Cole Haan VS Johnston & Murphy

Cole Haan vs Johnston And Murphy

When it comes to high-quality shoes, a debate often ensues between Cole Haan and Johnston and Murphy. These brands are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship and superior style catering to both men and women. 

Whether it’s for casual wear or formal occasions, each has collections that merit a thorough compare and contrast. Finding the best choice for your needs becomes a journey through quality and comfort. 

Reflecting on the time I needed Cole Haans for a cousin’s wedding, I hesitated, considering trying out the Johnston Murphys. Despite their similar promises of durability, my findings from personal experience will unfold as we buckle up for this reading.

Cole Haan VS Johnston & Murphy

Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy stand as popular brands in the realm of high-end shoes, each with a wide range of styles for both men and women. They come with their advantages and disadvantages, heavily influenced by personal preference. The key differences between these labels go beyond just fashion footwear accumulated over many years. Each brand showcases a variety of styles and colors, though there are similarities, the differences are stark, with Cole Haan leaning more towards modern designs and premium leather materials, while Johnston & Murphy hold fast to classic leather styles—timeless staples that have remained focused on men’s sizes.Cole Haan VS Johnston & Murphy

Chart Comparing: Cole Haan Vs Johnston And Murphy:

Cole Haan Johnston and Murphy
Founded in 1928 Founded in 1850
Headquarters in New York, USA Headquarters in Nashville, USA
Sells shoes, leather goods, accessories Sells shoes, leather goods, accessories
Price range from $50 – $500 Price range from $50 – $500
Wide range of styles and designs Wide range of styles and designs
Free shipping and returns Free shipping and returns
Online customization options Online customization options

Cole Haan:

Since its inception in 1928, Cole Haan has been synonymous with shoes that encapsulate contemporary designs and modern aesthetics. Known for their popular blend of style and comfort, their products make looking effortless, adeptly blending fashion-forward thinking with innovative technologies. 

The Grand OS technology, in particular, is exceptional in providing cushioning and flexibility, thus enhancing the walking experience. This approach to innovation is why Cole Haan remains popular today, resonating with those who crave modernity.

Their offerings exude a balance that doesn’t just cater to aesthetic appeal but also provides comfort that complements an active lifestyle. Innovative elements like Grand OS technology are the cornerstone of Cole Haan’s commitment to exceptional footwear, which has redefined how comfort and style coexist. Their products prove that one doesn’t have to compromise on style to enjoy comfort, and it’s this mantra that continues to charm their clientele.

Johnston And Murphy:

Johnston And Murphy boasts a richer heritage with over 150 years in the footwear industry. Their popularity stems from a steadfast commitment to products that radiate classic elegance and traditional craftsmanship. 

Their shoes are emblems of timeless sophistication, crafted with premium materials such as full-grain leather. Each pair receives precise, attention to detail, making them the go-to brand for those who appreciate robust construction and long-lasting appeal.

Their products stand as testaments to traditional craftsmanship, offering a touch of classic elegance that has withstood the test of time. For those drawn to the allure of history and the promise of durability, Johnston and Murphy’s shoes offer a richer heritage that is often preferred. Premium materials and traditional techniques in their shoes have solidified their reputation as purveyors of classic, timeless sophistication.

Style and Design:

When it comes to style and design, Cole Haan strides forward with contemporary designs and modern materials intertwined with technology to create fashionable, yet comfortable shoes. Their sleek, stylish offerings are a nod to contemporary tastes. 

Contrastingly, Johnston And Murphy uphold traditional, timeless designs with classic looks crafted from traditional materials using classic construction techniques. This dichotomy presents a fashionable yet comfortable choice for the modern consumer against the traditional, timeless appeal for the classic one.

Cole Haan’s penchant for modern materials and technology brings out a range of shoes that fit right into a sleek, stylish wardrobe of a trendsetter. Meanwhile, Johnston And Murphy champion traditional values with timeless designs and classic looks, using traditional materials and construction techniques that resonate with those who have a penchant for heritage and a taste for enduring style.


