San Francisco, where they design and make all of their shoes. If you’re lucky enough to live in the area, you can visit the shop in person. Bryr is another example of an outstanding, female-owned and operated business. I feel very strongly about supporting other women in business, that’s why I love to share small makers and designers with you. It’s an amazing community to be a part of, and I’m so thrilled to dabble in the world of Bryr and share some of their work with you.


Special thank you to Bryr Studio for sending me these clogs for review. As always, all opinions and viewpoints are my own.

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  • natalie February 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I love everything about these clogs. The height seems perfect for your daily wear. I love the way they look with and without socks/tights. And am especially impressed that you were able to rock them in 35 degree weather! I can’t wait to see how you style these for spring.

    • Andrea February 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Thank you friend!! They are so fun to wear, they make me feel good everytime I put them on. Now, if only it would stop monsooning…

  • Kat February 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I absolutely love these test drive posts! It’s so heartening to read REAL and authentic reviews of these trending brands vs. what you usually see, which is “I’m obsessed with these shoes; I’ve been wearing them NONSTOP” and meanwhile you never see them in the blogger’s photos beyond the initial #sp post and also they never look worn down…anyway, very much appreciate your honest and thorough review! Please keep this going!

    • Andrea February 16, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Kat, thanks so much for the meaningful comments. I try really hard to be authentic and transparent, and I appreciate you for noticing. I try to think, “what would I want to read?” And I think it is so important to show clothing that doesn’t always look brand new, because that’s not reality. We should be proud to wear our clothing often, even if it wears in.

  • Wren February 20, 2017 at 5:44 am

    After your review last summer I ordered the Moheda clog sandals you wear, and have not been disappointed in their comfort (after a bad experience with some other very stiff, very tight clog sandals). They go with everything and always feel good.

    I’ve been wanting to add a pair of closed-toe bourbon brown clogs to my closet, and once again I think you’ve found the winning pair! Thank you so much for these honest & thoughtful reviews.

    • Andrea February 21, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      I love it! I am so glad to help Wren. There are A LOT of clogs on the market, and it’s nice to be able to see them on other people a bit. I am excited to bust my Mohedas out as soon as the sun starts shining!

  • Emily February 23, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I really want to know which brand you tried out and didn’t like. I’m toying around with the idea of some!!

    • Andrea February 24, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Emily. The other pair I didn’t love were by Lotta. It’s kind of the whole, you get what you pay for deal. I didn’t pay much for them, and the craftsmanship reflects that (choppy wood cutting and thin leather). I do still wear them from time to time though! Hope that helps! I have a pair of Moheda’s (which Lotta sells) and those are great.

  • maggie March 5, 2017 at 8:37 am

    what is the raincoat you’re wearing here? I love the shape!

    • Andrea March 5, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Maggie! It’s by Bridge & Burn. I think they’re currently sold out for the season, but I imagine they’ll release some new ones in the fall.

  • Julie March 7, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Great review. Are these in the sienna or whiskey color?

    • Andrea March 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Hi Julie! Great question! These are in the Sienna leather, I was between that and the Whiskey! Both are so good!

      • Julie March 7, 2017 at 12:22 pm

        Thank you! I love that you’re in Portland. My husband and I are in the beginning stages of plotting our move there, after first visiting during our honeymoon in 2012. We haven’t been able to shake that city from our hearts. Thanks again for the quick reply.

        • Andrea March 7, 2017 at 10:07 pm

          That is so exciting Julie! Portland is a wonderful place to live. Where are you guys at now?

  • Tamiko March 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Hi there. Love the blog. How on earth did you keep the wooden heels looking so clean? I wear mine once a week or so and after 1 week they looked filthy.

    • Andrea March 12, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Hi Tamiko, honestly, I just tried to avoid overly dirty situations. I wear them on light rain days, but mostly just keep to wearing them on dry days. I have a feeling the more I drive in them the dirtier my right foot will get. But I’m just trying to embrace it! I have also found that not all clogs are created equally. I have some Lottas and the wood got dirtier WAY faster than the wood on my Bryr clogs.