Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

About Johnston & Murphy

Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

Established in 1850, Johnson & Murphy boasts over 100 years of fine shoemaking. With a riveting history in outfitting presidents and first-class musicians, Johnston & Murphy has a strong track record and is recognized by eminent officials and laypeople alike. With international stores, Johnston & Murphy serves men and women with a commitment to reinventing classics. This Johnston & Murphy shoes review will examine key elements of the brand and assist you in making an informed purchase decision. 

Overview of Johnston & Murphy

Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

Johnston & Murphy had humble beginnings in Newark, USA, in the home of founder William J. Dudley. In the decade before the American Civil War, the brand was originally called The William J. Dudley Shoe Company upon its establishment in 1850. Mr. Dudley’s small operation gained traction when the company outfitted its first president.

The 13th president of the United States, Millard Fillmore, was a sharp dresser who favoured dark suits. That first momentous fitting led to a vibrant history of “shodding” every president to come. Johnston & Murphy met the individual taste of each USA leader, fitting Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln in a lace-up boot in a whopping size 14. The brand’s timeless classics continue to reinvent themselves, most recently worn by President Barack Obama. 

In 1886, the company transitioned its name to Johnston & Murphy. The namesakes were connected to the company, business partners and friends that were enshrined in shoemaking history. The company strengthened its rapport in fitting different strokes for different folks, and Ulysses S. Grant chose knee-high riding boots, while Theodor “Teddy” Roosevelt, who was a hunter and ranger to his very core, went for sturdy dress boots.

Johnston & Murphy positioned themselves in the market as a class act in the late 19th century, reported in magazines of the time to be “the go-to guys for quiet distinction in dress.” The iconic brand continues to influence men’s style, and that of ladies too. Their approach to women’s shoes was, “borrowing from the boys, but doing it better.” Sounds like feminism to me. 

Johnston & Murphy are popular, simply because they dress the well-dressed. The brand commits to bringing back the classics in their most stylish form. To sum up this Johnston & Murphy shoes review, we’ll take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the brand:


  • A history of outfitting presidents and other famous Americans
  • Premium shoes with mid-level pricing
  • Manufactured for comfort with features like memory foam cushioning and sheepskin lining
  • Classics with a modern edge
  • Thoughtful details and fashion-forward collections
  • Johnston & Murphy shoes can be purchased at many locations
  • Free returns and exchanges


  • Poor customer service
  • Overbearing employees in-store
  • Customers reported that the shoes fell apart due to poor quality

Johnston & Murphy Men’s Shoes Review 

Johnston & Murphy offers hundreds of premium lace-ups, slip ons, sneakers, boots, sandals, and dress shoes. This Johnston & Murphy shoes review can’t go through the entire collection, so we researched their most popular styles for men:

Johnston & Murphy Copeland Chukka Boot 

The chukka boot has a fascinating history, originating from the game of polo. ‘Chukka’ refers to a period of play, and the boots became popular after the Duke of Windsor brought them back to the UK from his trip to India in 1924. This “desert boot” was later worn by soldiers of the British army during the Western Desert Campaign during WWII. 

Johnston & Murphy encapsulates the legacy of this old-fashioned boot. Their Copeland Chukka boot comes in black tumbled full-grain leather or red-brown oiled full-grain leather for $159, with select styles in suede for $100 and $129. Your feet stay warm in a soft sheepskin lining. The Copeland is manufactured with memory-foam cushioning and a genuine crepe rubber sole.

Once you slip it on for the first time, it’s the kind of piece that becomes your go-to boot. Our Johnston & Murphy shoes review found that many customers expressed that the Copeland Chukka is so comfortable they bought a second pair and basically live in the boots.

Johnston & Murphy Holden Penny Loafer

The Penny loafer style rose to prominence some 80 years after the brand’s founding, inspired by the slip ons worn by Norwegian farmers in the 1930s. The classic penny loafer is every young boy’s first shoe for special occasions, it becomes every college boy’s beaten up favourite, and finally, it finds its place as an office shoe. Johnston & Murphy loafers take the nuts and bolts of the classic penny loafer with a modern interpretation reflected in the shock-absorbing, flexible EVA sole. 

While your first pair of penny loafers might have been stiff, leading to a lousy blister or two, the Holden penny loafers are constructed innovatively, merging the well-worn style with ultralight, cushioned comfort. It’s the best of past and present with genuine leather for a superior fit and feel with memory foam cushioning. With the leather welt, the Holdens carry you all day and night, available in tan full-grain leather for $139.

Johnston & Murphy McGuffey Plain-Toe Oxford 

The Oxford has endured for centuries as a traditional standard for gentlemen. This style was popularized even before the birth of Johnston & Murphy at Oxford University, the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The McGuffey is the Oxford reclassified to fit the modern man. 