Discussing durability, both brands stake their claim through quality materials and construction techniques. Cole Haan offers a one-year warranty, underscoring their commitment to quality. Johnston And Murphy respond with a 90-day return policy, emphasizing trust in the high-quality materials and craftsmanship they offer. It’s a battle of endurance and reliability, where both brands tout their quality as a testament to their durability.

With a one-year warranty by Cole Haan and a 90-day return policy from Johnston And Murphy, both brands extend a promise of durability through their use of quality materials and construction techniques. This assurance reflects a shared commitment to quality, allowing customers to invest with confidence in footwear that’s built to last.

Materials and Construction:

Materials and construction define the essence of both Cole Haan and Johnston And Murphy. Cole Haan employs advanced materials like leather, suede, and synthetic materials to offer durable and comfortable footwear, while Johnston And Murphy prioritize premium full-grain leather and calfskin leather for their supple feel and shining appearance. 

Both uphold uniform quality construction, though their approach to materials diverges to meet different consumer desires.

In the arena of materials and construction, the two brands showcase their mastery differently. Cole Haan’s approach includes a variety of leather, suede, and synthetic materials designed for modern living. On the other hand, Johnston And Murphy’s commitment to premium full-grain leather and calfskin leather offers a level of supple smoothness and shining appearance that is hard to replicate, ensuring their shoes not only last but also age gracefully with wear.

Comfort Level:

When it comes to comfort, both dress shoe heavyweights have their game strong. Cole Haan offers a well-cushioned embrace within their footwear, thanks in part to their unique multi-layered cushioning system. This innovation works wonders for those on their feet all day. 

Johnston And Murphy counter with their Optima® cushion system that delivers not only comfort but also support. The addition of a perforated leather lining in their shoes invites improved breathability, crucial for the proper break-in of sturdier models that may otherwise cause discomfort due to being stiffer.

Both brands are champions of comfort, but they approach it differently. Cole Haan, with their layers of soft cushioning, makes long periods of standing or walking seem less daunting. On the flip side, Johnston And Murphy’s use of Optima® and their focus on comfort and support—complemented by perforated leather linings for better air flow—ensure that even the most stiff dress shoes become reliable companions with time.

Traction And Grip:

Navigating through a snowy yard or across slippery grass grounds? The rubber outsoles on Cole Haan shoes are engineered for walking on hard outdoor surfaces, offering traction and grip you can trust. Johnston And Murphy aren’t far behind with their cupsole outsole design that provides reinforced traction. Both brands understand the importance of a firm footing, regardless of the terrain or the weather.

Traction and grip are vital, and this is where both brands have poured considerable thought into their outsole designs. With Cole Haan’s rubber outsoles, one can confidently stride on tricky terrains. Johnston And Murphy’s cupsole outsoles are equally competent, ensuring that each step is secure, whether on a wet sidewalk or a polished office floor.

Sizing And Fit:

In the quest for the perfect fit, sizing is paramount. Cole Haan generally runs true to size, matching your regular shoe size. However, for those who find most dress shoes to run small, opting for half a size up may lead to a better fit, especially in the toe area. 

Johnston And Murphy, meanwhile, cater to a narrower fit compared to other dress shoe brands on the market, ideal for those with slightly narrow feet, though they also offer designs with a wider overall design for those with wide feet.

Sizing and fit can make or break your relationship with a new pair of shoes. Cole Haan’s commitment to true-to-size offerings means fewer guesses for shoppers. But if your feet trend towards the broader side, you might appreciate Johnston and Murphy’s wider options, ensuring that snug doesn’t become tight.


Longevity in luxurious dress shoes is a hallmark of both Cole Haan and Johnston And Murphy. While not in the realm of Allen Edmonds, they both utilize premium leather and Goodyear welt construction. This ensures the full-grain leather upper on their shoes can withstand daily wear without excessive creasing. It’s the kind of durability that doesn’t just last but improves with age.

