Leather Mules – Five Plus One

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.


Mules may be having a bit of a moment but they are absolutely timeless. They excel both as a pair of slip-ons and as the ultimate park/beach shoe when you want to avoid sandals. And unlike sandals, mules don’t give rise to the socks-and-sandals condundrum. (For the record, we’re all for socks and sandals!)

Whether you’re looking for a decent yet affordable pair of mules or want the very best, we hope this edition of Five Plus One will help you in your search.

1) Birkenstock: Boston in Taupe Suede

Leather-Mules---Five-Plus-One-Birkenstock

Love them or hate them, Birkenstock‘s Boston Soft Footbeds are probably the most recognizable pair of Mules in existence. Shown here in taupe suede, they feature the divisive cork/jute/latex footbed known to mold to the wearer’s foot for ultimate comfort, and an adjustable strap to add a bit more interest.

While they’re far from my favorite pair of mules, they seem to be the world’s favorite, and they’re an undeniably excellent option for their affordability, wide range of colors/leathers, and availability.

Available for $154 from Lost & Found.

2) Buttero: Capalbio Leather Mule in Black

Leather-Mules---Five-Plus-One-Buttero

If you are interested in stepping up your price range for a high quality pair of mules, then you might want to consider Buttero and their Capalbio Leather Mule. Made in Italy using a rolled-edge stitchdown construction, this fully blacked out mule is clean and minimalist. The decision to leave the inside lining as contrasting was a great one, as it only adds to their beauty when off-foot without affecting the aesthetics while worn.

These Butteros are finished with a black leather outsole which doesn’t offer the most traction, but certainly delivers a wonderful visual and comfortable break-in.

Available for $435 from Cultizm.

3) Viberg: Mule in Noix Eco Grain

Leather-Mules---Five-Plus-One-Viberg

Viberg‘s Mule is one of their least produced styles, but it remains one of the best options in the high-end mule market. The Canadian brand made a lot of interesting, and quite frankly clever, design decisions when putting together these shoes. One, the French binding around 360° of the opening give this mule a cleaner look than damn near anything else on the market. Two, the storm welt adds visual interest while making these shoes substantially more durable and resoleable than most other mules. Three, the latex sole is just comfort of the highest order.

While they might be pricey, you’re getting a lot of shoe for you buck with this pair.

Available for $544 from Lost & Found.

4) Clarks: Trek Mule in Black Warm Lined Suede

Leather-Mules---Five-Plus-One-Clark'sAnother solid entry level option to the mule game is Clarks Trek Mule. It’s definitely more rough-and-tumble than many others on this list, but it’s not without its charms. The thick crepe sole is something many consider to be the most comfortable outsole available. And while the aesthetics remain rough, the continued use of stitchdown construction and suede uppers is something many Clarks fans will be happy to see.

The addition of shearling lining makes these shoes a bit awkward to wear in the spring or summer, but also makes them the ultimate pair of household slippers.

Available for $190 from Hatchet Supply.

5) Arpenteur x Paraboot Club Mule Black

Like a loafer that just got a little lazy at the end of the job, this collab between two French powerhouses of classic work styles — Paraboot & Arpenteur —typifies everything we love about mules. It’s got a Venetian loafer style with the “beefroll” stitching on the side, a soft suede upper, and that arching paraboloid shape, offset by a thick rippled sole. Dare we say this Paraboot is para-fect?

Available in Black and Sand suede for $345 at Lost & Found.

Plus One – Unmarked: Nahua Mule

Leather-Mules---Five-Plus-One-Unmarked

We love the little things brands do to stand out, and Unmarked‘s easily identifiable style is always a pleasure to come across. Their Nahua Mule is one of the cleanest mules on this list, and the addition of the rainbow thread toe bug stitching is just a whole lot of fun. They are made with a soft, leather footbed and fully resoleable Goodyear welt — and with a shoe this attractive, who wouldn’t want to ensure they can be worn through sole after sole?

Available for $350 from Unmarked.