The McGuffey Plain-Toe has updated textures and styles to add interest. It’s made of supple oiled full-grain leather or soft matte nubuck and breathable knit. While the shoe has an elevated look, it’s also meant for everyday wear, with lightweight Strobel construction and a performance fabric-covered insole. You can choose your colour to match your wardrobe with choices in tan, navy, black and gray oiled leather for $129 and other select colours for $100.

Johnston & Murphy Melton Cap Toe Oxford 

You’ve got your casual look, and now it’s time to suit up, lads. The uber sophisticated Johnston & Murphy Men’s Melton Oxfords are available in tan, burgundy, and black calfskin for $179. Recall two of those charmingly dressed presidents I mentioned earlier, Obama and Roosevelt—if you like the look of the Melton, you’ve got the same taste. 

These elegant Oxfords are a snapshot of history remodelled when it comes to Johnston & Murphy men’s shoes. As would be expected for such fine dressing, they’re crafted from hand-selected European leather. This gives the Johnston & Murphy men’s Melton Oxfords a premium look and feel. 

The Melton Oxford has an exclusive Optima Comfort system with multilayered cushioning. These Johnston & Murphy dress shoes are breathable too, thanks to a perforated leather lining. The details align to give you comfort and style with a leather sole that offers the Melton a dressy appearance. With the Melton Oxford, you get a personalized fit because of the Goodyear welt construction that molds the leather to your foot.

Johnston & Murphy Conard Wingtip 

The Wingtip style has been around for at least 400 years, with Scottish/Irish origins in the 16th or 17th century. With Johnston & Murphy’s Conard Wingtip, the devil is in the intricate details. If you long to be a showstopper, hand-burnished Italian leather could be your in. 

A Johnston & Murphy shoes review proved the versatility of the Conard Wingtip: you can dress them up or down, with two sets of laces in matching or contrast colour. They’re sturdy with a rubber sole and heel, and luxuriously comfortable given the leather lining and cushioned insole. For $130, you can choose from mahogany or black Italian calfskin and start strutting. 

Johnston & Murphy Women’s Shoes Review 

Johnston & Murphy’s line for women is much more limited compared to the men’s. That being said, there are still over 70 styles of sneakers, mules, flats, heels, wedges, and sandals for ladies to choose from. This Johnston & Murphy shoes review carefully selected some top-selling pieces:

Johnston & Murphy Laina Heels 

Every woman wants to give off an element of surprise. Imagine if you could do it with exquisite cut-outs, a delicate strap and scrap the pedi. The answer to your prayers and pleas is the unusual shape and evocative floral sole of the Laina Heels.

Your pick of Lainas is available in denim kid suede, black Nappa leather, and sand kid suede for $169. It’s hard to believe that the T-strap pump, with a modern almond-toe could be comfortable all day, but Johnston & Murphy have been faithful to their word since 1850. 

There are some tricks to the Laina heels that make them so liveable: it has sheepskin leather lining, a pillowy foam-cushioned footbed and a buckle strap with hidden elastic gore. Not bad, huh, ladies? With all these tricks and a rubber sole, the 2 ⅝” block heel is a no brainer. Elegant with a pantsuit or stunning with a summer dress, these shoes will have eyes travelling straight down to them (and your legs).

Johnston & Murphy Petrina Mules 

The name of this shoe comes from the Latin mulleus, an ancient style of ceremonial shoe. Johnston & Murphy’s Petrina mules are a testament to the opulence of a bygone era. The Petrina comes in silver Italian leopard-print and white Nappa leather, black Nappa leather and leopard haircalf, or taupe kid sued/dusty metallic kid suede, glorious yet accessible for $159.

Mules are inherently designed to be practical, but Johnston & Murphy paired the pragmatic with chic metallics and glamorous animal prints to create their modern Petrina. These mules are crafted for comfort with a leather lining, cushioned footbed, and a rubber sole. The ⅝” leather-wrapped stacked heel is just enough of a lift to hit your pant leg at the right spot. 

Johnston & Murphy Julia Sandals 

We’ve said it before in our Johnston & Murphy shoes review, but this brand is all about taking the best of the past and tweaking it with modern reinventions. Think of the classical Romans and their three strapped open-toed sandals—now add leopard print and you go from the Colosseum to the jungle. 

For $159, the Julia sandals put a flirty and stylish twist on tradition, with colours available in leopard-print haircalf, metallic crackle leather, and gray suede. As brilliant an empire as Rome was, their sandals were never as high-tech as these. The ancients couldn’t offer antiqued metal adjustable roller buckles and a dual-density cushioned footbed. 

The Julia offers a bit of lift with a rubber sole and ⅞” cork-wrapped wedge. These seasonal sandals are topped with a leather lining and a leather/floral-print insole. The Julias are an all eyes on your feet kind of sandal, so make sure your toes are looking nice and polished.