Both brands are on a quest to rival the longevity of luxurious dress shoes and aim to stand shoulder to shoulder with giants like Allen Edmonds. By selecting premium leather and employing Goodyear welt construction, the durability of both Cole Haan and Johnston And Murphy’s footwear ensures the upper stands up to the rigors of time with grace, warding off premature creasing and wear.


The price tags between Cole Haan and Johnston And Murphy can vary as widely as their styles. Cole Haan ranges from a relatively affordable $70 to upwards of $200. Johnston Murphy’s selection, meanwhile, spans from around $199 to $400, reflecting the quality and value inherent in their products. Both brands cater to a wide budget spectrum, offering both affordable options and those at a higher discount price.

Talking about price, Cole Haan presents a wide array, with options starting around $70 and climbing to the $200 mark. Johnston And Murphy’s offerings typically sit at a higher echelon, pricing from $199 to $400. But price tags aside, both brands provide choices that accommodate a range of budgets, ensuring that whether you can afford to splurge or are looking for more affordable elegance, there’s likely a shoe for you in either brand.

Customer Service:

Customer service is the invisible yet crucial facet of any retail brand. Cole Haan steps up with an online customer service team available 24/7 to address any questions or concerns. They also offer free shipping and returns, adding to customer satisfaction. Johnston And Murphy match up with responsive customer care during regular business hours, also offering free shipping and returns to ensure a seamless shopping experience.

The customer service experience can be a deciding factor for many shoppers, and both Cole Haan and Johnston And Murphy shine in this department. The round-the-clock assistance from Cole Haan’s online customer service team is commendable, as is Johnston And Murphy’s dedication to customer care during regular business hours. Both brands’ commitment to free shipping and returns is a testament to their customer-first approach.

Cole Haan Vs Johnston and Murphy Pros & Cons

Cole Haan Pros Cons:


  • Known for their Comfortable Fit, Perfect for Long Days at the Office or Strolls in the Park.
  • Equipped with Better Traction, These Shoes Keep You Grounded in Slick Conditions.
  • Made of Top-Quality Leather, These Shoes Often Elicit Compliments on Their Luxurious Look.
  • The Short Break-In Period Means You’ll Be Striding in Comfort Sooner Rather Than Later.
  • Their Versatile Style Makes Cole Haan Shoes Suitable for Various Settings, From Casual to Formal.
  • The Fashionable Design Is Both Contemporary and Timeless, Ideal for the Fashion-Conscious.
  • With Proper Care, They Age Nicely, Developing a Character That’s Uniquely Yours.
  • Built to Be More Durable Than Most, a Pair Can Endure Season After Season.


  • Those Requiring Less Arch Support May Need to Look Elsewhere or Invest in Insoles.
  • The Shoes are Not Resolable, Complicating Repair and Longevity.
  • The Brand Is Known to Be Expensive, Potentially Straining Your Wallet.
  • Not Suitable for Individuals with Wide Feet, Causing a Constricted Feeling.

Johnston Pros Cons:


  • Feature Innovative Cushioning That Pampers the Feet with Every Step.
  • Regarded as Extremely Comfortable, Perfect for Those on Their Feet All Day.
  • The Wide Toe Design Allows for a More Natural and Comfortable Fit.
  • Typically More Affordable Than Some of Their High-End Competitors.


  • The Leather Tends to Crease Quickly, Diminishing the Shoe’s Aesthetics Over Time.
  • Expect a Longer Break-In Time With These, Which May Test Your Patience.
  • The Less Grippy Outsole May Not Hold Up in Slippery Situations.
  • Only a Few Styles Available, Which Might Limit Your Options.

Murphy Pros Cons:


  • Generally Affordable, Making It Easier to Stock Up on Various Styles.
  • Offers a Wider Variety to Choose From, Catering to Different Tastes and Occasions.
  • Higher Quality Construction Is Apparent in the Details and Durability.
  • Renowned for Higher Customer Service, Ensuring a Pleasant Shopping Experience.


