Style & Appearance
As mentioned above, both shoes underwent very similar construction methods with the same raw materials. However, apart from the general last shape, they are unique shoes in terms of appearance.
As you may have gathered, both are distinctively different types of monk strap. In fact, it’s quite interesting to compare them side by side.
Firstly, we have the black Hoyt double monk strap and its eye-catching balmoral toe cap. The leather strap is wide and the tips curve nicely across the upper to be attached with polished steel buckles.
Meanwhile, the bordeaux Leonard single monk strap shoes feature a smooth plain toe and give the illusion of being a wholecut shoe. Its single leather strap features a much more simplistic design and the quarter stitching sits lower on the upper.
Interestingly, the Leonard’s single steel buckle has a more ornate design compared to the Hoyt’s slick clasps.
This minute detail helps in accenting the Leonard’s more casual, rustic aesthetic against the Hoyt’s professional city vibe.
I’d go as far as to say that the buckles epitomize the stylistic difference between the two quite nicely. However, I’m getting ahead of myself and we’ll talk more about their formality in the dress code section later.
Finally, if the Hoyt appears somewhat larger in the images, that’s because it’s a US size 10 whereas the bordeaux Leonard are size 9s.
Fit & Comfort
Overall, I’m quite fond of how Beckett Simonon’s footwear feels on the feet. You quickly appreciate the wholecut vachetta lining as well as the suede finish on the heel that prevents chafing.
As for the footbed, there isn’t much cushion and it’s quite firm without being hard. If this is a little too rigid, all Beckett Simonon shoes are supplied with spongy inserts.
Meanwhile, the toe box is comfortably spacious without being chunky and there’s plenty of room for even the hammiest of toes.
Finally, a feature that I particularly liked was the elastic thread beneath the buckle. This allowed the straps to give a little so that they weren’t too tight. Yet they were still firm enough that I didn’t fall out.
In fact, I found that I could use a shoe horn just to slip them on and off without ever needing to use the buckles. Presumably, this design feature was to prevent the leather straps from wearing too much over time.
With regards to the sizing, I found that Beckett Simonon was very true to size and consistent across their models too. As a 42 EU, I usually sit somewhere between US 9 or 9.5. In this case, I found the size 9 monk straps to be quite cozy indeed.
Dress Code & Formality
As hinted above, the Hoyt and Leonard monk straps offer very different levels of formality. While much of this is influenced by their respective colours, the designs also play an important role.
Firstly, like Beckett Simonon’s Yates oxford, the monk straps are surprisingly versatile dress shoes. They can be worn with surprisingly casual clothing. Yet, they can be rendered formal enough for cocktail attire depending on their colour and design.
Beckett Simonon Double Monk Strap Formality
With regards to the Hoyt double monks, this pair is made from black leather, which automatically renders them particularly formal. However, the balmoral toe cap is reminiscent of traditional oxfords and will add emphasis to this.
Furthermore, the sleek form of the straps and polished steel buckles render this a particularly dressy and consequently formal shoe. As such, black would be the best colour choice for this style.
Consequently, these are ideal shoes for business professional wear while giving you something a little different to typical Oxfords. Similarly, you could consider these for cocktail attire or even black tie optional events.
Beckett Simonon Single Monk Strap Formality
I do have an affinity for bordeaux leather. Offering a similar use to brown shoes, the reddish hue gives you something altogether unique. Yet in terms of formality, it brings things down a notch to around business casual.
The plain toe confirms this rather than echoing the formality exuded by wholecuts. The warm bordeaux colour instead evokes an elegant yet cosy Derby dress shoe while the large vintage-style buckle is quite rustic in appearance.
So far, I’ve had far more mileage from the Leonard single monk straps for the reasons outlined above. Unless attending events, you’ll rarely find me sporting particularly formal black shoes.
I’ll often work with my wardrobe to allow for brown dress shoes, which means that I generally wear more natural colours. For instance, my usual business professional attire consists of tweed suits. In fact, you’ll rarely see me wear black at all!
As you can see in the above photos, I wore the Leonard monk strap at the peak of autumn with a Norfolk-style tweed sport coat and grey checked slacks. I also threw on my Islay Woollen Mill flat cap and a Fair Isle-inspired jumper.
If you’re observant, I also channelled my inner Jerry Lewis with white socks but don’t tell BU founder Paul Anthony!
Presentation & Value For Money
The Beckett Simonon monk straps both come in identical packaging with the same accessories. Yet the first thing I noticed about the shoes was the information sheet on the inside of the lid.
This handy card breaks down the materials used to make the shoes as well as the model number and run. If you’re interested in these facts, it’s great attention to detail.
Furthermore, the shoes are supplied with the aforementioned inserts as well as dust bags, which have a nice felt interior and anti-static exterior.
We often rave about Beckett Simonon’s value for money thanks to their Group Made-to-Order business model.
As you effectively pre-order the shoes for a specific production run, the resulting cost for both you and Beckett Simonon are less than a typical shoemaker that has to ensure a consistent stock.
Therefore, you can pick up a pair of Beckett Simonon shoes for around $200 at full price. Given that you get a resoleable Blake stitch and high-quality full-grain calfskin leather, this is a very attractive price indeed.
However, you can also get a further 20% off when you use our exclusive “BU20” code during checkout. As a result, you can pick up a pair of premium dress shoes for as little as $160!
If you’re in the market for a new pair of monk strap shoes, then Beckett Simonon offers an irresistible package that is compatible with most budgets.
The only thing to bear in mind is that shoe availability is dependent on the current campaigns currently running on Beckett Simonon’s website. If they’re available, then you’re in luck.
Nevertheless, you’ll also need to be a little patient as you’ll need to wait for the campaign to end and your own shoes to be manufactured. This can take somewhere between 8 to 10 weeks. However, it’s well worth the wait if you ask us!
Personally, I’m particularly fond of my Leonard single monk strap shoes and I will be giving them a lot of mileage. As a stylish casual dress shoe, they’re a great option for dressing down without foregoing elegance.