Are Johnston & Murphy Shoes Good?

Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

Our Johnston & Murphy shoes review delved into the opinions of customers on the longstanding brand. The review was off to a good start when one customer described the shoes as possessing “legendary quality,” backed by “exceptional” customer service. Other customers loved the variety and styles of the shoes and said that on first wear, they were highly comfortable.

It started to go downhill from there. Many customers complained about the overbearing employees in the retail locations. Others had to have the stitching of the shoes repaired within months after mostly indoor wear. The soles fell off of some shoes, and the leather lining wore out. One individual complained about the quality of the shoe’s material: in their experience, the heel was stiff enough to cause pressure sores on the foot. On the whole, many customers concluded that the shoes were of inferior quality

Our Johnston & Murphy shoes review underscored that the shoes are elegant and innovative with fine details. They rival their higher-priced competitors in style, and their comfort exceeds other mid-range brands. When push comes to shove, however, you get what you pay for, and the quality of the materials doesn’t hold up. While the shoes met every standard on the surface, their durability didn’t pass the test, and the experience in-store was discouraging enough to put customers off return-visits. 

Johnston & Murphy Promotions & Discounts

Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

We tried our best to find deals for this Johnston & Murphy shoes review, but presently, there are none. Check back on their site regularly for updates on a new Johnston & Murphy coupon or Johnson & Murphy promo code.  

Where to Buy Johnston & Murphy

Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

Johnston & Murphy products can be purchased at their retail locations and outlet stores around the world and off of their website. A Johnston & Murphy shoe review revealed many other retailers that stock the brand:

  • The Shoe Company 
  • Walking on a Cloud
  • Foot Sensations
  • Andrew’s Shoes
  • DSW
  • The Bay 
  • Nordstrom 
  • Dillard’s 
  • Macy’s 


Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

Johnston & Murphy Sizing

We want to be as informative as possible in this Johnston & Murphy shoes review, so you’ll find everything you want to know on sizing here:

Johnston & Murphy Men’s Shoes Sizing
U.S.EuroUK/AustraliaJapan (cm)
Shoe Widths
Johnston & Murphy Women’s Shoes Sizing 

Johnston & Murphy Shipping Policy

Johnston & Murphy provides ground shipping for standard orders, which will be delivered in 3-5 business days. Express orders must be placed before 1:00 PM CST from Monday through Thursday. If your order is placed after 1:00 PM, it’ll be processed the next day. Orders processed on Friday will be delivered on Monday or Tuesday, depending on the delivery method. FedEx Ground does not deliver to P.O boxes. 

  • Shipping charge is calculated based on your merchandise total before tax and shipping
  • Johnston & Murphy only ships to the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii & APO/FPO addresses
  • Orders shipping to Alaska and Hawaii must be upgraded to 2-day or next day

GroundFedEx 2Day AirNext Day Air
Under $50$4.95$12.95$19.95
Over $50Free$12.95$19.95

Johnston & Murphy Return Policy

Johnston & Murphy has high standards for their products, and they care about your satisfaction and comfort. As such, our Johnston & Murphy shoes review revealed that they offer free returns and exchanges. Johnston & Murphy is happy to exchange or refund any unworn merchandise or merchandise with a defect within 90 days of the sale date

  • Include your receipt/ return form with the merchandise
  • You will be refunded in the original form of payment
  • Refunds include the price of the product and taxes charged
  • Initial shipping costs are not reimbursed with exchange
  • Items sent to the Johnston & Murphy warehouse will not be returned

To return an item by mail, complete the easy online form on their website and include the prepaid label from your original package. You can also process returns through Johnston & Murphy retail stores. 

Contact Johnston & Murphy

Johnston & Murphy Shoes Review

For additional questions beyond this Johnston & Murphy shoes review, you can contact them through these methods: 

  • In the ‘contact us’ section of their website, fill in the required fields and your comment
  • For the quickest reply, call (800) 424-2854
  • Johnston & Murphy is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM CST and on Saturday from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM CST

Check out your other options for luxury shoes. Explore reviews of other popular brands:



Ace Marks

Beckett Simonon

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Customer Reviews

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3 years ago Reply

What you call “Overbearing Employees In-Store” used to be called genuine conversation and help. I’ve always had genuine honest help from employees. The shoes only fall apart due to lack of care. A lot of people do not take care of their shoes the way they should if they want them to last. If there is one thing they do not sell, its poor quality shoes; and as far as the customer service goes, I’ve been helped on numberous occasions from Employees in-store, and over the phone. They take care of their customers as if they were family and resolve any issues fairly quickly.
I live Johnston and Murphy and will probably never shop anywhere for my essentials.

3 years ago Reply


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