  • Some Find That These Shoes Not Last Long, Particularly With Daily Wear.
  • Can Be More Expensive Than Other Brands in the Same Market Segment.
  • There Are Fewer Customization Options, Which Might Not Satisfy Those Seeking a Personal Touch.
  • The Selection Can Be Seen as Limited, Especially When Searching for Unique Styles.

Which is Better? – Cole Haan or Johnston and Murphy?

Determining which is better between Cole Haan or Johnston and Murphy comes down to assessing your specific needs and the features you value in a shoe. While Johnston and Murphy offer styles with significant discounts, various different factors make them expensive when choosing based on leather quality and arch support. 

Cole Haan strikes with modern styling and a wide range, showcasing both strengths and preferences. One must consider which offers a better, higher quality experience. With best brand debates, the deliberation includes cushioning, promotions, and fashionable aspects. Cole Haan tends to be more affordable, with a variety that challenges the notion of weaknesses in their products, but Johnston and Murphy could be argued as more durable. 

When it comes to fulfilling your footwear needs, these popular brands utilize materials of higher quality materials to decide on quality and fashionable styles, making the better choice a matter of context. Often, the decision swings on specifics such as thicker soles or softer leather, yet there’s no clear winner; both offer compelling options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What Is The Difference In Quality Between Cole Haan And Johnston & Murphy?

When it comes to distinguishing the quality of footwear, I can’t help but remember my first encounter with both Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy. As someone who appreciates a luxurious touch in everyday items, I was keen on assessing which brand offered better-quality materials and craftsmanship. 

What struck me about Cole Haan was their timeless style; each shoe felt as though it could withstand the ebbs and flows of fashion trends, a testament to their durability. Johnston & Murphy, on the other hand, struck a chord with their higher quality offerings that seemed to blend affordability with a sense of classic elegance.

What Styles Does Each Brand Offer?

My wardrobe has seen its fair share of both Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy. From classic dress shoes to fashion-forward casual shoes, I’ve shuffled through life in their various designs. 

Cole Haan’s sneakers and loafers always felt timeless in style, adaptable from a business meeting to a casual day out. Meanwhile, Johnston & Murphy’s boots were a complement to every autumn ensemble, blending the classic and the contemporary seamlessly.

Do Cole Haan And Johnston & Murphy Offer Women’s Shoes?

Speaking of women’s shoes, I’ve observed both Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy excel in offering classic dress styles as well as trendy, fashion-forward designs. Whether it was a pair of sleek pumps from Cole Haan for a night out or a comfortable yet timeless style from Johnston & Murphy for a workday, their ranges had a certain versatility that most women would appreciate.

Are Cole Haan And Johnston & Murphy Shoes Comfortable?

Comfort is non-negotiable for me, and on this front, both Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy did not disappoint. The comfortable nature of their footwear is evident through supportive cushioning and arch support. 

I found that both brands provided supportive footbeds that cater to a variety of widths and sizes to ensure a perfect fit. Additionally, their shoes often featured flexible rubber outsoles and cushioning in the midsole, enhancing overall comfort.

Is Cole Haan Good Quality?

Finally, in the sphere of good quality, Cole Haan holds a special place. The brand is synonymous with premium, full-grain leather which, along with the Goodyear welt construction, marks its status as a purveyor of fine footwear. Having worn their shoes for years, I can vouch for their lasting durability and style.


Ultimately, Personal preference reigns supreme when selecting between the high-quality shoes of Cole Haan vs Johnston And Murphy. Both present their advantages and disadvantages, with Cole Haan’s contemporary designs and Johnston & Murphy’s traditional, yet affordable options suitable for a tight budget. Whether you’re pursuing the fashion-forward edge of Cole Haan or the classic, timeless aesthetic of Johnston & Murphy, both are apt for versatile use—from business meetings to friends’ weddings, to formal night-outs. The comfort factor, like needing a wider toe box for bigger feet, can be a deciding factor. So, where does your allegiance lie? With the modern twists or the honored classics?

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