Style & Appearance
While the Chukka style of boot can be encountered in a wide range of styles and materials, Beckett Simonon has chosen to go the way of elegance with their Ellis model line.
They begin with a full-grain leather upper and craft the shoe using their narrower Soho last, which lays the foundation for a more formal Chukka.
The dark brown color of the upper also pushes the Ellis further into the formal dimension. Interestingly, the leather’s hue appears to change with lighting, leaning towards black in the dark and evolving a deep red tint in direct light.
The sole on the Ellis is Blake-stitched and constructed of leather, as opposed to the rubber soles commonly found in many boot styles. Additionally, the heel is stacked leather with a rubber bottom to ensure durability.
On the inside, Beckett Simonon’s Ellis Chukka possesses a full-grain leather lining composed of just two pieces of leather. As a result, there are very minimal seams internally that could cause any kind of discomfort.
Overall, the lack of decoration, essentially the simplicity, of the Ellis Chukka allows it to assimilate to the more formal Derby shoes, while still keeping the rugged essence of a boot.
Fit & Comfort
Having a size 12 foot, I chose to go true-to-size and expected to have some extra room in the shoe, this being a Chukka boot. However, when I laced them up, the Ellis boots wrapped snugly around my foot.
This happened to be a pleasant surprise, and where Beckett Simonon’s Soho last shines through. I experienced no heel slippage or lack of comfort, even when first breaking them in.
The leather sole was slightly stiff during the first couple of wears, but it broke in quickly, along with the rest of the leather upper. The Blake stitch construction definitely helps in this regard as opposed to a Goodyear-welt, given that there is less material in the sole.
Officially categorized as a boot, I expected the Ellis to carry the heft of one. Conversely, while it did feel like I was wearing boots with these on, it was not overly pronounced. The weight of the shoe did not seem much heavier than the typical oxfords in my collection.
I was also expecting the top of my heel to bruise with the first wear, but this was not the case. Even out of the box, the leather upper was pliable, and the smooth leather lining prevented the damage I’ve come to expect out of every new pair of shoes.
Dress Code & Formality
When judged on formality and adaptability, the Ellis Chukka boot really begins to shine.
Let’s begin with the fact that it’s a Chukka, a shoe style more commonly associated with the casual universe. This fact opens the door for wearing these with jeans or just about any matching pair of casual trousers.
Next, we look at the construction – it’s dark brown leather with a thin welt. As a result, the possibilities spread into the business casual realm. It’s up to you to find which formality you prefer, though this versatile design is ideal for the office as well as for the typical after-work outing.
The only time when these should not be worn is during the summer. With the verdict still being out on whether they fit into spring, winter and fall are the prime seasons for Chukka boots like the Ellis.
Personally, I really liked the look of the Ellis Chukkas worn with a pair of light gray slacks. I have a particular knack for boots, yet most don’t really fit into formal outfits. The Ellis serves as that middle ground that allows me to get my boot fix while staying in vogue.
Presentation & Value For Money
Naturally, the Beckett Simonon Ellis Chukkas were delivered in Beckett’s branded black shoebox. Inside were a series of accouterments alongside the boots themselves.
One of these was a small booklet in which Beckett outlines their values and mission. They also offer a look into their manufacturing process and the artisans whose hands actually create the shoes.
Learning of Beckett’s employment policies, notably fair wages and generous employee benefits, allowed me to garner respect for the brand as well as its product. Their sustainability policies as highlighted in the booklet also point to viable manufacturing and sourcing of materials, yet another objective that many other brands fail to hold in high regard.
Alongside this booklet were a pair of waxed laces, additional black insoles, and individual dust covers for each shoe. The Ellis Chukka’s durable construction almost ensures that the laces, possibly the insoles, and definitely the dust covers will see some use down the line.
Speaking of construction and therefore quality, we can address the other component of my unofficial value formula (Value = Quality/Price). Retailing at $259, the Ellis Chukkas bring forth superior quality for the price paid.
As personal fans of the brand, we partnered with them directly, and have worked out a code for readers where you can get 20% off your order! Simply use our exclusive “BU20” code during checkout, the final price comes down to $207.20.
It’s important to note that Beckett Simonon uses a group made-to-order model through which they are able to offer their shoes at such an aggressive price. For this reason, delivery time can take 8-12 weeks. In any case, they do a solid job of keeping you in the loop with regard to progress and are very responsive to questions during the wait.
If you as I, are looking for a more unorthodox pair of business casual shoes, Chukka boots deserve to be considered. Beckett Simonon’s Ellis boot, constructed by hand of premium leather with an elegant profile, should certainly be on your radar. Alternatively, if you’re seeking an even more unorthodox pair of boots, we also highly recommend the Beckett Simonon Jodhpurs.
It’s hard to deny the value proposition offered by Beckett, and you may find that after receiving your first pair, you’ll decide that they won’t be your last.